Sunday, February 14, 2016

North Camden's field of dreams

The making of a baseball movie

North Camden's field of dreams


Young suburbanites who visit North Camden's Pyne Poynt Park are liable to be looking for heroin.

But Steve Patrick Ercolani, who hails from Haddonfield, is there to make a documentary about baseball. Footage that  he and his collaborators have shot in recent weeks has been crafted into a compelling trailer (the video is below) to promote a $15,000 Kickstarter fundraising campaign.

Ercolani, 26, and Gabe Dinsmoor, 25, of Baltimore, hope to tell the story of activist Bryan Morton and the North Camden Little League, which gives kids in one of America's toughest neighborhoods a chance to enjoy America's pasttime.

The youngsters play on a scenic patch of Camden County parkland where redevelopment plans and current realities meet. "There are junkies shooting up in the blue porta-potties, then coming out and watching the kids practice,"  Ercolani says.

A journalist and an Atlantic Media fellow, he envisions the film as a feature-length, in-depth exploration of life in North Camden -- not a melodramatic drive-by lament like the recent NBC news report by Brian Williams.

"I'm slowing gaining the trust of people in Camden," Ercolani says. "And one of the most poignant things someone said was, 'please don't Brian Williams me.'"

Inquirer Columnist
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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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