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Adventures in Filmmaking – Travis: A Soldier’s Story

Earlier this month it looked like we would probably be waiting until April to finish our filming with Travis and Kelsey. While we did breathe a slight sigh of relief – knowing we had plenty to keep us busy – we knew this meant we would not be able to premier in April like we had hoped. Then, about 2 and a half weeks ago, we found out Travis and Kelsey were actually going to be able to come to Dallas – the very first weekend in March.

Oh my – we were so excited . . . but then it dawned on us that we were going to have to figure out how to make Dallas look like Afghanistan. And reenact real life scenarios that involve helicopters, guns, explosions and hospitals – and we had about two weeks to secure everything.

We continue to be amazed and truly humbled by the support and donations people have given for this film. LensRentals.com has gracious offered us a discount on some sweet film gear. We will be filming on the RED Epic M, along with a Schneider Cine-Xenar 50mm lens and a few of our own lenses mixed in. For those of you not familiar with film gear, this is a true motion picture quality film camera, with which several large box-office movies have been filmed. Puts our Canon DSLRs to shame – but it’s okay little Canons, we still love you. Here’s Jon getting the camera gear yesterday. Like a kid on Christmas morning . . . (FedEx guy was very confused about why I was filming him.)

One of the coolest and most unexpected developments last week was finding out two of the fellow soldiers injured in Travis’s accident, as well as two of the original flight medics, were interested in coming to Dallas for the filming. A man who is part of VeteranAirLift.org is going to fly up the east cost to pick up these soldiers and fly them to Dallas. Wow.

Katie and Brooke (of Fotolanthropy) may not technically be film producers but they could have fooled us. They have been doing so much research, planning and making phone calls in these last few weeks – in the midst of taking FOTOstrap to Imaging USA, launching on Adorama and then heading to WPPI in a few weeks. Their work in securing locations, equipment and other details has been remarkable. We still have a few needs – which can be found below – to help assist the soldiers and crew while they are in town. We know they are going to be working hard and we want to make this a fun experience for everyone. If you or someone you know may be able to help in one of these areas, please contact Katie at info@fotolanthropy.com. All donations will be given credit in the film.

Can you help?
– Breakfast brought/delivered to site for Soldiers/Crew in Desoto TX March 2nd
– Dinner brought/delivered to site for Soldiers/Crew in Irving TX March 2nd
– 2 Hotel Rooms for 4 Soldiers in Frisco TX
– Shuttle Bus for Saturday March 2nd to transport all soldiers and gear. (pickup in Frisco in the morning)

We are also so thankful to our own friends Zach, Ryan, Brian and Jordan for all their amazing help in the – extememly brief! – planning phase for this film. This would not be possible without their help and we are so appreciative of their time in assisting us with planning and filming what would normally involve a much larger team of people. We had a great meeting at our house Monday evening and finally had a chance to view the rough storyline of the film in its entirety. It’s really exciting to see how close we really are and we can’t wait to see how everything looks with the footage from this weekend.

Of course, our most important need this week is your prayers. As you can imagine, this is no ordinary film shoot. What would normally be spaced out over a couple of weeks, we are trying to make happen in just a few days. We are also recreating extremely complex and emotional events with the people who actually experienced them. We have been given an amazing opportunity but it comes with such incredible responsibility – we want this film to be truly inspiring to others and to honor all that Travis and his fellow soliders have done for us – and continue to do for us every day. We greatly appreciate your prayers this week as we begin filming.

The best way to stay up to date with behind-the-scenes photos from our filming, is by following “Fotolanthropy” on Twitter and liking “Fotolanthropy” on Facebook (you can click on the icons below to be directed to each of these). We’ll try to post a few things on our Facebook page as well.


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