Director Joseph Fusco's "Finish Line: The Rise and Decline of Off-Track Betting," is near to completion. Featuring the photography of "Sex and the City" cameraman Matthew Flannery, the movie will tell the epic story of how the OTB came to be a major source of employment and income for New York City, and how its loss reflects much of what is going on across America.
In its final stages, the film already has a rough cut but needs some funding to secure the final archival footage and get made into its final form. Readers can visit the Kickstarter campaign here. It ends on October 4 at noon. Joseph will need to conduct a few more interviews, but most of the story has already been told.
Once a billion dollar cash cow for New York, the now bankrupt OTB is a cautionary tale of poor management, corruption and the resulting unemployment that resulted from its downfall. Decisions made at very high levels brought about this result, and now countless thousands of workers are bereft of both job and pension. In addition, the city is left without a major source of income.
A truly fascinating aspect of the film is its portrayal of New York City over the years. With footage and stills showing various mayors over the years and different locations in the city from bygone decades, the film is a trip through time both for those who lived through those years and those who were born later. One will be able to see the changing character of New York, and to a lesser degree, of America. Joseph Fusco spoke of this aspect of the film, saying, "It's exciting to be a conduit to the past, while we look ahead to the future of the city."
Backed by the well-tested cinematography talents of long-time friend Matthew Flannery, Joseph's film will be able to speak to all Americans, as the drama that plays out in it is similar to events taking place across America. Be prepared for an exciting ride through New York's past as well as a thoughtful take on what the future might be.