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Rest In Peace: "Little Batman" Producer Jordan Wachtell

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:38 am
by Scott Sebring
Jordan and Preston sm 1.jpg
Jordan Wachtell died in a wrong way car crash last week on January 30,2020. His name alone may not be familiar to many board members here but his place in the 1966 Batman community has long been secure and respected.

For those who have been around on this board awhile or have surfed YouTube enough, you have probably seen a short fan film called "The Amazing Adventures of Little Batman." This was the brainchild of its producer, Jordan Wachtell back in the early days of YouTube in 2007. It starred his five year old son, Preston Wachtell and a score of other five and six year olds playing out a 1966 Batman adventure complete with a miniature Batmobile, Batcave as well as a 14 foot Penguin shaped missile. This was all due to the efforts, passion and imagination of Jordan. After he had bought Nate Truman's miniature Batmobile that Nate's daughter had outgrown, he wanted to create a lifelong memory for his son to be able to look back on long after he outgrew the Batmobile himself. He originally asked Nate if he would play the adult Batman that would appear later in the film but Nate pointed him in my direction.

Here's an excerpt from the story I wrote on my blog about it back in 2007 after it all happened:

"When I came back home from San Diego Comic Con back in July of 2007, I was catching up on my e-mail that had piled up during my vacation. One caught my eye from a fellow named Jordan Wachtell. He managed to send me an e-mail just as I left and then did a follow up just before I got back. Since I hadn’t replied to his first message, he assumed I may have possibly thrown his other mail away. Not the case. He asked me if I could help out with a fanfilm project of his that he had been planning for quite some time. I knew this to be true as I do remember him writing about it almost two years earlier. But he was on the other coast and I didn’t know much else about this project. As I went through my other mail, I came across e-mails from some of my other close batfriends who were vouching for Jordan and that he was the real deal. Okay, I guess I could give this guy a call. It’s those little decisions of the moment that usually end up shaping your destiny for months and years to come. When I got Jordan got on the phone, I was a little taken aback. He went right into good old fashioned New York style pitch mode. This guy had BIG ideas and big plans. I thought he either had no idea of what he was talking about or little idea of what he was getting into but he did have passion. Boy, did he have passion. He wanted to make a quality film inspired by the 1966 Batman series but with all of the primary characters from the show portrayed by young children who averaged in the 5 year old range. He was already working on a miniature Batmobile that he had acquired by my old buddy, Nate Truman and was having it customized even further than any kid’s vehicle had ever been done before to my knowledge. He even had a one of a kind miniature bat cowl that he got from my bat mentor, Wally nearly two years prior as well. I asked him to send me an outline of the story and I would let him know if I was interested. He wasted no time in sending it. I read the basic plot which was cute. I still didn’t quite know how I would fit into this. Once I read further on, I knew this was something that I could put my heart into. His son was going to be Batman and he wanted me to make an appearance at the end of the film as a full grown Batman to deliver an important message to the young man. The story was still not scripted and the ending was pretty vague but the gist was there. Now if he could only pull it off. From that point, I started to get calls about once a week updating me on the progress while asking my thoughts and input of the project. Things like flights and hotel were already being lined up. I was impressed with the follow through and execution that Jordan had in each thing he originally told me about. He was lining up a full size Batmobile for me to drive and was arranging a very complex shooting schedule that required me to drive to the set fully costumed in the Batmobile across town. To insure my timing, he was setting up a police escort that spanned across two towns. That meant that he had to have two separate police departments cooperate in the task. According to Jordan one of the police chiefs asked,”which Batman?” Once Jordan told him that it was the 1966 Batman, the police chief was more than willing."

The story goes on much further but I just wanted share a bit of the kind of guy Jordan was. It's been a long time since I last saw Jordan and a while since we were last in contact but I wouldn't have been surprised to pick up the phone and hear him on the other end with another amazing and big idea.

Rest in peace Jordan. You lived everything to the fullest and helped so many others do the same.

News coverage of his funeral: Jordan Wachtell, dad killed in wrong-way crash, remembered for his 'appetite for life'

Here's the complete video for "The Amazing Adventures of Little Batman" that was posted on YouTube years later after you could post longer videos instead of the original three individual parts that are still online which have over two million views.



Here's a video short that Jordan edited himself as bonus material for "Little Batman."


You can read the rest of my blog entry here: https://www.scottsebring.com/3/

Re: Rest In Peace: "Little Batman" Producer Jordan Wachtell

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:44 am
by clavierankh
RIP. So sorry to hear.

Re: Rest In Peace: "Little Batman" Producer Jordan Wachtell

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:53 pm
by Ben Bentley
I'm so saddened to hear this. What a truly horrible way to go.

Rest in peace, Jordan and thank you for the passion that not only brought your own personal project to life but also contributed something our to the fandom. From the original release of "Little Batman" your movie and your efforts have continued to be enjoyed by fans new and old dating back to a time not all that long ago when this TV show hadn't even had an official release let alone the plethora of '66 Bat-goodies we are blessed with.

Re: Rest In Peace: "Little Batman" Producer Jordan Wachtell

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:13 pm
by THE BATPHONE!
This is so sad to hear, I remember watching The Adventures of Little Batman a couple years ago and thinking it was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. Not to mention the amazing production value, which was what impressed me the most!