Fat Chance: the Work-in-Progress Installation

VideoMedia InstallationSite-Specific Media InstallationCollaboration
A collaboration by Mel Day and Jeanne C. Finley

In 2006, Mel Day and Jeanne C. Finley were artists-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts when they both filmed a sailboat named Fat Chance that had grounded on Rodeo Beach.  They saw each other’s footage five years later, researched the events surrounding the boat’s mysterious appearance, and discovered that two fathers and three boys had been celebrating high school graduation by sailing from San Francisco to Portland.  Thirty-five miles off the coast of Point Reyes, Fat Chance was hit by a rogue wave.  Two members of the crew washed overboard and one of the boys was killed.

Finley and Day began work on a collaborative installation about Fat Chance during a 2012 Headlands Alumni Residency.  A work-in-progress was installed in the gym at the Headlands but the installation was never completed.  After the residency, Finley moved forward independently, contacted and interviewed the crew, and then directed a 12.5 minute film based around the crew’s experience of seeing the footage of the boat so long after the accident occurred.

Sound design and narration by Pamela Z
Produced with support from The Headland Center for the Arts