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'FLIP FLOP MAN' STEPS INTO STARRING FILM ROLE

Remember "The Flip Flop Man"?

In October, we told the story of the wonderfully eccentric Larry Perrier, who walks or runs hundreds of miles every week on the Pinellas Trail - usually while wearing his enormous sombrero and always in rubber sandals. You can read our story at life.tampabay.com.

Our tale inspired talented University of Florida journalism students Yelena Packwood and Carlos Torres to make a documentary film about the notoriously shy Madeira Beach resident.

Torres, a graduate student whose specialty is documentary filmmaking, tells how it came about: "I got ahold of him on the phone at home at night. Once he started talking, he really talked. We talked for 21/2 hours. In the end, he only agreed to let us film him if he didn't have to face the camera. He'd only do an interview if he could do it as he ran.

"When Yelena and I arrived in Pinellas County, we found out we wouldn't be allowed to film him from our car on the Pinellas Trail, which is a pedestrian and bike path only. So we had to film him as he ran in his own neighborhood. After we put a remote microphone on him, he took off. Yelena drove while I worked the camera. After a while Larry said, 'This is enough. I have to run on the Pinellas Trail,' and that was that, the end of the interview.''

To see the student film, There's Something About Larry,go to current.com and search for "Larry Perrier."

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