Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Bill Garnet: I grew up in New Jersey. Jacque Lueth, my wife and partner grew up in Northern California.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school?
Bill: I attended The University of Miami with a Bachelors in Television and Film.
Film Courage: Where were you the day you discovered JFK was assassinated?
Bill: I was sitting in the back row of my ninth grade English class at Mt. Pleasant Junior High School in Livingston, New Jersey, when an announcement came over the PA system that the President had been shot. It was around 2:30 in the afternoon and all of the students in the school were told to go the auditorium and wait for their rides home. The school bus that I took arrived and I went home. The first thing I saw was my father sitting on the front stoop crying. I had never seen my father cry before so that was the first thing that made me realize that this was a big deal.
The Kennedys were a big deal in my house. My father was working as a CPA, but at one time had been a history teacher so my mother and two brothers were quite in tune with politics and current affairs, we talked a lot about what was going on in the world at the dinner table. We were big fans of the President.
The television in our house was in a room that was right off the kitchen. I spent the weekend watching every second of the news coverage. I vividly remember Sunday morning sitting on the floor in front of the TV when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot. I screamed and everyone came running in wanting to know what happened. All I could do was point at the television set.
Film Courage: Did Western culture and America change forever the day JFK died?
Bill: I believe that JFK’s assassination was our generation’s 9/11.
Film Courage: What were some of the prior films/books that you researched?
Bill: Jacque, my partner and I have done extensive research including reading every thing from The Warren Commission Report to the five volumes of the Assassination Records Review Board. We have also looked at all of the footage from that day and the days that followed both network and local coverage as well as all if the documentaries and films produced about the subject.
Film Courage: You refer to having your college thesis being on JFK and a continued obsession. How much would you theorize and speculate about what happened in the ER at Parkland Memorial Hospital on 11/23/63?
Bill: For me this was coming full circle. Starting with the moment that made me really become aware of what was going on in the world, to subconsciously knowing what I wanted to do with my life to after all these years doing a film that answers a number of questions about the assassination that have never been answered before. We decided from the beginning that we did not want to do another conspiracy theory film but rather tell the factual events of that weekend from the perspective of those who were actually there and then to look back after more than fifty years and find out what they saw and how those observations compare to what came out in the government investigations.
Film Courage: In watching the numerous documentaries on JFK, did you know that you’d one day have your own contribution?
Film Courage: What prompted the idea for this film?
Bill: It was about six or seven years ago when a casual conversation led to this film. My wife’s mother had worked for a number of doctors in Orange County, California. One of them, Dr. Lawrence Klein, who was an OB/GYN and had become my wife’s doctor as well as a friend, mentioned to Jacque that he had been a third year medical student at UT Southwestern when Kennedy was shot and was one of the first doctors in the Emergency Room when JFK was brought to Parkland. He said he might want to do a book or something to let his grandchildren know he was part of that historic day. The book turned into a series of interviews, which then led to our film. Jacque and Dr. Klein reached out to the doctors that Dr. Klein remembered being in the room. Unfortunately, a number of them had passed.
Bill: We decided to crowd fund the project for two reasons. First we had someone who was going to fund the film, but as it turned out, he wasn’t quite telling us the truth and ended up disappearing on us. So we thought why not take it out to the crowd-funding world. We also thought this would be a great way to get the early word out on the film. We are planning on submitting the film into a few festivals and then releasing it theatrically before selling it to television. I believe that this film is an important historical addition to what happened and will become a staple of the annual television coverage of the day.
Bill: We originally thought we would shoot with the doctors and put the film out on the 50th anniversary of the assassination, but when we realized there was a lot more to this story we made the decision to go much more into depth. It was then that we were introduced to Kate Amend who also took a great interest in the film and wanted to be part of it.
Film Courage: How receptive were these physicians willing to speak on the subject?
Bill: My wife’s mother had worked for a number of doctors in Orange County, California. One of them, Dr. Lawrence Klein, who was an OB/GYN and had become my wife’s doctor as well as a friend, mentioned to Jacque that he had been a third year medical student at UT Southwestern when Kennedy was shot and was one of the first doctors in the Emergency Room when JFK was brought to Parkland. He said he might want to do a book or something to let his grandchildren know he was part of that historic day. The book turned into a series of interviews, which then led to our film. Jacque and Dr. Klein reached out to the doctors that Dr. Klein remembered being in the room. Unfortunately a number of them had passed.
Film Courage: Where did you shoot the film/secure the locations?
Bill: We have gotten great cooperation from Parkland Hospital, UT Southwestern Medical School as well as the Sixth Floor Museum.
Film Courage: How did you know you had the right camera to film this story?
Bill: We shot both single and multi-camera.
Film Courage: What do you want audiences to gain from watching THE PARKLAND DOCTORS – JFK?
Bill: The truth as to what happened in Trauma Room One and what the doctors saw versus what was reported in the autopsy, The Warren Commission and The House Select Committee on Assassinations.
Film Courage: Where do you develop your best ideas?
Bill: By sitting and talking with my partner.
BILL GARNET / Producer
Bill Garnet is an award-winning producer/director with over 500+ events in Sports, Reality Television, Award Shows, Concerts and Documentary Films Credits include The Olympics, The Super Bowl, Wimbledon, Battle of the Network Stars, The Superstars, American Gladiators, The Academy Awards, Liberty Weekend, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Annie Lennox, Road to Moscow, Road to Sarajevo and Road To Los Angeles.