Lafayette Filmmaker Wins Big After Placing Huge Bet On Record-Breaking Pole Vaulter, Mondo Duplantis
It was a bet he placed three years ago and now it's paying major dividends.
Brennan Robideaux is a Lafayette filmmaker who approached local pole vaulting phenom Armand "Mondo" Duplantis three years ago right after the (then) Lafayette High School student had just broken the high school world record. Robideaux was so impressed with the 17-year-old he decided to ask him to be the subject of a documentary that would capture personal and professional moments in all of his travels.
From my perspective, it was a very calculated risk. For others who weren't privy to the sport, they thought I was a little insane to fly around the world and sleep on floors and spend so much money for this.
Robideaux's bet paid off big time as Duplantis broke the world record twice in the last week. Mondo, now 20, vaulted 6.18 meters this past Saturday in Scotland besting the 6.17 record he set one week before in Poland. According to The Advocate, that's about 20 feet, 3 inches for those keeping score at home.
The previous world record of 6.16 meters was set in 2014 by French pole vaulter and Olympian gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie.
Mondo told The Advocate that the record-breaking moment still doesn't "feel real."
I'm just kind of on cloud nine right now. It's something that I've been kind of going forever since I was 3 years old. It always felt like it was in the far future and never felt so close to me. For it to actually come together and happen, it's unbelievable.
Robideaux says he has 500-1,000 hours of footage for the documentary titled "Born To Fly." He hopes to release a trailer for the feature-length film this week and work on the film while Mondo competes in the Summer Olympics. He knew a moment like this would come but now that it's here he feels "the pressure" to get this out and strike while the iron is hot.
As far as Duplantis' parents go, they've been excited about the idea of a documentary since Robideaux made the approach. Duplantis was hesitant, but after meeting the filmmaker he knew Robideaux would be a good fit.
I just liked him as a person. I liked Brennan. He was somebody that I wanted around me, and I think that's why this documentary is going to be so special. There's going to be a lot of inside stuff because he's in my hotel rooms. He's with me all the time, and he can only get the behind-the-scene footage because I like him so much. I don't let people into my life as much as I've let him in, so I think he's going to get a really good insight into things.
The Advocate mentions that Robideaux's access is so personal that it has allowed him to capture heated moments between Duplantis and his father (who is also his coach) when it would come to big decisions in Mondo's life.
I was present for those tough conversations and decisions.
Mondo is set to represent Sweden (his mother's native country where he holds dual citizenship) this summer's Olympic Games and knows he will have a lot of support from south Louisiana where he was born and raised. His father says he knows he's up to the challenge.
He's never been in the Olympics, so it'll be something new and exciting. It's going to be very stressful, and now, there's even more pressure. He's expected to do well. And I think he's ready to do it.
Check out the full story in The Advocate to learn more about Mondo's journey here and keep up to date on the documentary at borntoflyfilm.com