Friday, February 17, 2012

Wounded Warrior PSAs

In the summer of 2010, I was honored to be hired as 2nd camera on a California shoot for The Wounded Warrior Project.

One of the project's objectives was to visually incorporate the organization's still logo into a moving PSA.

To achieve this, we traveled out to Dumont Dunes, deep in the Mojave Desert. The small crew that flew out West is one of my favorite groups to work with, so even the challenges felt like fun.

Here are a couple quick iPhone pictures of my camera position.

It's great to see the finished PSA finally make it to air, and I especially like that Kevin Costner did the voiceover. I have a lot of respect for him as a filmmaker and a human being, so it feels good to have worked with him on this project ... even if indirectly.

The soldier emerging from the desert is Xavier Clarke, a Marine Corps veteran. The wounded warrior draped over his shoulders is not a lightweight dummy. That is a full grown man you see him carrying. On top of that, it was 104-106 degrees in the shade ... Xavier was wearing full battle gear ... and he didn't complain once. Ex-Marine indeed.

The second part of the trip involved a visit with retired Army Sgt. 1st Class, Norberto "Norbie" Lara and his family.

In June 2004, while on combat patrol in Iraq, a rocket propelled grenade struck Norbie's Humvee. The RPG took his arm off and shrapnel from the explosion ripped through his body, lacerating his liver and causing damage to his lungs.

The whole crew was moved by this short visit, and left there with a greater appreciation of the value of life.

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