The project began as an hour-long documentary that would culminate in the discovery and repatriation of Jimmy’s famous war pipes.
When production began in November 2006 very little was known about James Richardson’s personal war experience beyond the action for which he received the Victoria Cross.
“Aside from some family background there were two photographs, two letters, and a few newspaper articles known to exist, and that was all,” recalls Ian Williams. “We felt we would be ready to release the film in the fall of 2009.”
However, once the Academy Award winning team at Paradigm began their thorough research, production plans had to be changed.
“It was remarkable,” says Ian. “We uncovered an entire archive of documents and photographs that have never been made public, including over 200 pages written by James himself.”
This presented Paradigm with an opportunity to expand the scope of the film and allow James to tell his story in his own words. It would mean an increase in the film's budget and a delay in the highly anticipated release.
“We could have made the hour long documentary we set out to make, or we could take this new material and expand our vision for the film and create something truly groundbreaking,” says Casey Williams.
“For us the choice was simple,” says Ian.
Paradigm is currently engaged in producing a landmark epic film that will elevate the art of documentary filmmaking into the realm of a major motion picture event.
“Things have really fallen into place,” acknowledges Ian, “people, places, forgotten photographs and documents have all come together in a way that forces one to consider that perhaps James himself has his hand in this.”
The team at Paradigm is passionate about this project. Investing 4 years into his story, they feel they have come to know James in a personal way; something they hope will translate to the audience through the film.
Through recent technological advances the team has developed new cinematic techniques for displaying archival materials.
“We will break new ground in the art of filmmaking,” says Casey. “This will be a game changer for the genre.”