A Film, Not A Radio Piece

After taking several trips to Baltimore and compiling 30 hours of audio, it began to occur to Checkoway that she had something unwieldy and wild, and given its ultimately visual nature, probably not for radio. Checkoway was five months pregnant with her second daughter when she traveled to Mexico to visit her older brother Neal, who had founded popular web site Travelocity.

"When Julie told me about about Billy Pappas," Neal Checkoway says, "I was intrigued on several levels. That he was trying to lift himself above the perceived restraints of his working class roots by dint of his own skill and hard work resonated strongly with me. I found it particularly interesting and analogous to my own unlikely success story, the notion that someone with no particular qualifications might have the audacity to believe he could crack a rarified and elite world."  Neal told his sister that the story she was documenting was not a radio piece, and challenged her to make it into a film.

After conversations with several film industry folks with whom friends put her in touch, Julie Checkoway began to realize that, despite the fact that she knew nothing about how to make a film and that she was about to have a baby, she would go for it with the support of her husband and  family.

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A Film by Julie Checkoway. A Littlest Birds Films Production.