Naturally before the screening of the documentary “Batkid Begins” at the Landmark Theatre on Wednesday, there was a little reenactment of the San Francisco production.
“Wahhh, wahhh, wahhh!”
That was ILM’s Mike Jutan “quacking” like his character, the Penguin, right before the screening of the documentary.
“We got to represent what local volunteerism means and what kind of amazing things can happen when people work together and social media is used for good,” he declared. “I feel like [the film] is a time capsule of what we did that day.”
The documentary, directed by Dana Nachman, documents the boy behind the mask and the team that enabled the historic wish that turned the City of San Francisco into Gotham City for a day. Batkid, aka 5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles Scott, hopped out of his Batmobile’s car seat to save the day on November 15, 2013.
Nachman used footage from local San Francisco television news stations, the Make-A-Wish foundation and the Scott family to retell the event.
“I think the best scenes in the film, the family actually shot,” she said. “I’m really shocked and I’m so humbled by the fact that New Line and Warner Bros. loved it enough to want to take it on.”
His one wish — that was eventually seen around the world — was, “I want to be the real Batman.”
Eric “EJ” Johnston, who played the San Francisco Batman, shared the production team’s anxiety best in the film while planning the capers.
“Imagine that you are doing a production and the lead character doesn’t know he’s in it, has never gone to a rehearsal, and is five [years of age],” he expressed.
To the rescue — in the film — was Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Director Patricia Wilson. She brainstormed the elaborate wish that had the most people involved in the history of the foundation.
“I couldn’t have imagined that this would happen ever in a million years, but it’s beautiful that it did because it created more awareness for Make-A-Wish.” She continued, “It created more awareness for all the children who need us and for people being involved in their community inspiring people so it’s a happy message.”
“Batkid Begins” hits select theaters on June 26. All proceeds of the filmmakers will benefit five San Francisco charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
(Pictured: Writer Kurt Kuenne, director Dana Nachman, Mike Jutan and Make-A-Wish’s Patricia Wilson at the Landmark)