Virland Stan Harris passed away this past Friday May 4 in a motorcycle accident near Rose Valley, California.
I worked with Stan on Fat Rose and Squeaky, a small indie film he wrote and produced in San Jose. The film is a touching portrait of two elderly women and their struggle for dignity and independence.
That was the kind of story Stan loved to tell: small human tales of hope and decency, family fare with cross-generational appeal.
He went on to focus on writing and producing more positively valued family films over the past few years:
- Seeker and Fetch, the wonderful adventure of how a goggle wearing pig and his best friend, a very proud Border Collie, adopt a lonely retired school teacher to help them find the owners for all the lost pets in the city.
- Harley’s Hill, the story of a 10 year old girl on a cattle ranch who rescues what she thinks is a wild horse.
- The Stray, a hilariously unique summer school session where a group of 5th graders adopt a stray puppy and try to hide it from their parents, and the school authorities.
This is the loss a good guy, who was really just hitting his stride as a filmmaker. On the upside, he was able to leave behind at least a few of his stories. Something we all need to find a way to do, while we can.
I was working with Stan and his eKidsFilms production company to bring Rocket Summer to the screen. I was touched by his love and dedication to the story and his desire to share it; whether that project gets completed in his absence remains to be seen, but I’ll always appreciate his support, and respectful collaborative nature. He got what it was I was trying to do, and he championed my vision.
That’s what I’ll remember.
Thanks, Stan. You’ll be missed.