Private Project

Bet on Yourself

The story of John Reeve, an 80 year old entrepreneurial legend from war-torn England, who sailed to the Caribbean to become a cruise ship excursion mogul.

John owned an island-themed nightclub in the centre of Birmingham, hosting crooners like Dusty Springfield, Liberace and Tom Jones. He intrepidly sailed across the Atlantic with no experience and no motor, crashed at least three airplanes and two boats, lived with Pygmy Indians, had his skull caved in with a 4ft iron pipe, escaped from a Grenadian revolution, and entered the '88 Winter Olympics as the US Virgin Islands bobsled team (yes, the same year as the Jamaicans).

Nothing in life has ever stopped John and he is an inspiration for everyone to go out, make mistakes and make a mark on the world.

  • Harvey Eaton
    The Prisoner
  • Alex Newton
    Director of Photography
  • Max Wilson
    Title Design
  • Megan O'Hagan
    Foley Artist
  • Sulaiman Bhaimia
    Foley Artist
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Human Interest, Adventure
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 27, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Virgin Islands, U.S.
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Birmingham Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 2, 2019
    UK Premiere
    Winner - Best Documentary
  • Oregon Documentary Film Festival
    Portland, Oregon
    United States
    December 7, 2019
    US Premiere
    Nominated - Best Editing
  • Georgia Documentary Film Festival
    Atlanta, Georgia
    United States
    Nominated - Best International Documentary
  • DTC Film Festival
    United States
    February 28, 2020
    Winner - Best Foreign Film
  • Cardiff Mini Film Festival
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Harvey Eaton

Harvey Eaton is a director and editor from London, England.
Harvey loves to represent the human condition on film, whether it's documentary, or narrative fiction. He amplifies the characteristics of people naturally and always charges his work with a genuine energy. Heading towards the more emotional side of things, he brings out strong performances. Coming from an editing background, timing is everything to him; crafting the beat and rhythm is integral to every piece of his work. As well as cutting through the bullshit, keeping what’s essential.
Harvey principally works in the world of commercials and branded content, but also loves to explore the documentary world of people.

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Director Statement

As soon as I had spent an hour with John Reeve, I was excited to hear more and more of his stories. He is a beacon of light for a generation that has too much choice and a lack of sense of purpose. He had nothing to start with in his youth. He made his own luck, through sheer hard work, determination and faith in himself.

I made this film for anyone who feels stuck in a rut, like the world owes them, like life is too tough. I want as many people as possible to be inspired by John's never ending resilience and view on life, as I have been.