“Not Just – One In A Million, It Was – Once In A Lifetime”


Using home video shot of Jeff and Preston through their 12 years spent together, this film is a love story about how fate disguises itself as coincidence. It’s a story about raw, mutual love and adoration. But, it’s also a story about struggle and redemption. And, about loss and grief. “Once In A Lifetime” is, tentatively, a 6 one-hour episode doc-series, exploring the profound human-canine bond, and how the importance of one chance encounter went on to influence a greater purpose.

This film takes a thorough look at the ongoing debate about “pit bull” dogs, and its relation to human social issues such as race and class…read more

The Dog

On July 6, 2006, three dogs – including Preston (an estimated one year of age), were taken from an Akron, Ohio home from humane investigators during a drug bust where they were allegedly victims of dogfighting – using the term “allegedly” because the owners were never charged with animal fighting crimes, just the drug offense(s). The dogs were then brought to the county humane society where they would stay while the case was open.

This, of course, preceded the Michael Vick case, in a state that had statewide laws restricting the ownership of dogs labeled “pit bull” – otherwise known as breed specific legislation (BSL), during the height of the 1987 “pit bull” hysteria…read more

The Filmmaker

Born on July 28, 1977 in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Jeff was a creative person the moment he was able to pick up a pencil and put it to paper. Through the years he has dabbled in many forms of artistic expression – from drawing and painting, creative writing, photography, and later filmmaking. While researching all forms of animal cruelty in the beginning of 2007 in an attempt to narrow down a subject matter to base a documentary film on, like a sign from above – the topic came to Jeff.

On the morning of April 25th (2007), breaking news of NFL star quarterback – Michael Vick, suspected of running a dogfighting operation…read more.

Their Story

On May 15, 2008, Cleveland based filmmaker – Jeff Theman, visits the founder’s home of the only all “pit bull” rescue in Cleveland – For The Love Of Pits, in an effort to get more information for his documentary started the year prior about dogfighting, as well as meet some of the dogs in their foster care. It was here that Jeff met Preston for the first time and fell head over heels in love with him.

Before he left, Jeff made his intentions known of his plans to adopt Preston. Then, four days later Lakewood City Council proposed a ban on “pit bull” dogs, which delayed the adoption…read more

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How you can Help:

The above Concept & Pitch Video was originally published on August 30, 2020 initially for a crowdfunding campaign for the month of October.

It was slightly modified in the beginning of 2021 for the purpose to provide possible interview subjects and interested viewers an idea of what the final doc-series will be about, and attract potential contributors, investors, producers, and sponsors.

Learn more about how you can help us make this timely film reality…read more

Topics discussed include:

Recent Blogs

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This may come as a surprise to some – no matter how many times someone labels me as such, I am not a “pit bull” advocate. I became one once, but then something happened. No, I didn’t have a negative experience with an alleged “pit bull” dog and decide to change “teams”, as if any […]

The Defining Moments How I Got Here: The Intro

Over the course of production for this doc-series, I will be writing blog entries pertaining to subtopics the film covers. I’ve shrunk it down to 6 primary categories: Dogfighting; Breed Specific Legislation; the Animal Welfare and Sheltering Systems; the Human-Canine Bond; Racism and Classism; and Mental Illness. If there was a singular defining incident in […]

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