Witness the Magical 150 Year Story About A Small Chicago Suburb
In April 2007, four men gathered at the Onwentsia Club in Lake Forest, IL to begin principal photography on their documentary about the town. Not a single one among them were sure how the film would ultimately play out, but each could sense the day had a special air to it. About a half-dozen interviews were conducted that day and when all was said and done, the consensus was overwhelmingly positive about what was captured. Although its eventual title was not yet coined at this early stage, “Discovering Deerpath” was officially underway.
Written and directed by Jeremy Richter, “Discovering Deerpath” is a historical docudrama about the town of Lake Forest, IL. In a rare turn from traditional documentaries, the film is free from controversy and instead covers the events and figures that have touched the town over the past 150 years.
“A lot of people thought we were crazy to go this route but I always felt it was important to keep this a positive family film,” explained Marra. “In the end, I wouldn’t have changed a thing, as the movie is absolutely amazing.”
“I like to think of Lake Forest as the Forest Gump of communities, in that over the years its citizens have been involved with so many historically significant events,” stated Richter. “And there have been many local figures that have done amazing things for the community as well, whether it was Dr. Theodore Proxmire delivering over 3,000 babies or Howard Van Doren Shaw’s contributions to Market Square, the list of fascinating Lake Foresters isn’t a short one.”
Approximately 35 individuals were featured in the movie, each offering a unique perspective on the town, as well as insight into some of their personal accomplishments. Among the individuals interviewed were Astronaut Jim Lovell, Iwo Jima Veteran Greeley Wells, Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Grevers, Former Quaker Oats CEO Robert Stuart, Jr., Frank Farwell and Katherin Kane, who is the Executive Director at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.
“I don’t think you can top the range of fascinating people we were able to secure interviews with for the movie,” stated Richter. “This is important because from a story flow standpoint, a documentary is only as good as the performance of the people it features. As an example, I had hoped that Mr. Lovell would expound upon his conversations with Charles Lindbergh. He did and we uncovered some really fascinating insights. You never really know what you’re going to get on camera during interviews but we were fortunate to have several golden moments during the production of the film. In addition to the interviews, we also captured the natural beauty of the town, including an unforgettable sunset at one the of the forest preserves. We almost missed it but we were able to find a great vantage point moments before the sun vanished. It was hard work but well worth the efforts.”
While the legacy of the movie, available on DVD for purchase on May 18th, is too early to be known, Richter is certain of one thing: “I’ve never seen an instance in my life where hard work and persistence didn’t pay off. It’s evident everywhere in the town of Lake Forest and, in my opinion, so shall it be with this movie. It’s the timeless tale of an All-American community and I think the film will be around for generations to come.”