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Wonders Never Cease: The Eric Sparks' Story | Documentary Short

by Justin Prince
(Kenova, WV, USA )

In West Virginia a small community has a passion for local athletics, especially the local school Ceredo-Kenova High home of the Wonders. They also have a winning tradition having claimed 12 West Virginia state football championships and compiling over 500 wins in the school's history.

In 1994 the Wonders may of had their best team as they cruised to 14-0 and a state title the last the school would win before being closed in 1998.

One stand out from this 1994 team Eric Sparks' left Ceredo-Kenova to pursue a football career at a West Virginia Wesleyan a small college in the northern part of the state.

Following his sophomore year Eric was back in his hometown visiting friends and family for the summer when tragedy struck and he was killed in a shocking murder. In small West Virginia communities murder doesn't happen often and it happens even less to beloved young people with a future in front of them.

The crime rocked the community to its core. "Wonders Never Cease: The Eric Sparks' Story" is the tale of this tragic crime, but also the tale of how a community rallied behind a family in support of a young life they had all cherished. Sixteen years after his death Eric Sparks' lives on through his family and community, thanks to the "Eric Sparks' Sports Weekend"; an event that features a charity dinner and golf tournament with proceeds going to the youth sports programs that Eric participated in as a child, as well as a scholarship at his former college West Virginia Wesleyan.


Release Date-

The project is complete and has been released on YouTube for the public's viewing (see below).

Production Notes-

I made this film with a budget of literally no dollars. I used a Canon Vixia HF R300 camera that I got for Christmas to conduct my interviews and shoot my B-roll. To edit this film I used Final Cut Pro X and did the edits in the computer lab at Marshall University. This was also my first film of any kind.

Background-

As I was nearing graduation for my undergrad (I obtained BA's in both journalism and history) I decided that I wanted to go to film school, particularly for documentary filmmaking as it would be a good blend of my two undergrad degrees. Deciding that I needed to have some film work under my belt for a portfolio to send to potential grad schools so I decided to do my own documentary with the tools I had at hand.

When I began thinking of potential subjects I could cover the story of Eric Sparks quickly came to mind. I was from the same community he was and grew up with the story and participating in the "Memorial Weekend" in his honor. Also some of my first sports memories were watching him and his teammates in that magical 1994 season. But, while I was familiar with who Eric was, and the memorial weekend in his honor I didn't know the whole story of his life, tragic death, or the legacy he left behind.

It dawned on me that it was probably that way for most of the younger generation from the Ceredo-Kenova community so I wanted to get that story and share it with people.

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.


Wonders Never Cease: The Eric Sparks' Story | Documentary Short




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Comments for Wonders Never Cease: The Eric Sparks' Story | Documentary Short

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Oct 03, 2013
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thanks!
by: Desktop Documentaries

Thank you Justin for sharing your project and Eric Sparks' story with us. Keep it up!

Oct 17, 2013
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Enjoyed it
by: Anonymous

Not a bad Doc for someone working on their first one with no money and little equipment.. GOOD JOB!!

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