The Best Work You May Never See: Director Zack Grant Takes "Morning Walk" With Mom To Shed Light On Parkinson's Disease


Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022


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Commissioned by Motionpoems, this short titled Morning Walk was directed by Zack Grant, an alum of SHOOT’s 2019 New Directors Showcase. 

Morning Walk is a short film based on a poem about Parkinson’s disease (PD), starring Debra Magid, an artist living with Parkinson’s. She is Grant’s mother. The poem of the same title as the film was written by Joyce Sutphen.

Shot on 35mm film, the short is a visceral and lyrical journey--juxtaposing an euphoric morning walk with the stark realities of a condition like Parkinson’s. “My goal with the film, and what moved me the most about the poem, was to show that Parkinson’s is not a singular diagnosis,” said Grant. “As the poem so perfectly states, people with PD want to be remembered ‘from the inside out’; seen but not pitied; considered but not treated as ‘less than.’ Morning Walk honors that request, equally celebrating reality and the things we do to cope with reality.”

Roxanne Artesona, an executive producer on the film and owner of indie representation firm Roxanneandco, shared, “I had a shortlist of candidates to direct this film, and Zack was the only name on it. Between the emotional depth he brings as a visual storyteller, and the deeply personal connection he has to the subject matter of this film, I knew Zack would bring something special; and the stars aligned perfectly once we got Peter on board. He is an editor who makes linear storytelling look almost effortless. His choices beautifully accentuated the powerful words and visuals brought together through this film.”

The short was edited by Peter Mostert of Hooligan.

Besides its Motionpoems exposure, the film will air this fall on Art + Medicine, a Twin Cities PBS series that explores healthcare through story, song and the arts.

Morning Walk was funded and produced in partnership with Jon Hallberg, co-host of Art + Medicine and director of The University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for the Art of Medicine (CFAM), an initiative dedicated to cultivating creativity and elevating the role of the arts and humanities in medical education and practice. 


Production Zack Grant, director; Roxanne Artesona, Todd Boss, Jon Hallberg, executive producers; Gabija Blake, producer; Nathan Podshadley, DP; Michael Desiderio, Steadicam operator. Editorial Peter Mostert, editor. Sound Design & Mix Owen Shearer, sound designer/mixer. Color Nick Lindell-Wright, colorist. Music Robby Hurd, music supervisor. “Daydream in A for Piano” by Eric Kinney. Title Design Max Friedman. Camera ARRI Rental Film Development & Scan Metropolis Post Backdrop Schmidli Backdrops. Shot on Kodak 5207 Vision 3 Film


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