While looking for a documentary subject, Andrew Bourne became interested in a friend from his mother’s college days, a volleyball player who went on to break the world record for jumping rope on his butt.
The journey took Bourne and co-director Daniel Feldman to Westfield to profile David Fisher. “The Rope Warrior” will be included in the fourth Indy Shorts International Film Festival, which runs July 20-25 at three Indianapolis sites.
Fisher, 57, has been jumping rope for a living for more than 25 years by putting on displays at school assemblies, festivals and corporate events. He markets himself as “The Rope Warrior.”
Bourne and Feldman released a joint directors’ statement: “We became interested in what drives someone to achieve such an impressive, but, admittedly absurd goal. We quickly discovered that David comes from the same affluent Chicago suburb and shared a similar Jewish upbringing as Daniel. The fact that David came from a place that breeds lawyers and doctors made David appeal to us as a character with something to prove. We knew that David suffered injuries from his passion, so why keep performing after 25 years? It was only when we got to David’s home when we realized the extent of David’s pain, and how his health affects his loved ones. We understand if people think David should hang up the rope, but The Rope Warrior’s zeal is something everybody should aspire for. You’d be a fool to tell him to stop.”
The documentary was filmed before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down in mid-March 2020. For his part, Fisher said he is not limping as much now since he had left hip surgery in November 2020. He previously had his right hip replaced.
“After the surgery and with schools being out, my first performance was in June,” said Fisher, who began jumping rope to stay in shape for club volleyball at Emory University in Atlanta.
Fisher, who often performs in school assemblies, said he was honored the story was interesting enough for a documentary.
“I’ve always been a shameless self-promoter,” Fisher said.
For Indy Shorts schedule and tickets, visit indyshorts.org.