Great, Once is a personal story for us. It explores the need to face the current moment and improvise a better tomorrow–something everyone is yearning for right now. In Jazz and in acting, improvising is all about finding a new story, a new way of playing a note, a new way of facing chaos and making it beautiful.
In the story, Reed Francis, a reclusive Jazz bass legend, has left the music world behind. He’s living in anonymity with his wife and daughters until his world flips upside down. As he fights to save his family, a documentarian finds him and offers to restart his career.
Crumbling under the weight of an opioid addiction, and the last thing he wants is to go back into the Jazz world. That is, until Evelyn Hahn, documentarian and Jazz musician herself, shows up with film crew and the offer to help him with his family crisis.
Reluctantly, Reed accepts the offer in exchange for being a part of the documentary by interviewing, performing in a concert and recording an album. As he awakens his dormant gifts and talents, things grow more complicated and more tense for him. Through the growing friendship with Evelyn, he discovers his life still has worth, and begins facing his failures.
But as the concert approaches, life throws him another curve, and tosses his promising future into question. With the support of his new friends, the re-emergence of his gifts, and the hope of future restoration, can Reed push through the raging storms of life and survive?
The story asks the question can Reed overcome his past failures and opioid addiction to save his family and reclaim his career? We want to shine a light on the opioid epidemic ravaging people’s lives. We have both known people (friends and family) who struggled with this addiction. We want to give voice to the struggle the addict and their loved one’s face, as well as raise funds and awareness for this pressing issue.
Thank you for your interest in the film and we hope you join us in this journey to see Great, Once made.
Chris + Carissa Dalton