I'm flying to Las Vegas in ten days to work on an incredible video project collecting the oral histories of U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veterans from HMM-364, a helicopter squadron called the Purple Foxes. My uncle was a pilot in the squadron and he is coordinating the project. I am proud to be a part of it and am looking forward to meeting these gentlemen at their reunion in Mesquite.
I was a Navy man, so I expect to catch a lot of hell from these guys, but as I always tell them, they served in the Department of the Navy, not the Department of the Marine Corps. Of course, I'm just giving them hell. I certainly don't mean any disrespect to fellow service members, much less fellow veterans of a foreign war. It is my honor and privilege to use my knowledge and skills to help these men document their experiences. Several men have responded to my request for copies of personal footage that they may have recorded while in Vietnam. The footage has been digitized and I already have three DVDs of video to watch and log.
The approach this year is very relaxed as it is the first year. I'm using a DSLR with a Zoom H4n to capture video and audio. I am planning to shoot interviews in front of a green screen because we will be collecting over a period of several years and it provides flexibility in post-production for unifying them. The objective right now is to simply get the guys to tell their stories on video and collect it for archival purposes. They will be individually edited and posted online with the permission of the interviewee. From there we will improvise.
As a producer, this is a dream project. A little bit of travel to get out of the studio (or home), a great group of people to work with, interesting stories and easy post-production work. Since I'm not stringing all of these together into an overall story, editing will be quick and painless.
Be sure to check back for updates. I'll be posting more soon.