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Dropping In: The True Story of Don Wimmer
by Erik Sean McGiven on Apr 04, 2009
"Dropping In" is a documentary-style narrative
about a 42-year old accountant who gives up his job and recommits himself to
becoming a professional skateboarder.
Never mind that Don Wimmer, vividly portrayed by David Klane, is more
than twice the age of average pro skater, can't skate very well, and is
constantly drinking and smoking. It's
absurd to think Don can fulfill his childhood dream, yet his amiable
vulnerability pulls us in and we cheer for him all the way.
Most of us have unfulfilled dreams and this film reflects
that universal desire to pursue those 'what ifs' in our lives. What makes Don Wimmer so unique is that he
actually takes the plunge and sets out to accomplish this almost impossible
feat. His quest is a metaphor for our
dreams and the sacrifices we must make to reach them. And what makes this story so appealing is
that his journey is frothed with so many missteps, blunders, and errors in
judgment a normal person would make a hasty retreat, but not Don Wimmer. He stumbles on relentlessly and when he
falters, his friends prop him up and push him onward.
The film is told from the viewpoint of JP Parcel
(Christopher Manus) a first-time filmmaker who prods Don into revealing more
and more about himself. JP skillfully
steers his subject around the bumps and detours to keep him from
self-destructing. There's a caring brotherly connection between the two, one
that allows Don to talk himself through the best and worst of situations. Don also persuades others into aiding his
cause. His landlady, realistically
played by Laura Lang, is dubious about his chances and she adds another
dimension to this tittering character.
Yet it is her son, Jason, brilliantly portrayed by Tim Banning, who adds
many comic touches as Don's wacky sidekick. Developmentally 'special' he's like
a rambunctious child of 18 and looks on Don as a father.
The film takes an insightful look at skate boarding. In most sports participants display their
clippings and highlight reels. But in
this sport, x-rays are the badges of honor as they document the grave injuries
sustained. Don proudly displays several. It's a dangerous sport and the film,
thankfully, tresses the point along with appropriate safety measures.
There are plenty of laughs in this faux-documentary, some
cerebral others pure visual slapstick comedy.
The climatic scene at his first tournament is well worth the journey for
it segues beautifully into a surprisingly happy and altogether appropriate
ending. This is a film for
skateboarders, former skateboarders, and those thinking about dropping out of a
bad situation and dropping into something much more satisfying. "Dropping In" is an empowering
feel-good film for all ages.
Production values give a fly-on-the-wall catch-as-catch-can
perspective to this film. You get the
feeling this is all for real and the participants are actual people in the life
of Don Wimmer. This is a tribute to a
talented cast as well as a diligent crew for catching the improvised and
unplanned moments. The title
"Dropping In" refers to the precarious moment when the skateboarder
posed at the lip and drops into the bowl.
The film was shot over a three-year period, evident by the length of
beards in some scenes. It has garnered
much attention on the web; one of which is the Guinness Book of World Records
assault on the standup downhill speed record.
CREDITS: Stars David Klane, Christopher Manus, Tim Banning,
and Laura Lang. Directed by Matthew
Manus; Written by Mathew Manus and David Klane; Music by Carlos Jose Alvarez;
Edited by Dan Steller; Produced by Mathew Manus, Cynthia Klane, Dan Steller,
and David Klane. A Dropping In LLC
Production. Running Time 83 minutes.
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February 17, 2020