Living With Lew| 1hr : 29mins
Director: Adam Bardach | Producer: Adam Bardach
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
Scott Lew is a funny guy. The first to share a joke, a wry smile or an amusing observation, Scott has always had a keen eye and ear for lifeâ€™s many absurdities. Itâ€™s a talent that has served him well throughout a successful career as a Hollywood film executive-turned-writer/director. Without exaggeration, heâ€™s one of those people who is genuinely liked and admired by all who know him.
In 2003, at the age of 33, Scott Lew was tragically diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease.
ALS is a usually fatal neuromuscular disease which leads to the loss of the ability to breathe, speak, chew, swallow, or support oneâ€™s own body weight. Because ALS attacks only motor neurons, the senses of sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell are not affected. For the vast majority of people, the intellect remains sharp throughout the course of the disease despite the eventual total paralysis of the body. The average lifespan of a patient with ALS is three to five years from the time of diagnosis.
Despite this devastating news and the rapid progression of his disability, Scott forged ahead and made the choice to direct his first feature film, a heartfelt comedy entitled "Bickford Shmecklerâ€™s Cool Ideas," from a script he wrote. His family rallied around him and, in an extraordinary show of support, his longtime industry friends stepped up to help make Scottâ€™s dream a reality.
Over the next three years, as Scott worked tirelessly to achieve his goal, trusted friend and filmmaker Adam Bardach set forth to document Scottâ€™s trials and triumphs. The resulting film, Living With Lew, is an intimate portrayal of a man forced to make enormous life decisions in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Alongside Scott on this arduous journey is his loving wife, Ann, whose support he literally couldnâ€™t live without.
In addition to Scottâ€™s personal everyday struggles, Living With Lew tells the story of the making of "Bickford," a process made twice as hard by virtue of a debilitating condition. Wheelchair-bound and unable to use his hands, Scott is constantly fighting for breath as a result of his diminished lung capacity. The simple, everyday tasks of getting around, making phone calls, eating, drinking, and using the restroom are all constant hurdles to be overcome. All this amid the notoriously challenging and exhausting milieu of low-budget filmmaking.
Living With Lew is ultimately a story of hope, bravery and a familyâ€™s love. It is the story of one manâ€™s indomitable spirit, relentless lust for life, dogged pursuit of a dream and his wild, subversive sense of humor that shines like a beacon through the bleakest of prognoses.
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