Andrew Spence, the 21-year-old who helped film the documentary, still has nothing but praise for Textor. "He had a lot of great ideas," Spence says. "He was taking Hollywood against the grain."

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, who replaced Lois Frankel in 2011, still thinks the film industry can bloom there. She says, "The city, together with Florida State University, [is] creating an economic incubator for a new and exciting industry here in West Palm Beach."

Frankel, who ran for U.S. Congress this year, announced she would give $20,000 in campaign donations from Digital Domain executives to a charity. Her opponent, Adam Hasner, still painted her as wasting millions in taxpayer money.

Video instructor Dwayne Taylor (left) and his student Andrew Spence (right) posed with Textor in West Palm Beach.
Video instructor Dwayne Taylor (left) and his student Andrew Spence (right) posed with Textor in West Palm Beach.
The firm helped create a rapping Tupac image for Coachella.
Eric Smith-Gunn / evsmitty / flickr.com
The firm helped create a rapping Tupac image for Coachella.

The downfall of Digital Domain could be blamed on the competitive state of the industry, or the politicians who saw nothing but opportunity in the promise of jobs for Florida, or John Textor himself. But the man had a way of stoking big dreams — whether they were the dreams of people who believed they could change Florida's economy, the dreams of kids who wanted bright and exciting futures, or the part of us that wants to see fast cars, space invaders, and a living Tupac.

Sometimes, you just want to believe.

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