Documentary Seeks to Capture Late Tam High Grad's Spirit

Ben Prawer and Jesse Swedlund hope "Ty's List" will honor their fallen friend and Mill Valley resident Tyler Lorenzi, who died in a boating accident in 2011. His dad calls film "a wonderful way for them to honor their friend and our son."

A Mill Valley resident and 2005 Tam High grad who tragically passed away last year in a boating accident is the inspiration for a documentary film produced by his best friends.

Northwestern film students Ben Prawer and friend Jesse Swedlund, are creating Ty's List, a docu-adventure capturing the interests and spirit of friend Tyler Lorenzi.

"Tyler was my hero because he wasn't afraid to show people he cared about them," Prawer says in the documentary preview. "He was always up for an adventure and could see the positive in any situation. His death served as a wake-up call to stop taking things for granted and start taking the risks that make life worth living."

Lorenzi, a 23-year-old engineer at NASA who graduated from NU in 2010, drowned after the small sailboat he co-owned had capsized in Virginia's James River in May 2011 with nine other friends on board. Lorenzi and friend Alex Brown, 25, treaded water for hours but died from their injuries, according to news reports. The other eight were treated and released from a local hospital.

The filmmakers found a list Lorenzi had created for a friend of his favorite activities in the Bay Area. They plan to send four of Lorenzi's friends doing some of his favorite things here. The list includes walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, climbing Mount Tam at sunset and hiking the Dipsea Trail, among others.

Prawer and Swedlund will document the journey, which is scheduled for August, and capture what the four learn along the way. So far they have filmed and compiled interviews with Tyler's friends and family and gathered home movie clips.

Tyler's father Kurt Lorenzi says their family fully supports the documentary and has been in communication with the filmmakers from the outset.

“It’s a wonderful way for them to honor their friend and our son,” Kurt Lorenzi says. “They’ve been very sensitive to us to make sure that we’re comfortable with their message. They are two great young men.”

Prawer and Swedlund have already met the initial fundraising goal they'd set on Kickstarter. As of Sunday, they've garnered nearly $14,000, exceeding the $12,000 benchmark but below the overall $20,000 goal.

The $12,000 figure only funds part of the project, the film duo says on the Kickstarter page. If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so here.


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