We are hardly into 2024 and the year is already off to a great start. My documentary Behind The Smoke has been featured on the news in multiple outlets and the next documentary is already underway.
Behind The Smoke
Behind The Smoke was featured in several film festivals in 2023, but it has now found its way to the Saint Augustine Film Festival to start off 2024 in Saint Augustine Florida where the majority of the production took place and the gas station fire that is the centerpiece of the film happened. It has been over 10 years since that fire, but this small town remembers it well. Because of that, I was asked to be interviewed by multiple news outlets to discuss the making and purpose behind the film.
The Next Production
Several years ago I filmed my grandfather and his wingman from Vietnam whom he had recently reunited with, on camera discussing over four hours of war stories. The intention was simply to document the stories and write a narrative script about his heroic past someday. But once I fell in love with making documentaries, I decided that I could also tell his story as a documentary. In 2022 I re-interviewed his wingman Mark Garrison and started looking for anyone who may have known my grandfather during the war or who was involved with the 119th AHC (Assault Helicopter Company) 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, stationed in the Central Highlands at Camp Holloway in Pleiku, Vietnam. Specifically, those involved with the operation known as Wayne Grey. Starting off this year, I was able to go see the very helicopter my grandfather flew under the call sign Croc 4. One of the only airships to survive from this helicopter company. It was a surreal moment, and I feel blessed to have been able to film inside the very helicopter he flew all those years ago.
The Next Firefighter Documentary
|I’m finding it to be no surprise that firefighting documentaries are turning out to be my niche. Moving into 2024, I have at least one, if not two firefighter documentaries in the works. The main one will focus on wildfires and the dangers of the working conditions that our first responders are challenged with combatting. This film will bring me back to the West Coast where I’ll be interviewing wildfire firefighters and hotshots who battle some of the biggest fires in the United States.
Where God Wants Me
Having become more involved with my church after moving to North Carolina, I found myself being pulled into the media department and was asked to make a short missions trip video in my documentary style. This was the first project I had personally filmed since moving here and it gave way to a personal study I have been doing. One of my next projects will involve my faith and how I believe there is a misconception that to join a church, you must be a perfect sinless person. While I grew up in the church and believed this myself, my journey has shown me that some of the best Christians and those strongest in their faith were once great sinners. This project is aimed at breaking the idea of what someone has to be in order to be accepted into Christianity and to show why it was that Jesus Christ was friends to sinners. Demonstrating the idea that church is for everyone, especially those who think they are too far gone. As Jesus said in Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”