After seven years in production, Ohio State alumnus Dean Carnevale’s documentary about Charles “Chic” Harley, one of OSU’s first football stars, is set for release in mid-November.
The film, “Lost Legend: The Chic Harley Story,” tells the life story of one of OSU’s greatest halfbacks, Chic Harley, who is credited for putting OSU football on the map.
Carnevale graduated from OSU with a degree in telecommunications. He he got into video production early, making movies as a child. In college, he produced many films and worked as a teacher’s assistant.
“My films always got good reviews and were even used as teaching tools,” Carnevale said.
After graduation, he worked for the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, producing training videos and public service announcements. His videos there won awards, he said.
Carnevale left the patrol academy and made a career move to construction, where he worked for 16 years.
“I left film production to find a job I could support my family with,” he said. “But I always wanted to make a documentary.”
Carnevale said he began researching Harley around the time of the Buckeyes’ 2002 National Championship game.
“I was interested in Chic after reading an article about him that caught my attention,” he said. “I wanted to give him a fitting tribute.”
Carnevale said it was the perfect opportunity to pursue his goal of making a documentary and re-introduce fans to Chic, who was once one of the most celebrated figures in central Ohio.
“Chic was the reason Ohio Stadium was built. He brought the massive crowds loving football,” he said. “He laid the building blocks of Buckeye Nation. I couldn’t believe his story had never been told.”
With support from family and friends, Carnevale began the search for production companies to produce the film.
“It was tough finding sponsors to put money up,” Carnevale said. “I came into contact with Ron Thielman of Brainstorm Media Inc., a Columbus production company. He believed in the project and really took a gamble.”
Carnevale also worked with four-time Emmy Award-winning editor Gordon Lash.
“We had a ball going in and editing the film,” Carnevale said.
Many things fell into place for Carnevale while working with Lash.
“We really didn’t have a budget,” Carnevale said. “We were more concerned with who we could interest in the film.”
Carnevale and Brainstorm Media Inc. had a lot of help telling Chic’s story from local historians and sports writers, as well as big names in football.
The film features Paul Keels, “The Voice of the Buckeyes,” as narrator and commentary from two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, Carnevale said.
“We also had help from Chic’s great, great nephew and former Buckeye, Rob Harley,” he said.
The film is in the final stages of production.
“I feel blessed and relieved for its completion,” he said. “It couldn’t have been done without Ron Thielman and Brainstorm Media, as well as all the people who helped out.”
Carnevale’s wife Jane has helped with marketing, but the film’s distributor is still “in the air,” Carnevale said. “We need to generate great interest and find people to take on the distribution process.”
The film premiere will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Buckeye Hall of Fame Café.
“The film has been a labor of love,” Carnevale said. “I want fans to realize how important Chic was to OSU football and Columbus.”