Private Project

Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing follows the epic story of Scott Johnson, a 20-year double lung transplant cystic fibrosis survivor, who attempts the challenge of The Crossing, a daring, stand-up paddle board endurance race 80+ miles across the Atlantic Ocean at night, in order to inspire others to give life their all.

Scott grew up living with cystic fibrosis and managed the many challenges until age 27 when it threatened his life. With just days to spare, he received a double lung transplant and a second chance at life. Determined to live with no regrets and make the most of every breath, Scott became the first person with a double lung transplant to complete a full Ironman event in 2006.

17 years later, Scott seized the opportunity to combine his love for the ocean and personal mission to attempt The Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis. Follow Scott’s 80-mile journey from the Bahamas to the Florida mainland, and experience the inspiration of this courageous conqueror.

  • Makayla Wheeler
    Wonder of the Blue, For Freedom
  • Travis Suit
  • Scott Johnson
    Key Cast
    "(as himself)"
  • Makayla Wheeler
    Director of Photography
    Wonder of the Blue
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Adventure, Inspirational
  • Runtime:
    44 minutes 9 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Bahamas, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Makayla Wheeler

Makayla Wheeler is an adventure director/cinematographer and the owner of MGW Productions, LLC. Her unique immersive style evokes a powerful emotional response which raises the bar for the documentary film genre. Carefully weaving cinematic visuals with powerful soundtracks to tell stories, she finds her passion where adventure meets inspiration and impact.

As founder of MGW Productions, LLC, - a woman-owned and operated full-service production company based in Melbourne, Florida, with international reach, Makayla specializes in aerial, ground, and underwater cinematography. She has been serving clients for over 10 years and produced several of her own films most notably The Springs: Jewels of Florida (2015) and Wonder of the Blue (2018).

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Director Statement

Life does not always go as expected especially if you are born with a genetic, progressive disease like cystic fibrosis (CF). CF affects about 40,000 children and adults in the United States causing blocked airways, lung damage, digestion problems, and increased susceptibility to infections. CF knows no age, gender or ethnicity; it can touch anyone and while some may see it as a death sentence, Scott Johnson chose not to.

When Travis Suit (Producer) and the Piper’s Angels Foundation came to me with the conept, one of the things I felt strongly about in the making of Double or Nothing was that I wanted this film to inspire hope and give a clear riveting picture of what it looks like to give life your all. I choose to take Scott’s journey with the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis and use it as the framework both visually and symbolically to tell Scott’s larger lifestory and journey. I wanted to make a documentary that allowed audiences to feel what I felt getting to know Scott - the tremendous hope, fortitude and inspiration he exudes to everyone he meets.

It was important to me that the audience feel the emotions of what Scott went through as much as possible, as well as, be fully immersed in Scott’s paddle for the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis. To this end, I leveraged every ounce of my creativity to shoot the visual and story elements in the hopes of a fully expansive experience for the viewer. I worked with other ground and aerial cinematographers to capture every angle of the journey. The music interaction with these elements was very important to me and I spent a lot of time selecting the ideal tracks. Together with a sound engineer, we carefully married the motion picture with the sound elements to create something very special for the audience.