Tribute to Mr. Debonaire

Being a documentary filmmaker is much like being a journalist, you have to find out who what why where when except everything is moving… After more than twenty years of working as a photojournalist, I find that telling a story in motion picture is much more complex because of the introduction of the element of ‘real’ time. Show me don’t tell me. Interviewing someone, on any level or with any device, is an intimate exchange. Recording history and combining that with story isn’t for everyone – I think it is a special role and I love the journalism aspect of the process of creating a documentary film. Overall, I love the art of filmmaking.

Richard Dwyer is one of the stars of my film, The Fabulous Ice Age, a documentary film on a century of dancing on ice and one man’s quest to save the history. Over the seven years that I produced the film, Richard and I have become friends. I have had the honor of interviewing him a number of times, both at Roy Blakey’s IceStage Archive, and at the Ice Capades reunions in Las Vegas.

Ice Theatre of New York honored Richard in 2012 and Jirina Ribbens had an editor in NY help me make the tribute video. Ice Theatre of New York is featured in my film in the section I think of as ‘skating today’. Richard’s unique story helps bridge the generations. He originally got his ‘Mr. Debonaire’ coat and tails from the original ‘Mr. Debonair’ – Ice Follies founder and star Roy Shipstad. I have attended a number of galas and I have to say that my tribute video rocks.

Richard came to all the screenings of The Fabulous Ice Age on both coasts and our panel discussions following the screenings were always lively. Women still swoon over him as he is so talented and handsome. He still skates and is a real star of the show in so many ways! I am honored to be able to tell his story!

Keri Pickett

Keri Pickett is an author, photographer and filmmaker telling the stories of life, family and community with intimacy, honesty and impact. Pickett is Producer, Director and Camera for the award-winning feature documentary film ‘The Fabulous Ice Age’, about the rise and fall of the great American touring ice shows and one man’s quest to save the history, available on Netflix and Amazon. Her short film, 'Steel // Spirit' premiered at MSPIFF and won certificate of excellence in India. Her award-winning books include Love in the 90s; BB and Jo, The Story of a Lifelong Love, A Granddaughter’s Portrait (Warner Books, 1995); Faeries; Visions, Voices & Pretty Dresses (Aperture, 2000); Saving Body & Soul, The Mission of Mary Jo Copeland (WaterBrook, 2004). The recipient of a Jerome and Minnesota State Arts Board grants, three McKnight Foundation Photography fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and a Bush Foundation Fellow, Pickett’s work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.