Matt's hopes for the film reflect the time spent on a project which has surrounded his life for so long, "If I achieve a poetic, rich and beautiful articulation of the 'soul' of the book and the story, then I believe I will have done my work properly. If I manage to create a film that avoids the usual clichés - the kind that folk come away from thinking 'that was really something else' - then I'd be able to sleep better at night. If I create a film that genuinely crosses over between the 'mainstream' and deaf audiences ... that, too would be a major achievement."
Involvement of the deaf audience and community is something which shines through when you visit the beautiful (there is no other word) Dummy Jim website (click here). Here country names, and important words, are rendered by a silent, signing, Dummy Jim in the corner, as you travel with him meeting baker's daughters and German border control. And that's not to mention the various recipes you can pick up along the way; and sneak preview video clips which hint at the movie to come. You can also donate to the process, which is reaching a conclusion, "I have been helped out along the way by so many enthusiastic and lovely, kindly people, I have been blessed in that respect. We are now into the editing - that is 'hard' in as much as you need to make tough decisions, but I do also enjoy the process of paring down. It's healthy."
That would be to suggest that the objective has been attained, but the self- and friend-funded nature of the project goes on into the next step, "It would be great to see it distributed through the indie cinema networks, but I am also interested in the idea of a more 'DIY' film tour, taking the film around in person, giving Q&A's along the way ... pedal-powered even. In the end if Duthie's own community feel that I represented them fairly then that's a number 1 goal." Okay, so it's not really a story that mainstream Hollywood is likely to get in a lather about - unless Jim was to have an estranged wife who he was cycling to save and along the way saw a child in peril who he saved while at the same time vanquishing a bad guy with a pithy one-liner.