Doug Falconer has chased one dream after one other. That’s his life story. Dream it. Dwell it.
There have been setbacks, however the free-spirited Falconer is a survivor, bouncing again from rejections and a large coronary heart assault that ought to have killed him in 2000. It’s been a charmed life, a Fortunately Ever After script that included relationship a Miss Gray Cup, a Cosmopolitan cowl lady and a Playboy playmate earlier than settling right into a 30-year marriage to ex-wife Louise — they’ve obtained two daughters, Taber and Quinn.
From a younger age, Falconer wished to be a soccer participant. He gained a Vanier Cup with the College of Ottawa Gee-Gees in 1975 and, the subsequent 12 months, a Gray Cup with the Ottawa Tough Riders. Later, he obtained into the film business. As a producer, his movies have been nominated for eight Canadian display awards, together with Finest Image this 12 months for Daughter of the Wolf. He’s labored with Nicolas Cage, Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Susan Sarandon, Demi Moore, Aaron Eckhart and Tommy Lee Jones amongst others.
“Chasing my desires hasn’t been simple,” stated Falconer. “I might have gotten into the monetary enterprise or actual property, I might have been successful doing that. However I selected a unique route. I’ve all the time had it in my thoughts that the issues which have occurred for me would occur, I simply needed to preserve going. I’ve all the time dreamed huge.”
Now 68, Falconer resides in Ottawa, ready out the COVID-19 pandemic in his Glebe dwelling. He moved right here in 2016 after dwelling in Santa Monica for 35 years. His subsequent movie, The Fury, scheduled to start capturing in Puerto Rico later this 12 months, stars Ben Kingsley and Clint Eastwood’s son Scott.
Falconer was born in Calgary —his mother was Mavis, his dad Don served in World Struggle II, then Korea. The household moved to Vancouver, again to Calgary, to Regina, then to Base Borden, an hour north of Toronto. After hitchhiking throughout Canada, he did his senior 12 months of highschool at Kingston’s La Salle Secondary Faculty.
“I used to be sort of a prima donna,” stated Falconer. “I confirmed up the primary day (of follow for the La Salle soccer workforce) sporting white footwear. You couldn’t purchase the footwear white, however Joe Namath was sporting them so I took a black pair and painted them white. I used to be a free spirit, a long-haired rebellious child. I did what I’ve all the time accomplished, absorb life and luxuriate in all the pieces round me.”
Falconer went to St. Lawrence School, the place he performed basketball. Falconer’s dad died and his mother moved again to Calgary. A good friend, Tommy Thompson, launched him to Gee-Gees soccer coach Don Gilbert.
“I didn’t know what I used to be I going to do,” stated Falconer. “I used to be working in a sporting good retailer and alongside comes the Ottawa U alternative. It modified my life. Don Gilbert sort of took over from what my father was. He most likely not solely saved me, however I’m positive he saved others. It was a miracle for me.”
Stated Gilbert: “He might have performed a number of positions — he wished to be a large receiver, however we had Rocky DiPietro and Jeff Avery — we would have liked him as a defensive again.”
Falconer discovered success on the soccer area. Away from the sphere, along with his lengthy hair and Fu Manchu, he was a celebration ready to occur.
“I used to be a hippie, the pot-smoking child on the workforce,” stated Falconer. “Don must come over to 656 King Edward Ave. on Mondays to see if I used to be nonetheless alive. I simply liked all of it. I used to be experiencing life.”
“Doug had extra enjoyable than you’re allowed,” stated Gilbert. “He was a free spirit, that’s for positive, however not in a unfavourable manner. He stored individuals free, he was all the time constructive. He was an awesome child, so likeable, good for workforce morale. He had an awesome angle and he was an distinctive athlete.”
“I assumed he was the good dude round,” stated Miles Gorrell, a teammate of Falconer’s with the Gee-Gees and later the Calgary Stampeders. “He had the best moustache, the best hair. He walked with a strut. He was all the pieces we aspired to be.”
Drafted by the Toronto Argos, Falconer was claimed on waivers by Ottawa. Falconer performed in Calgary in 1977-78. He was dealt again to the Tough Riders, however was launched. He wound up his profession with Saskatchewan and Montreal.
“In my coronary heart, I used to be accomplished taking part in,” stated Falconer. “I performed a few video games (in 1979), however I wasn’t the identical. If my coronary heart wasn’t in it, I wasn’t a adequate participant to be efficient. I wanted all of me to be good.”
Whereas sports activities have been his meal ticket, Falconer additionally had large curiosity in music and films.
“I’d go to films, I lived within the theatre,” he stated. “Each base we went to, my father would moonlight because the theatre projectionist. So I obtained into films at no cost. You may go to all of the movie colleges you need, however I couldn’t have gotten a greater schooling in films. As a child, my dream to finish up (being concerned in films) that was as huge as my dream was to turn out to be knowledgeable soccer participant.”
In 1981, he packed up and headed to California.
“I feel everybody knew I used to be headed to Hollywood,” stated Falconer. “I’m an enormous fan of John Lennon. My posts all the time say, ‘A number of love, peace and Think about, too.’ So I’m watching Monday Evening Soccer (Dec. eight, 1980). Howard Cosell comes on and makes the announcement that John Lennon has been killed. There after which, I stated, ‘Life’s too brief.’ Inside a month, I used to be on a bus to Buffalo so I might get a aircraft to L.A. I had perhaps $1,000. I do know no person, not a soul there.”
When he ran out of cash, he discovered a job in a “boiler room,” getting up at 5 every morning utilizing high-pressure gross sales techniques to promote ink toner, utilizing a pretend identify — Ben McBride. The job lasted eight or 9 months, lengthy sufficient for him to purchase a used MG to get round city. He was additionally going to performing lessons and modelling and made cash as a photographer.
On the verge of a breakthrough as an actor, he thought he had the lead in an HBO collection, The Hitchhiker. However the decision-makers as an alternative went with Web page Fletcher. He thought he had an enormous half in Nightmare on Elm Road three, that additionally fell by means of. The misses began so as to add up.
“It was devastating,” stated Falconer. “I used to be considering, ‘This f—ing enterprise sucks.’ I’d get to the ultimate 5, it’d be me, Richard Gere, Tom Berenger, I used to be at that stage. I used to be one of many final guys for Miami Vice — the function went to Don Johnson. It was one after one other, that’s what the business is, it’s rejection. My spouse was pregnant, I needed to work.”
Promoting automobiles turned his money-maker. He obtained a job at Walker-Buerge Ford, working there for a 12 months, then set his sights larger. He walked into W.I. Simonson Mercedez-Benz and emptied a fitness center bag filled with Finest Salesman plaques on the supervisor’s desk and landed a job that may pay him $200,000 a 12 months from 1989-94.
“It was like promoting a home each day,” stated Falconer. “My purchasers have been individuals like Shaquille O’Neal, Cher, Mel Gibson, film mogul guys … anyone who was anyone in L.A. on the time.”
However it wasn’t his finish sport. He labored for a multimedia firm which produced massive company occasions. He then obtained again into the film enterprise on the “cash aspect” — manufacturing. For his first movie, Path of a Serial Killer, he raised cash and obtained the title of govt producer. He instructed his spouse that he wished to chase this as a full-time profession. Falconer Footage was born in 1998.
“He all the time labored very laborious with what he had and it carried over to his enterprise alternatives — he labored his ass off and he might speak,” stated Gorrell. “It’s sort of cool that’s he a Hollywood producer. He nonetheless hangs out with the identical guys, the identical bunch of us from Ottawa U and he’s not above us. It’s good that some individuals don’t neglect the place they’re from.”
“There are such a lot of parallels to being a producer and being in sports activities,” stated Falconer. “The producer is the GM. You’re taking a venture from its script, increase growth cash, rent a casting director, begin casting, deliver within the crew — you oversee all the factor. You must deliver them in on time and on funds. You’re the man.”
In August of 2000, he was taking part in curler hockey on the seaside. He felt intense ache in his chest, like nothing he’d skilled. He drove himself six blocks to the hospital.
“I used to be 48, I had captained a world championship (inline hockey workforce) in 1998, I used to be celebrating the very fact I had simply outlived my father,” stated Falconer. “There was a heavy ache. I assumed, ‘What the f–okay was that?’ I sat down by the wall, I wasn’t feeling nicely. As quickly as I attempted to get again into the sport, I didn’t really feel proper, I knew one thing was unsuitable.”
The surgeon later instructed him it was referred to as The Widowmaker, a large blockage of the primary artery.
“If I hadn’t gotten to the hospital once I did, I used to be completely accomplished,” stated Falconer. “You might have the occasion, you then undergo this mortality factor. I turned form of the Lance Armstrong of UCLA, talking to older those that life wasn’t over when this occurs. Once I got here out of that hospital, the sky was by no means bluer. I felt just like the luckiest man on the earth. I referred to as up my twin brother Don, ‘Donnie, it is advisable to go see a heart specialist.’ He blew it off. Months later, the identical factor occurred to him and he died.”
Falconer splits time between his Ottawa dwelling and no matter set location he flies off to. He’s additionally closely concerned within the College of Ottawa’s 1881 Soccer Alumni Affiliation, a program (chaired by Neil Lumsden) he helped launch three years in the past — there are 130 governors, representing six a long time of Gee-Gees.
“I don’t suppose any of us are shocked he ended up doing one thing like this for a dwelling,” stated Lumsden. “We see a bit of little bit of the aptitude as soon as in awhile, he enjoys life, however he was a very good soccer participant … we shouldn’t neglect that.”
Stated Falconer: “Someone talked to me just lately and stated, ‘Let me get this straight … you performed on a Vanier Cup champion, you’re a Gray Cup champion, you’re in two Corridor of Fames, you performed on a world championship curler hockey workforce and also you’ve been nominated for eight Canadian display awards.’ Once I give it some thought, to test off all of the packing containers I’ve, I’m so grateful and grateful.’ I’ve had quite a lot of enjoyable. I’m a free spirit, all the time have been. That’s simply who I’m.”
LEANING ON LENNON: Lyrics from a John Lennon tune, Think about, are ringing fairly true for Doug Falconer nowadays.
A Vanier Cup champion (with the 1975 Ottawa Gee-Gees) and Gray Cup champion (with the 1976 Ottawa Tough Riders) and now a profitable film producer, Falconer lived in Santa Monica for 35 years, chasing his Hollywood desires. He’s additionally a music freak, going again to the late 1950s and the genesis of the people period, with its nice harmonies. He grooved to bands just like the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Poco, The Eagles, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Younger and Buffalo Springfield. Certainly one of his good buddies is Artwork Podell of the New Christy Minstrels.
Speaking in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, Falconer leaned on some phrases from Lennon, the previous Beatle, to sum up his ideas: “We as a whole world are extra depending on one another now than we’ve ever been. This virus is faceless, raceless, sexless, nondenominational and bipartisan, so let’s deal with one another and keep at dwelling. It will move hopefully earlier than later.
“As certainly one of my heroes wrote a half a century in the past ‘Think about there’s no nations, it isn’t laborious to do. Think about all of the individuals dwelling life in peace, it’s simple for those who strive.’ What he wrote was critical enterprise, people. Now can be the time to inform these most near us that you just love them. I learn just lately that Mom Nature has despatched us all to our rooms to consider what we’ve accomplished. Possibly an excellent time to mirror. Life is valuable.”
THE BIG PICTURE
Listed here are a number of the films Doug Falconer has been concerned with (and venture that’s developing):
My Bollywood Bride (2009, starring Jason Lewis): “It was one of many first Bollywood/Hollywood co-ventures. It tells the story of a duplicate author who meets and romances an Indian magnificence who’s vacationing in California.”
The Warrior’s Manner (2011, starring Geoffrey Rush and Kate Bosworth): “A warrior-assassin is compelled to cover in a small city within the American Badlands after refusing a mission.”
Forsaken (2015, starring Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Demi Moore and Brian Cox and nominated for 5 Canadian display awards): “It’s like Excessive Midday or Shane. In 1872, an embittered gunslinger tries to make amends along with his estranged father whereas their neighborhood is besieged by ruthless land-grabbers.”
Ace the Case (2016, starring Oscar winner Susan Sarandon): “It’s a light-weight household movie. A 10-year-old lady, dwelling together with her older brother, witnesses her neighbour’s kidnapping. Nobody believes her so she takes issues into her personal fingers.”
Humanity Bureau (2017, starring Oscar winner Nicolas Cage): “It’s a suspense/motion thriller. Set within the 12 months 2030, the world is in a everlasting state of financial recession and going through critical environmental issues because of international warming. The world is coming to an finish and Nicolas Cage is there to put it aside.”
Daughter of the Wolf (2019, starring Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss and Gina Carano): “A army veteran hunts the boys who kidnapped her son.”
Wander (2020, starring Aaron Eckhart, Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones, Katheryn Winnick and Heather Graham): “Employed to probe a suspicious dying within the small city of Wander, a mentally unstable non-public investigator is satisfied the case is linked to the identical cowl up that prompted the dying of his daughter.”
Why Ought to White Guys Have all of the Enjoyable (scheduled to be made in 2021, with Jamie Foxx signed to star): “It’s the story of Reginald Lewis. Each child ought to know who he’s – the primary African American billionaire in america. He got here from the imply streets of Baltimore and found out easy methods to get to Harvard, then had the primary black regulation workplace on Wall Road and was concerned in a takeover of Beatrice Meals.”