‘Invisible String’ revels in history of the flying disc
A group of Berlin filmmakers and Frisbee enthusiasts is bringing the long and colorful history of the iconic flying disc to the bigscreen.
Joroni Film, which is taking part in the Berlinale Talent Campus’ Berlin Today Award, producing a short for next year’s fest, is producing the “The Invisible String.” Title refers to a marketing gag used by the Frisbee’s late inventor Fred Morrison, who died Feb. 9 at the age of 90, when he first began hawking the discs at fairgrounds: Saying the flying discs glided on an invisible wire, Morrison offered the discs for free if a customer bought a string for a dollar.
Directed by Jan Baess, Michael Osterhoff and Greg Marter, the doc tells the story of Frisbee culture from its early days in the 1950s to today, with particular attention the golden era of the 1970s, and profiles longtime and influential Frisbee players like John Kirkland, the top disc athlete of the ’70s (who often showcased his talent at the Harlem Globetrotters’ halftime shows), ’80s Frisbee champ “Crazy” John Brooks and Dan “Stork” Roddick, who headed sports promotion at Frisbee-maker Wham-O and established performance-based sporting events dedicated to the flying disc.
Instead of traditional talking-head interviews, the filmmakers will play Frisbee with many of their subjects on Southern California beaches and evoke the 1970s with a classic soundtrack.
“The Invisible String” also traces the creation of the many new Frisbee-based competitive individual and team sports that have taken off in the past few decades. It will also explore the nostalgia and inherent fascination with the disc.
Joroni is in talks with international sales agents at Berlin’s European Film Market and looking to secure backing from Berlin- Brandenburg’s regional subsidy fund, with production set to start this year.