I met Doug Haight in 1994 while attending graduate school with him at Columbia COllege in Chicago. Working together ever since, we shared a common vision and goal with the release of this film. Try to make a film about a bike race which is far more than a bike race. Through countless hours, interviews and editing, by splitting the responsibilities throughout, we have finally completed our film about the Little 500.
My back story and relationship with the Little 500 is a lot more intricate.
Having grown up in Bloomington, the Little 500 and Indiana University, sports have always been an important part of my life. I remember going to basketball games as far back as 1973 and have great memories of watching Indiana beat Michigan with a Kent Benson tip-in during the 1976 season. My first Little 500 race was in 1979. I was twelve. We went that year, along with everyone else, because of the anticipation of a new movie to be released later that year. “Breaking Away” resulted in having more affect on me than just getting me to go to my first bike race. Ten years later, riding in my third race, due in part to the film, I met Jackie Earl Haley and Kathryn Douglas (stars of the film) as a result of winning in one of the most exciting finishes in Little 500 history.
In 1989, following the success of Cinzano, I began coaching the Landsharks, a women’s team, for the following four years. Over the course of the my involvement, the team won two races and placed in the top ten in two others. Another interesting side note to my tenure with the Landsharks is the fact that I helped coached my sister to a victory in 1992 becoming the first and only brother sister combination to have won both a men’s and women’s race.
I graduated in 1990 the following year with a degree in Film History and headed off to film school.
After gaining a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from Columbia College, I returned to my roots, in 1995 and released a short film entitled “Blueberry Hill”, shot entirely on location in Bloomington. The film had extensive festival success, premiering in Bloomington at the Memorial Union to a sold out house in December of 1995, and later appearing in the Indiana Film Festival in Indianapolis. Furthermore the film garnered a National Panavision Award for Cinematography which includes the use of 35mm film equipment which was utilized in the production of Free Wheels.
After releasing Free Wheels on VHS in 2002, I returned to Bloomington over the next several years, recut the film, added five more years of footage and subsequently released it on DVD.
“The Little 500 is not just a race about athletes who have diligently trained through rain and snow, but a race of spirit.”
KENDALL HARNETT'S REEL, VIDEO SAMPLES, AND RESUME
HOOSIER TIMES ARTICLE WRITTEN DURING PRODUCTION OF FREE WHEELS - BY MIKE WRIGHT
INDIANAPOLIS STAR ARTICLE WRITTEN IN 2000 - BY ABE AAMIDOR