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It’s always hard to put into words how video ideas come to be. This particular video was strange, as I knew that God was calling me to shoot a video to honor our veterans for some time, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to do that. The concept of shooting a veterans video came to me at some point during the summer, but it wasn’t until I recently visited with my Grandmother that something else sparked inside of me.
You see, this is where this story gets extremely personal. While visiting with my family a couple months ago my mother pulled out these envelopes. Inside were these war documents, medals, pictures, and letters. When she went on to explain that they had found them in the bottom drawer of an old armoire in the basement, I couldn’t believe it. I asked my Grandmother question after question as I wanted to learn more about our family history in the war. I was astounded to learn my Great Grandfather fought and lived through Vimy Ridge, perhaps one of the most profound battles of the First World War. I was also amazed to learn that my late Grandfather, who had just passed away 2 years ago, also served in the Navy. It was overwhelming to look at these pictures and listen to the stories about the things both my Great Grandfather and Grandfather had accomplished.
That’s when everything clicked.
I wanted to tell THAT story.
So a few phone calls were made, and we were off to the races. I decided that since this was going to be an extremely personal piece that I wanted as many elements of the film to be as real as possible. In order to do that, I travelled to my grandparents home town to film all of the outside shots. Our first location by the military armory, had amazing monuments and worked perfect with the rising sun. Our second location, was literally my grandparents basement, exactly the way they had left it, nothing set up or staged at all. I used all original artifacts that my grandmother had kept, and even had Dan (our main actor) sit at my grandfathers desk to write the letter in the video. The medal that we used in the video belonged to my Grandfather, and the box it came in was a gift to me after he passed away 2 years ago.
I wanted to share with you the behind the scenes story of this video for really only one reason, and that is to remind you, that your inspiration can come from anywhere, and sometimes from deep within yourself. The process of writing the script for this piece as well as asking all the appropriate questions to my family before filming was liberating for me, as I now have a greater understanding of what my family history entails. It provided me with a new opportunity to appreciate my grandparents in a different light, and learn a bit more about their lives story.
Lastly, I just want to say to all the veterans out there that I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you have made and are continuing to make. My prayer is that we can all learn from those who have gone before us. And to both my Grandfathers, I just want to say that the letter I wrote as the script for this video was indeed from my heart. I meant every word, and I honestly want to say, Thank you.
Main Actor: Dan Clarke
Audio Engineering and Original Scoring by: Jeremy Bundy (puremindstudios.com)
Directed by: Scott Trapasso
Assisted by: Erin Trapasso and Bethany Baker
Voice Over by: Spencer Schroeder
Special thanks to my both my Great Grandfather and Grandfather for their lives of inspiration. Also, special thanks to my Nana, both of my parents, and my family for allowing me to tell this story.