‘365 Days’ documents wake of Sandusky scandal

For the CDTJanuary 3, 2014 

Producer Eric Porterfield said that, initially, there was little support for his documentary about life in State College after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.


  • if you go

    What: “365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley”

    When: 4 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13-17; 4, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Jan. 18; and 4 p.m. Jan. 19

    Where: State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College

    Info: www.thestatetheatre.org, 272-0606, www.365daysthefilm.com

After more than a year in the making, the film “365 Days: A Year in Happy Valley” will premiere this weekend in the town where the story began.

The film examines life at Penn State and in State College in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal from September 2012 to September 2013.

Producer Eric Porterfield said the storyline evolved as the crew worked on the film. With a premiere date looming, the crew settled on the final narrative in early November before starting the final editing process.

“The story overall really encapsulates well what we saw, and we’re thrilled with how the film looks,” Porterfield said. “There are definitely some stories that still have yet to be told, but the film is like a baby; eventually it’s got to come out.”

The crew initially had difficulty gaining support for the film, but that changed as the year wore on.

“The first six months we were kind of freaking out because we weren’t getting a lot of response to interview requests,” Porterfield said. “Once we started to show the trailer, people started seeing that we were committed and we were in it for the long haul, (and) they were more supportive.”

Many of the crew members lived in the area for the better part of the production process so they could get to know the community, Porterfield said. The crew operated out of a barn-turned-house in Spruce Creek.

Porterfield is a State College native but said he didn’t want his experience in the area to affect the perception that others had on the area.

“They were here for a long enough period of time to soak in what’s great about this place and what’s been difficult,” Porterfield said.

After the local screenings, the film will be shown in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and other cities throughout the East Coast. Porterfield said the group is considering another film about the scandal.

“There’s probably an expose to be told; we’ve been approached by a few different entities to produce that and we’re waiting to see what we’re going do,” Porterfield said.

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