You know the story about his tricked out maize and blue shoes. Brace yourself for the rest of the story of “Touchdown” Billy Taylor.
You can be a part of it as the first screening of a new piece of Michigan Football history is unveiled. Perseverance – The Story of Dr. Billy Taylor is a new documentary and will premiere at the Michigan Theatre on Friday November 16th in two showings: 7:30PM and 9:55PM. [As soon as they post the link to the tickets, I’ll post here. You can buy them on TicketWeb right now 7:30PM or 9:55PM.]
I had a chance to meet co-director Dan Chace recently in Ann Arbor and he’s clearly jacked about the film. I haven’t seen the documentary yet but plan to as soon as I can get my meat hooks on a copy.
Much more later on this.
In the meantime, here’s the full press release:
NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM ON FORMER MICHIGAN RUNNING BACK, BILLY TAYLOR, DIRECTED BY MICHIGAN ALUMNI TEAM, SET TO PREMIERE AT MICHIGAN THEATRE, ONE NIGHT ONLY, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16
Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theatre has just added a November 16 Premiere Screening date for a recently completed documentary film entitled, Perseverance – The Story of Dr. Billy Taylor.
The film highlights Billy Taylor’s notable football accomplishments at Michigan, but goes deeper, exploring Taylor’s dramatic public and private failures, which tarnished his heroic reputation, damaged personal and professional relationships, and set him on a turbulent 25-year roller coaster ride. The film, which contains seldom seen Michigan sports footage and photographs, touches on multiple social and human themes.
The film is appropriate for viewers of all ages.
The story of Taylor, who graduated in 1972 as Michigan’s all-time leading ground gainer, is closely intertwined with that of Bo Schembechler. Both men came from Barberton, Ohio. Taylor began his varsity football career at the same time Schembechler was entering the Michigan program as head coach. Schembechler’s critical role in Taylor’s life is explored in the film, during and after Taylor’s years at Michigan.
Dr. Billy Taylor and members of his family are key interview subjects in the film. Also appearing are veteran Michigan coaches Gary Moeller and Jerry Hanlon, plus former Michigan players Dave Brandon, Don Moorhead, Thom Darden and Henry Hill, all of whom were team members during Taylor’s years as a player. Other notable participants include Bruce Madej, John Bacon, and Tom Ufer.
The piece is co-directed by Michigan alums Dan Chace (’83) and Bob Hercules (’84), who formed a longstanding friendship at Michigan while making short graduate student films. This is their first collaboration as professionals.
Chace, a native of Ann Arbor, was a 9 year old when he first saw Taylor play, idolizing him as a child.
A graduate of Michigan’s Department of Theater and Drama, Chace also holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and has worked variously as an actor, director and teacher. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Hercules is a founding owner of Media Process Group, a video production company based in Chicago. He has produced and directed an extensive list of wide-ranging work from commercial videos to full-length, critically acclaimed documentaries. He holds an MA in Communications from the U of M.
The film is scheduled for Friday, November 16th – the eve of Michigan’s final home game against Iowa – and will have two showings: at 7:30 p.m. and 9:55 p.m. Approximately one hour in length, both showings will be followed by a discussion and Q & A with the filmmakers, Billy Taylor and others appearing in the film.
Dr. Taylor will be available following the event to greet fans and sign autographs.
Tickets are available online via the Michigan Theatre website at: www.michtheater.org