Last week the film “Blood and Water” premiered as the Short of the Week with Steele Johnson in the lead role. The film portrays Johnson’s real-life training accident and what he overcame to pursue his Olympic dream, showing the mental and physical challenges of the sport. Here are five takeaways from Brian Blum’s film.
1. Steele Johnson shines in front of the camera
Most of us know him for his behind-the-camera work, but in “Blood and Water” Steele Johnson takes center stage. The Olympic silver medalist relives his training accident on screen, providing a sense of realism and a first-person account. Blum captures the emotion of what Johnson experienced with vivid sequences and impactful audio.
It is not very often an Olympic medalist has a film based on their life in the midst of their career. Usually it is after their athletic career has ended, but Johnson offers a unique opportunity for young divers by starring in the film. Fellow divers get to compete alongside the subject of the film and actually see the film’s message on the pool deck at future meets.
Sports come with all sorts of challenges and diving is no different. Whether it is physical or mental, on deck or outside the pool, or if a challenge comes in the form of an external aspect of life, we all handle them differently. Johnson’s character feels pressure at home and at the pool, so his ability to self-reflect and reignite his passion for the sport allows him to get back on the board.
4. Scott Donie!
Two-time Olympian and 1992 platform silver medalist Scott Donie plays himself in the film and is an executive producer. Donie is currently the head dive coach at Columbia University, but he might also want to keep giving acting a shot!
Johnson’s story of recovery and overcoming is a prime inspiration for those who are working on conquering their fear, whether diving-related or not. The grit and emotion of the film serves as a reminder that life does not always go according to plan, but those of strong mental fortitude can overcome anything.
Here’s how you can help spread and word and watch the film:
1. Like “Blood and Water” on Vimeo.
Click the heart icon in the upper right-hand corner of the player. You'll need to be logged into a Vimeo account for this. Click here for the direct link.
2. Post about it on social media.
Spreading the word is invaluable. When you do, make sure to tag the film's social media channels:
***Please note that the film contains sensitive subject matter that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.