Did you know
going into it that it would be a film about the 1998 and 1999
crew seasons at Cal?
Dominique Derrenger: Originally, I set out to make an historical documentary that focused on the legendary career of Ky Ebright, which spanned four decades and three Olympic championships. The centerpiece of that film was 93 year-old Don Blessing, who was a real hero of mine. He was very charismatic and foul-mouthed at the same time, and he gave me priceless firsthand stories about Ebright and the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. He also introduced me to Steve Gladstone, and it was at that point that I learned about California's current renaissance. I noticed a lot of parallels between the old and the new, and I ended up following both stories at the same time. In 1999, all of the elements naturally came together, and I think I was just in the right place at the right time.