Despite her New England heritage, Julie Marron isn't a New England Patriots fan. Heck, she's not even a football fan. Never was when her father would watch games while she was growing up.
"Never found it exciting or interesting," said Marron, a resident of Smithfield, R.I. "Sorry, but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady never really interested me either."
But one day nearly two years ago, while listening to sports radio -- "I was with a friend. He was listening intently and I was along for the ride." -- the co-hosts were talking about Brady and "Deflategate," the name given for the alleged deflation of balls by the Patriots and Brady to gain an advantage.
What struck Marron, though, was not Brady, but the NFL's "Wells Report."
Marron had been the "report" thing before, when she started doing research on mammograms and their failure to decrease breast cancer. It later turned into an award winning documentary, "HappyGram, The Movie," reporting that only 60 percent of mammograms work and, worse, the industry knows it.
The moral of that story was the corporations manipulation of the media, paying large sums of money to scientists to structure their studies (even get them published) to profligate a message that simply isn't true.
"Just like the tobacco industry," said Marron. "They knew the results of their real tests and studies. But they hired the scientists they needed to extend the court fight for years."
When the Wells Report was released, said Marron, the NFL went on its campaign. The same she heard from mammogram and tobacco giants..
"I would hear Patriots fans saying, 'I think something happened, but it wasn't a big deal,' " recalled Marron. "That's how effective the media manipulation by the NFL has been. Throw some doubt out there. The early strategy of tobacco industry was 'Does it cause cancer? We don't know.' Basically, that's what the NFL did with the Wells Report.
"When I started looking into this I didn't care whether Tom Brady was guilty or not," she said.
The "Four Games in Fall" film, written and directed by Marron, “explores the issues of media manipulation, science for hire, and perversion of the legal system, all through the lens of the Deflategate scandal." It will be shown at the Collins Center at Andover High on Saturday, Aug. 5, 7 p.m.
Brady fought the issue with the NFL and later in court, eventually serving the four-game suspension in 20 months after the alleged deflation of balls, during the AFC Championship game with the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18, 2015.
Marron's film doesn't imply there is a gray area in the alleged "crime" by the Brady and the Patriots. It is black and white.
"Deflategate was completely fabricated," said Marron. "The entire scandal was manufactured."
Marron spoke to several people, including scientists about the "ideal gas law," that the Wells Report referred to. All came to the same conclusion.
"There was no deflation," she said. "We have an MIT professor, a rabid Eagles fan who has no love lost for the Patriots or Brady, demonstrating how it couldn't have happened and how incensed he was that the science was manipulated. It was a fraudulent scientific undertaking."
Marron, who took about 18 months to complete the project, was joined by two female producers -- Ami Clifford and Lila Kerns in the project. The trio of women seem to have put together an open and shut case against one of the biggest sports scandals of this decade.
"The real scandal was by the NFL," said Marron.
You can email Bill Burt at email@example.com.
If you go ...
What: Screening of the film “Four Games in Fall,” which refers to the four-game suspension Patriots quarterback Tom Brady received for allegedly deflating footballs before games.
Where: Collins Center at 100 Shawsheen Road, Andover.
When: Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.
Price: Tickets are $17.50, plus tax, and must be purchased beforehand online at http://www.collins-center.com/events/.
Who: In addition to the filmmaker, Julie Marron, New York Law School Professor Robert Blecker and University of New Hampshire School of Law Associate Dean Mike McCann, both interviewed in the film, will also be present at the Saturday screening for a panel discussion.