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I am a filmmaker. A storyteller. When I came across this amazing story in November of 2018, I immediately started to adapt it for the screen. This is a story of life among the chaos of death in December of 1944. A few young soldiers are saved by the universality language and care of kindness and love. As a writer, many times these characters just start whispering in my ear, touching my heart.
Once I wrote the screenplay a team to bring this picture to life started to form. That is what I love about film-making, especially on the grassroots level. I feel in today's climate with social media we have gone way too far in using film making techniques to sell products rather than promote heart and perspective. There has been a venture off the path of that independent spirit where many of today's filmmakers are auditioning for studios to pick them to make the next great big budget picture. If you are a human and have a beating heart and you love film-making, that is all you need to start with to make a big budget movie. It is those stories with heart and soul that last forever.
The more the story started getting out to the film community in southern Utah, to more steam our pre-production was picking up. So far, there have been some great supporters who have donated time, space, and money towards this production. If you feel you can lend support financially, you can donate through PayPal: DonateWWIIFilm.
Directing for film, I feel in any capacity whether you're a studio-backed director (assuming) or making something on a few thousands dollars is pretty much organizing chaos. It's an ability and laser focus on bringing people together who have their own lives to live and directing these very chaotic pieces to organize into a building a cohesive story. It is very much like seeing the vision of a ship on the water that is sinking and having the vision and optimism that "it could float." And the only way to repair a sinking ship, which I feel many ideas are anyway, is bringing people in and showing that the ship could float. I don't know how to repair all the holes, but this person is really great at that, bring them on the project. Or, this person is really great at making the ship look pretty, bring them on board. Soon enough, the ship is patched up and ready to make its maiden voyage.
It is a miracle that collaboration even happens in the first place. It is more of a miracle that people come together in a world run by money and the "money talks" attitude to create beautiful pieces of work. Surely, money talks but it is people who walk, money can't do that. Money can rent time, it can never buy it. Money can never buy experiences, your attitude does that. Time is yours to give. That is the only valuable commodity any of us have. And that is why it is a miracle that collaboration even happens because it is the giving of that time which is so precious, to see a sinking ship float.
The locations we have chosen to shoot this just shows how diverse and beautiful southern Utah is. Through the golden years of Hollywood through the 30s-late 70s, southern Utah was a top pick for studio productions because of the boom of the westerns and the surreal backdrops. This is a place where at right part of the year, you can enjoy the snow in the morning and end the day 45 minutes away at the lake working on your tan. I grew up here in southern Utah. It is always a dream of mine to see those golden years of movie-making return to Southern Utah and see what beautiful and awe-inspiring stories can be made here again.
As a writer/director, I have written and started down the path of producing but there hasn't been quite the fire behind those as there is with this one. I truly believe this small but talented crew will be able to create something special.