I’m making this film because Mary Tanner spoke to me with an urgency and directness that I could not ignore. I was trying to build a video business and the prospects were good, but this seemed more important somehow. I notified my clients, finished up a pending project and called Roger McCord.
More than a year later, we have gotten The Mary Tanner Story as far as it can without help. We began this story in collaboration with Mary Tanner’s friends and family. It is time to ask the community at large whether this story deserves to be told.
I can’t speak for the people of Kennebunk. I would not presume to speak for Mary Tanner’s family.
However, the fact that Mary’s brother and two sisters have cooperated with the production thus far indicates a level of trust and support that is essential if this project is to go forward.
Ask any documentary filmmaker and they will tell you that cooperation from the subjects of a story such as this is the key element. Without it you have nothing. Without the blessing of Charlie, Beth and Gail Tanner, “Girl on the Bridge” would not have been made.
No less important are the people behind Justice For Mary. This story is about them and their lives and their memories of Mary.
Everyone agrees that Facebook is the platform from which Justice For Mary was launched. Would JFM have succeeded without social media? Who knows. The point is that Mary’s friends saw what a powerful tool it was and seized the moment.
They had waited 35 years, holding on to painful memories, frustrated that this crime had gone unsolved, still carrying the sorrow they had felt every day since that weekend in July when Mary died.
Now they had a tool to organize for action – any action – that might resolve this mystery.
Many of them are cooperating in the making of this film. Four of them are extending their personal and professional lives, their standing in the community, to see this made. I asked Tim Ames in August of 2013 if he thought we should make this film and if he would be willing to help me.
This is his answer.
– R.D. O’Neal