Download Press Kit as Adobe PDF (4MB)
Download Press Kit as Word Document (1.3MB)


Click for hi-resolution pics


Logline
An emotional and surprisingly upbeat story about a terminally-ill gay man going on the road trip of his life.

Synopsis
A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour is a feature length documentary about Gregg Gour, a 48-year-old gay man with AIDS, who, when given six months to live, takes the road trip of his life.

Gregg had been HIV positive for 24 years and during that time the side effects of the medications made him increasingly sicker than the virus itself. In the last several years he felt that his quality of life had diminished considerably, so he choose to go off his meds and no longer fight death.

After giving away all of his belongings, Gregg buys an RV and travels across the United States with his dog, Cody, saying goodbye to family and friends who have to come to terms with Gregg's decision: That rather than suffer a long, painful death, he will end his own life before allowing the progressing illness to take away his independence.

A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour is a loving and powerful portrait of Gregg's journey, which is at turns heartbreaking and surprisingly upbeat. The filmmakers were given access to his most personal moments and the result is an open and unflinching chronicle of a man's decision to live the final chapter of his life his way.

back to top

Director's Statement
When I first heard Gregg Gour's story, my first thought was: Who is this guy that went off his AIDS meds and is giving away all his belongings, and traveling across the country in an RV on what he's calling the Goodbye & No Regrets Tour? And what do you mean he's been given six months to live and plans to hasten his death??

I thought, if this were my friend, I'd kidnap him and hold him against his will, force him to go back on his meds, and convince him that life was worth fighting for.

I wondered HOW his family and friends were finding the strength and courage to face what he was asking them to do: To let him go. AND, I thought, this needs to be documented. Someone should create a record of this journey.

At this point my co-director Barbara Green and I decided to approach Gregg (through Barbara's sister Joyce, who was a close friend of his) and see if he would talk with us. The next day, we were three strangers and a dog, standing in Gregg's apartment, and after a couple of hours that began with small talk and ended with laughter, several Diet Pepsis and a few tears, he agreed to allow us to tell his story.

Our instinct was to be non-invasive, although how could you avoid that, two chicks showing up with a camera? But we intended to stay back, out of the way, and try and observe.

Since much of Gregg's journey across the country would be just him and his dog Cody alone in the RV, we knew that we didn't want to affect that journey by traveling every bit of the road with him. Part of what his experience should be is that solitary time alone on the road. So we decided to send a small camcorder ("the Gregg Cam") with him, which he could use to record his thoughts along the way. We planned to meet up with him at his cross-country destination -- his mother's home in Pennsylvania. For the most part he did make the cross-country journey on his own, but as Gregg's story began to unfold, we did fly out to meet up with him in Colorado and Kansas to capture some very important moments.

There is a major issue at the center of Gregg's story, and that is of a terminally-ill person's right to end-of-life choices. Rather than cover it as an "issue," we decided instead to follow the personal side: the story of a man taking control of the end of his life, and how his decisions affected the people who shared that life with him.

Michelle Boyaner & Barbara Green
A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour

back to top

Filmmakers' Bios



Barbara Green picked up her first camera at the age of four and hasn't been without one since. She graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1986, and went on to build a career in still photography ranging from celebrity portraits to fashion and lifestyle.

Her work in film and video started in 1993 when her clients began requesting moving images to accompany her still work.

She has completed three documentary short films: O'Day At The Races, a documentary on the life of jazz legend Anita O'Day; Hi, You've Reached Dave's Apartment, a glimpse into the day-to-day life of her 41-year-old schizophrenic brother, which premiered at The SXSW Film Festival in 2001; and Tina Paulina: Living on Hope Street, an inspirational look at a homeless lesbian living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles, which is an award winning official selection of ten major film festivals. She has also completed several narrative shorts including I Want You to Show Me, and the award winning festival favorite, You're Still Young, both of which she directed, filmed and edited.

She continues to develop film projects that interest her and is currently on the film festival circuit with her feature-length documentary, A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour.



Writer/director Michelle Boyaner formed Greenie Films with Barbara Green in 2003, when she wrote and co-produced their first short film, I Want You To Show Me, a fictional and humorous take on an hour in the life of Wynonna Judd. Michelle also wrote and co-produced the award-winning short film, You're Still Young, which has been an official selection at film festivals throughout the country, and co-directed another award winning festival favorite, the documentary short Tina Paulina: Living on Hope Street, an inspirational look at a homeless lesbian living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

Prior to her film work, Michelle wrote Oh, for God's Sake Whisper It, a book of personal essays chronicling her beloved Grandmother's battle with Alzheimer's, and has had essays published on FRESH YARN: The Online Salon for Personal Essays. She continues writing screenplays, and somewhat sporadically posts rambling rants in her online blog, which has a large following of readers whose loyalty is both appreciated and mind-boggling.

She has just completed co-directing the feature-length documentary, A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour and is currently completing the script for the romantic comedy What If.



Gregg Gour loved television, movies and Broadway shows with a level of passion, commitment and organizational skill that leaves the casual observer in awe.

He was a devoted son, brother and friend to many, as well as a dedicated AIDS fundraiser, volunteering for, and riding in, several of the AIDS bike rides, as well as participating in Breast Cancer awareness walks.

Additionally in the last several months of his life, Gregg became an advocate for California Assembly Bill AB651 for a patients' right to physician assisted end-of-life choices, proving once again the selflessness of his actions, as Gregg would not live long enough to reap the benefits of this bill if it did indeed pass.

In an interview, one of Gregg's close friends said, "Gregg collected friends the way some people collect stamps" forming countless friendships during his life, due to his outrageous sense of humor, incredible work ethic, undeniable determination and generosity of spirit.

In the last few months of his life, Gregg embarked on his "Goodbye & No Regrets Tour" during which he traveled across the U.S. in an RV with his beloved dog Cody, saying goodbye to family and friends. This journey is the subject of the feature-length documentary A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour.

back to top

Post Production



Meghan Toohey is an LA-based multi-instrumentalist who has toured all over the globe with critically acclaimed artists such as The Weepies, Lori Mckenna, and her own band, the Sos and Sos.

Recently, Meghan has been focusing on producing for artists such as Q Music's Rachael Cantu, blog-fave Vivek Shraya and recent film scoring for the documentary A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour.

http://www.myspace.com/meghantoohey




Michelle's passion for sound began at age three, driving her parents crazy with makeshift drum kits made of pots and tinker-toys.

Since then, she's made loud noises at Berklee College of Music (Boston), the prestigious Little Mountain Sound (Vancouver, BC) and in many studios around the world. Along the way she has won many awards for her sound skills including the Juno Award (Canada).

After shattering Canada's legal decibel limit in 2000, she relocated to Los Angeles to co-found Grind Music + Sound Inc. with partner in noise, Sangtar Heer. Grind specializes in cutting edge sound for independent film and television.

back to top

Production Notes
A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour was shot during the first 5 months of 2006. The Filmmakers followed Gregg, shooting over 130 hours of tape, and when the filmmakers were not present, he captured his own "video journaling moments" via the camcorder they provided. Gregg kept in daily contact with the filmmakers via telephone and email.

During production of the film, Gregg was interviewed by several local and national media outlets regarding his story, including NPR's WEEKEND AMERICA, ABC7, The Sacramento Bee and La Opinion. He also received inquiries from producers at GOOD MORNING AMERICA and OPRAH that were interested in following his story.

A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour was shot in 24p on the Panasonic DVX100A and edited in Los Angeles, California on a Mac G5 using Final Cut Pro. Additional photographs and footage were assembled from Gregg's friends and family members.

Funding for the film came from the filmmakers themselves, as well as donations from private individuals.

back to top

Full Credits List

A

Production

Produced & Directed by
Barbara Green & Michelle Boyaner

Editor & Cinematographer
Barbara Green

Story Editor
Michelle Boyaner

Additional Camera
Gregg Gour
Don Danneman
Michelle Boyaner

Original Score
Meghan Toohey

Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer
Michelle Garuik
Grind Music + Sound, Inc.

Music Supervisors
Michelle Boyaner
Barbara Green

Music Rights Clearance Consultant
Kevin Dowling

MUSIC
"Laugh So You Don't Cry"
Written & Performed by Andy Davis

"After All"
Written & Performed by Jonathan Clay
Under License from Jonathan Clay Music

Audio Post Sound Services Provided by
Grind Music & Sound Inc.

Archival photos and footage courtesy of
Sue Covington
Debbie Danneman
Gregg Gour
Cori Huston
Bonnie Paster
Tammy Price
Nichole Redstone

San Francisco stills courtesy of Daniel Nicoletta

Gregg & Cody Illustration courtesy of Melody Shickley

Fiscal Sponsorship Provided by
The International Documentary Association


The Filmmakers would like to thank the following people for their
generous donations:

Jane Anderson & Tess Ayers
Hillary Carlip & Maxine Lapiduss
Jeff & Sheila Chianakas
Don & Debbie Danneman
Reed Davis
John Garcia
Jack & Gilda Green
Joyce Green & Chris Petrus
The Gypsey Players
Barbara Jo Kirshbaum
Robert Korenberg, M.D.
Tracy Lamonica
Timothy McGaughey
John Parro
Bonnie Paster
Tammy & Jim Price
Paul Putrino
Orly Ravid
Peter Reynolds
Nancy Seger
Richard Smith
Barry Wright

The Filmmakers would also like to thank:

Jen Baers / Studio 10 Design
Holly Bestry
John Biondolillio / ATO Records
Kyle Bishop
Barbara Bogaev / Weekend America
Morris Boyaner
Beth Brown
Christina Brown
Johann Butka
Becky Carter
Krissy Clark / Weekend America
Russel Clay
Casey Davis
Jim & Diane Davis
Thomas Di Mascio
Annie Dowdle
Marcia Ellison
Kevin Enright & Dennis O'Connor
Karen Falstrup
Jane Ford
Terri Garber
John Garcia
Brent Green
Patty Griffin
Amy Halpin / IDA
The Crew at "Hanks"
LeAnn, Parker and Trevor Harris
Colin Hay
Lyndsey Hoag & Chris Cumello
Kathy Hughes
Robert Kelley / Universal Music Enterprises
Maritza Marticorena
Lynn Mastandrea
Mighty Movers
Diane Perla
Kay Ponder
The Putrino Family
Nichole & Michael Redstone
Steve Scott / Wixen Music Publishing
Melody Shickley
Del Slowik
Richard Smith
Janet Tangirala & Family
Elizabeth Torres
Kathi Whitley / Vector Management
Kevin Wong / Universal Music Publishing Group
Gerry Vohs
Brenda Wedemeyer

Very Special Thanks:

Kathleen Beaton
Hillary Carlip
Katie Ford
Joyce Green
Julie Hale
Kim Hall
Rogers Hartmann
Barbara Held
Maxine "Team Leader" Lapiduss
Jackie Marchand
Cynthia Moore
Orly Ravid
Julia Salazar
Tracey "Tiki" Stern

Our heartfelt gratitude to Gregg's Family for their kindness during
this very intimate time in their lives.


And to Gregg Gour for sharing his journey with us

A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour
©2007 All Rights Reserved

back to top

A FINISHED LIFE the feature-length documentary by Greenie Films. How would you say goodbye?
all material ©2007-2009