Honor Flight documentary scenes to be shown in Milwaukee area Wednesday
MILWAUKEE - Scenes from the Honor Flight documentary were to be shown to a private crowd in the Milwaukee area on a day when America marks the beginning of World War II.
"It's a really powerful experience for everyone involved," Director Dan Hayes of Free Think Media said on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"That's the response we've gotten a lot. We've had about four-and-a-half million views on Facebook, which we're really excited about."
The debut of those scenes was to happen in an area theater on the remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
He said he didn't originally think his work would turn into a feature film, but that changed the first time he talked to a veteran who came on an Honor Flight.
"I just showed up at the (World War II) memorial (in Washington, D.C.) one day. I got word of this program. I just had some extra time, kind of showed up at the memorial, started doing some interviews, and the first guy that I talked to, I was kind of easing into it, asking 'Hey, how's your day going?' and by the end of his answer, he said, 'I can die a happy man.'
"I just thought, 'Wow!' This is incredibly powerful. I spent the day with the whole crew from Honor Flight. Basically after that, it started as a 20 minute short and evolved into a feature-length film."
That feature-length film has many stories of World War II vets taking Honor Flights, but he could not even include every story he wanted to tell.
"It's really difficult," said Hayes.
"That is the number one challenge that we face, but we're going to try to turn that into a positive. What we want to do is build out a broader social media campaign, so we'll release short, two minute vignettes similar to the trailer to tell the stories of people who don't appear in the final film. We'll try to use all the film to our advantage and tell as many stories as we can."