Tonight I ran the show for a presentation of a film called Inside the Green Berets, produced by National Geographic. This was probably my favorite film viewing since I’ve been in Maine. The reason for the viewing is that Ryan, the director of photography, used to work here at the Maine Media Workshops as an editor, and he is here this week taking a class. So we all headed down to the theater and watched the film and had a great question and answer session with Ryan.
Now, here’s the thing, while filming this documentary Ryan and Steve the producer of the doc, were blown up along with a couple of the special forces soldiers in Afghanistan. He was seriously injured/burned and had to be airlifted to Germany. Filming was cut short by 7 days and the entire documentary changed course. It became a much more personal film and very compelling.
The video above is of the producer talking about the incident and the impact it had on the film crew. The story is very engaging and powerful. With the director/producer and director of photography both in the hospital, the sound guy picks up a backup camera and records some extra footage. It’s just very moving to me because these guys are there trying to make an honest film about what it’s like to be in a war zone as a green beret and they very nearly die in that effort.
Ryan is just a little older than me and has had a similar life, so it’s hard for me not to put myself in his shoes. In the Q&A he talked in detail about what it was like and what he experienced during and after the filming. It was riveting.
Afterward all I could think about was the idea of sacrifice and what drives certain people to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Would I be willing to go shoot a documentary in Afghanistan or Iraq? I think since I am not married I’d be willing to risk my life and use my skills to bring back stories of the conflicts of the war on Islamic Extremists. But If I were married and/or had kids… i don’t know… Maybe I’d be more inclined to do it to try and make the world safer… or maybe I wouldn’t be willing to put myself in harms way and leave the people that depend on me for safety behind and alone. It’s a very tough moral decision and obviously one I don’t look forward to ever having to face.