an ESPN "30 for 30" documentary film
Fernando Nation, which I produced for ESPN Films' "30-for-30" series, was my second collaboration with husband-and-wife team Cruz Angeles and Maria Topete. Cruz and I had spoken for a while about creating a film based on the life of Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela. With Sterling Productions, Cruz and I secured the rights to tell Fernando's life story, and then realized we would have trouble raising the money necessary to make a narrative feature film. Around the same time, ESPN reached out to Cruz about making a documentary for their "30-for-30" series. We brought them the Fernando story, and a few months later had a deal with them to make the film. Elizabeth Geist and Mark Durand were our ESPN Films producers on the project.
Here are some images depicting Fernando that the Dodgers graciously provided to us for the film:
This film was an absolute pleasure to make. We were given the green light in late May of 2010 by ESPN, and had an air date of a 52 minute film in October of that year. We camped out in Los Angeles for the three-month shoot and pulled it together by the skin of our teeth. You can watch the film today via iTunes or Netflix, or on ESPN, where they replay it from time to time.