It’s not likely anyone’s heard of 2002 Oak Ridge alum Scott Hardie’s first film — “The Fat and the Ferocious” — unless you were in his high school English class.
The parody project of the 2001 hit “The Fast and the Furious” didn’t become a breakout hit but it did leave a lasting impression on Hardie, who said, “Once you make your first movie you get the bug. It was so much fun.”
Today Hardie, 27, is turning that fun memory into a career, directing a documentary about Vertical Take Off and Landing vehicles and flying cars, specifically inventor and engineer Paul Moller’s M-400 Volantor Skycar. He’s partnered with Konstantin Brazhnik on the project.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Sonoma State (Hardie originally wanted to become a sports broadcaster), Hardie went to University of Southern California to earn a master’s in TV/film producing with an emphasis in directing. “Volantor” began a year-and-a-half ago as a USC graduate school assignment.
“I remembered Paul from my childhood and just thought, ‘Wow, this guy in Davis is inventing a flying car … a complete fairy tale,” Hardie said.
The filmmaker contacted Moller and asked if he could document the inventor’s journey. Moller agreed and Hardie got to see and touch the M-400 Volantor Skycar. “Seeing it in person is like traveling into the future,” Hardie said. “Hopefully he’s going to fly the thing.”
Aside from his familiarity with Cameron Park pilot Julie Clark, who is featured in “Volantor,” Hardie came into the project as an aviation outsider. Professionals and people passionate about their work educated him along the way.
In addition to learning about cutting-edge aviation, Hardie has also received an education in documentary funding … or lack thereof.
“With documentaries it’s really hard to find that funding,” he explained. It will take about $300,000 to finish “Volantor.”
Hardie, who now lives in the Los Angeles area, recently wrapped up a fundraiser with Indiegogo, an online site that allows anyone to donate to different campaigns around the world. He hoped to raise about $20,000 — enough to put together a production package that would be sent to studios, who could then pick up the rest of the tab. Their fundraising efforts thus far have collected about $3,000.
With studio support the film could put Hardie on the map as a successful documentary director but right now he said he’s not thinking about fame. “I’d like to pay my crew,” he confessed.
For more information about “Volantor” or to donate to Hardie’s documentary project visit volantorfilm.com.