Each season will feature a new patient. Season 1, to be filmed in Shreveport, will cover a spinal cord injury. Future seasons may report on those suffering from other conditions such as amputees or wounded warriors.
The show will focus on three areas; the struggles of daily life, the resumption of work, and Physical Therapy, i.e. Walking. The Producer, David Newton Cole, who was paralyzed on June 3, 2012, will serve as the patient for the first season.
In addition to being the subject of WALKING, Mr. Cole will also serve as Producer. Coming from a multi-generational family of writers and teachers, Mr. Cole’s first published story was composed while he was a first grader. He began covering sports for the local paper while still in High School. While at Centenary College he became Editor of the student newspaper, the Conglomerate.
Mr. Cole began writing screenplays in 2006, turning to documentaries with Shenaut, A Maestro’s Life (see trailer) in 2007, which he also produced. His other credits include writing and producing a promotional short, Blood of the Lamb, writing the screenplay for Forgotten Justice (see trailer), and writing and producing Cameraman (see trailer) (Warning: Red Band trailer contains scenes of violence, nudity, strong sexual content, adult language, adult situations).
It was in the final days of editing Cameraman that Mr. Cole was paralyzed. As one of the three areas WALKING will focus on is work, the completion of post-production of Cameraman will be covered in the documentary.
Matt Bellner is also involved with “Walking”. Mr. Bellner has worked with David Cole in one capacity or another since 2007 on numerous projects. For 18 years, Matt made his living as a TV/Film/Commercial actor. Most people remember him from national TV ads or the hundreds of comedy skits he performed in for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (see clips).
In 2011 an opportunity presented itself for Matt to move back to his hometown (Longview, TX) and work side by side with Mr. Cole in the historic downtown Kilpatrick Building. In 2012, Matt started his own production company Mattie 5 Films on the same floor with Mr. Cole’s company. Mattie 5 Films is SAG-AFTRA franchised and creates material under union rules. Most people currently recognize Matt as the character, “Mattie 5”, in various web videos he’s written and directed for the popular energy shot, 5-hour ENERGY® (see Matt’s 5-hour ENERGY® Christmas Video and the “Be The Ball” video).
For the past 2½ years, Matt (aka – Mattie 5) has also been a member of the Professional Putters Association. Matt has been playing “Pro Putt-Putt” all over the United States while traveling with a camera crew for a feature length documentary. He recently qualified for the Texas State and National Putting Championships. Those tournaments take place later this year and “Mattie 5” and his camera crew will there with the best players in the world.
Matt and David have been through many unique situations together. Matt was the last person to see David walk and the first person to visit him in Houston when he was allowed visitors. Since David became paralyzed, Matt has been keeping David’s business interests secure in Texas. Since the building David’s office is located is not handicap accessible or equipped with handicap restrooms, their time working together is limited. Matt will oversee production of “Walking”. Matt has the skill set to do anything needed for Mr. Cole, from running camera to running errands.
Chardonnay Houlette will serve as Mr. Cole’s CNA/Personal Assistant. The versatile actress met Mr. Cole while auditioning for a small part in Cameraman. Recognizing her talent, she was cast in the 3rd female lead role of Becca. Chardonnay has also appeared twice on the television drama Memphis Beat. She has studied with Emmy® winning actor Pruitt Taylor Vince.
In addition to training in acting, Ms. Houlete has studied voice and dance, which she put to use starring as Rizzo in a High School production of Grease. Chardonnay has served as Miss Louisiana National Teenager and Miss Louisiana Teen Continental, where she was First Runnerup at the National Competition. She has also served as a model for such diverse companies as Harley Davison and Serta.
Dr. Vazquez Morgan earned a Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy in 1993, a Masters in Health Sciences in 1997 from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and her doctorate in Health Studies from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas in 2006. Her teaching interests include Differential Diagnosis, Wellness, and Neuroscience. Her research interests are in the fields of Public Health and Neurological rehabilitation
Dr. Morgan is currently on the Shreveport Mayor’s Women’s Health Commission. She has served on several national committees for the APTA including, the Committee on Cultural Competence as Chair in 2009 and the Cultural Diversity Committee –Section on Geriatrics from 2004 to present.
She was featured in National Newsline Magazine for PT speaking on the role of cultural diversity in the physical therapy profession, and was honored in November 2006 by Maybelline NY as outstanding female educator of the year, and featured in People en Espanol December 2006 issue. Dr. Morgan was also a recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association Minority Faculty Development National Scholarship in 2003.
Ms. Pierce is Mr. Cole’s Occupational Therapist. Her work includes training patients to recover from injuries and to adapt to daily life both during the time of rehabilitation and thereafter at whatever level of recovery the patient achieves.
In Occupational Therapy patients learn how to accomplish daily tasks, such as transferring from wheelchairs into and out of automobiles, getting bathed and dressed. Maximizing flexibility (such as the ability to dress oneself or pick items off the floor) and body strength, Occupational Therapy both compliments Physical Therapy and teaches patients to live in their new world as independently as possible.