Shooting interviews in Canada, late 2008 (top)
MIKE ROM mans the camera in Arizona (top)
TIMOTHY GASSEN in studio in Indy with
DVD PRODUCTION NOTES
My name is Timothy Gassen — I'm a filmmaker and journalist who grew up in Indianapolis
Time passed, I found other hockey heroes, but I always remembered that first inspiration I found in the Indianapolis Racers and World Hockey Association. With decades as a professional filmmaker and journalist behind me, in 2004 I finally gulped hard and decided to tackle what seemed like an impossible job: to recreate and document five years of a city, team and league that I could not forget, but which many in the hockey world never even knew.
Production for the 2009 DVD box set GRETZKY, INDY & THE WHA took five years — almost as long as the Indianapolis Racers hockey team existed in the first place. I conducted extensive research — to both confirm my own recollections of the Racers, Indianapolis and the World Hockey Association — and also to find former players to interview and to finally create an accurate team history.
I had been frustrated that almost no firsthand history of the WHA or Racers had been created since the 1979 merger with the NHL. I was determined to create a definitive history, both as a tribute to my first hockey heroes and also as a service to the city of Indianapolis and to hockey fans everywhere.
The plan was to produce a video documentary, but suitable footage just plain could not be found. I was told over and over that no video survived the march of time. I stared to think that a professional video documentary would not be physically possible.
So I took my mountains of research and authored the paper book Red, White & Blues:
Shooting of new interview segments commenced both in Canada and throughout the US
This production would not have been possible without the support, kindness and cooperation of former Racers players and coaches, TV and radio stations, journalists, broadcasters and hockey fans themselves. So many people stepped forward and wanted this story to be told, and I am humbled by their help.
I hope that you — the hockey history fan, the Wayne Gretzky fan, the WHA fan, and the Indianapolis sports fan — will buy this DVD set and support our five-year mission. I have poured my heart into this DVD set so that these fine athletes, the WHA, and the dedicated fans of Indianapolis are not forgotten.
— Timothy Gassen
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