October 20, 2003

Pt. Richmond Mourns Plunge Filmmaker

By Fred H. Arm

Nicolas Armington, 41, the filmmaker of “The Plunge: Time Laps Through History”, drowned yesterday in the deep waters of the Pacific near Ventura. He had been scuba diving with a group off an 85-foot commercial dive boat at about 2:45 pm, when he suddenly surfaced waving his hands. By the time the rescue team reached him, he was already unconscious. CPR was administered to no avail. He was shortly after pronounced dead by the ambulance crew on shore.

Nick was born in New York, an only child following his late father’s footsteps to become a filmmaker. He met his wife, Sari at the 1993 Sundance film festival in Park City, Utah. They married and he moved from Manhattan to California. Sari and Nick started Alchemedia Ltd. in Point Richmond. His mother, Dr. Irene Meister-Armington resides in New York.

He has been described as a hard-working and dedicated filmmaker, with a good sense of humor, although he rarely took life very seriously. Sari said he lived every day like it was his last. Nick was an optimist who believed in the goodness of the human spirit, although not naively so.

Nick and Sari began to make films for public television. Their recent film on Pt Richmond’s Grand Natatorium aired on KQED, profiling the magnificent pool from its opening in 1926 to its closing in the summer of 2001, when a wall bulged unexpectedly. Ever since, residents have been fighting for the building's restoration. The 30-minute documentary profiled 12 swimmers whose ages ranged from two to 92 years old. He will be truly missed. So long Nicolas and thanks for sharing with us your dedication and artistic talents.

Memorial services will take place in the Bay Area and New York.

Posted by fredarm at October 20, 2003 09:40 AM

My wife Dianne's uncle, Bill Kollar was a particiant in the film about the plunge. I came to Richmond in 1949 and swam in the pool many times, and in fact learned to swim there. I loved it, and I loved the film that "Willie left us when he passed away last year. We miss him, and it's so nice to look at the video and get to see both he and the plunge that I loved so much! I do not have a lot of money, but I am a IBEW Local 6 Journeyman Electrician, and I would help with the wiring or any part of the plunge project as my contribution toward the keeping open of the pool for future generations. If I can help, I will! David PS, I live in Bellingham, WA, but I would come back to help!

Posted by: David Caron at March 16, 2004 11:24 PM

Thanks so much Fred for taking the time to let us know. Such a wonderful spirit just snuffed out!

Makes you realize how precious life is!

Posted by: Arline Rodini at October 22, 2003 08:36 PM

Oh, dear. This is very sad. Fred, thank you for letting us know and for such a touching story about one of our own.

Posted by: Count Blogula at October 20, 2003 03:14 PM
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