Cubs fan and filmmaker Matt Liston chronicled the 2003 season, as he went on a crusade to bring Wrigleyville a pennant.
Liston’s film, Chasing October: A Fan’s Crusade, provides a can’t-miss version of the ride.
The Heckler: One of the running themes in the film is the personal debt you incurred financing the project. Can you ballpark it?
Matt Liston: The project was much more expensive than what is depicted in the film. Let’s just say the cost is around the league minimum. Unfortunately, I’m not kidding.
TH: Another recurring theme is the struggles you and your girlfiriend went through over her wavering support of your project. Now that the film’s successful, do you think she’s come around a little on her stance?
ML: We call this a docu-comedy because some moments are scripted. Many of the girlfriend moments are played up for the sake of entertainment. Faline and I are not together, but we are on great terms.
TH: Of all the people you interviewed, who was the best to deal with?
ML: My highlight was interviewing Ryne Sandberg in his home. It didn’t make the film, but it was so great to meet my baseball hero and have him walk me through his trophy room. At one point, he excused himself to go into the kitchen. He popped his head around the corner and offered us a breakfast burrito. I thought, ‘Come on, how many people are asked by their hero if they want a breakfast burrito?’ Game over.
TH: You must have tried to get Bartman. How’d that go?
ML: We went to the Bartman home in 2004. Instead of ambushing the family, we decided to make an honest pitch to Steve to sit down for an interview. When his father answered the door, he invited me in. He couldn’t been more gracious. He said Steve was not home, but he would relay my message. I couldn’t help but to think how easy it is to boo at man when you’re in an angry mob of 40,000. I have always felt bad for not only Steve, but his family.
The fact is, Steve Bartman never profited from that moment. He never gained anything but heartbreak. However, the man who picked up and sold it for 100k in his pocket. That’s something I still can’t understand. Why aren’t people chasing after him? Hmmm … maybe I have my next project.