DIRECTIVE: As the final project for a Northwestern University Spring 2010 documentary filmmaking class, produce an 8-10 minute film chronicling a heretofore untold story of Chicago or Chicagoans.
EXECUTION: Having identified our story and connected with the boxing gym, our crew of three traveled to the South Side twice a week for two months. We didn't film at first; instead familiarizing ourselves with the space and gaining trust of the boxing students and their coach. In searching for a primary subject, we realized part of the difficulty identifying one was the transience of the boxers themselves. Many promising young boxing students would drift back into family gang structures or become victims—sometimes fatally—of the South Side's devastating street violence. The documentary, then, became the story of Coach Kenny Simms' fight against the city's vices—the ones he knew all too well.