Our principal photography in Europe is completed. It has been a very rewarding experience to follow in the footsteps of Jim, Fred, Cliff and Margaret Bowes. For me, the most powerful moment was standing in the fields around Decline Copse at Passchendaele, where Cliff lived out his last few days in a ferocious battle. I was also very moved standing at Jim’s grave in France and at Cliff’s name on the Menin Gate in Ypres, knowing that Margaret Bowes had been in those same places.
The people of France and Belgium have been wonderful. Everyone has been so keen to help us tell this story. It is amazing to see that a century later, people know that Canada was here and that they are still grateful for the sacrifices made by our soldiers. In particular, I was touched by the helpfulness and generosity shown by Patrick Vanclooster and his daughter Eline at ANZAC Farm just SW of Zonnebeke and by Annick Vandenbilcke at the In Flanders Fields Museum research centre.
To everyone who helped us tell the story of Margaret Bowes and her three sons: merci beaucoup and dank u wel!
Production has begun on the third episode of Warpaths. “Silver Crosses” will focus more on the Home Front experience, what happened to wounded soldiers and will explore what it was like to be the family of fallen soldiers. We will be filming on location in Manitoba, France and Belgium to follow in the footsteps of three soldiers and of their Mother and Sister who travel to Europe after the Great War in order to find their graves. Silver Crosses will help viewers understand how the way that the dead of the Great War are honoured has evolved over time, and how our perceptions about The Fallen have changed as the War becomes more distant in history. Our goal is to transport the audience back across a century to experience the losses as they were felt in the years immediately following World War 1. Warpaths: Silver Crosses will premier in November of 2014.
The trailer for Warpaths: Ghost Camps is now live on the MTS TV Stories From Home YouTube channel…
The documentary will premiere at 7PM on November 8th at the Evans Theatre in Brandon. The broadcast premiere will follow shortly thereafter.
We have wrapped production on “Warpaths: Ghost Camps”! It will premiere at the Evans Theatre in Brandon at 7PM on Friday, 8 November.
This was a very rewarding episode to film. The archaeology at Camp Hughes conducted by Brandon University went very well and actually allowed us to connect with the stories of two Manitobans who trained there in 1915. Archaeology also made a Canadian connection for us when we visited the remains of two Canadian training camps in England.
This episode sheds more light on how Canadians trained in the Great War and on what life in the training camps was like for our soldiers. The sacrifices made by Canadians in the First World War are marked by the graves all along their warpaths. It was moving to tell the story of the Canadians who died on their way to the Front, or while waiting to come home. We hope Ghost Camps will help keep their stories alive.
MTS has agreed to fund our next episode, “Warpaths: Silver Crosses” We will begin production this Fall, with a view to a release date in November of 2014!
We hope you are enjoying the documentary Warpaths: Every Town Had Soldiers that is now available 24/7 on MTS TV’s Stories From Home video on demand service. We are happy to announce that we are beginning pre-production on another Warpaths documentary that will have a greater focus on The Camp Hughes Heritage Site. This interactive map was produced to help you explore the site while the documentary is in production.
On February 15th 2012 we signed on to produce Warpaths: Every Town Had Soldiers. That gave us three months of preproduction before principal photography began in June. Production wrapped late August with the rough edit submitted to the broadcaster shortly thereafter. The production master was then submitted for close captioning and delivery to MTS TV mid September.
Eight months from beginning to end! But then the promotion work begins. First the sneak peak screening in Boissevain on October 28th and then the big night, the premiere event at the Evans Theatre in Brandon on November 2nd.
Beginning with a well-attended champagne reception held in the Brandon University library the night continued with greetings from the Lori Truscott of the Brandon Film Festival, Cam Bennett from MTS TV, Marc George on behalf of the Filmmakers and then the screening itself.
The theatre was at near capacity with close to 220 in attendance including, Robert Sopuck, Member of Parliament Dauphin – Swan River – Marquette; Bonnie Korzeniowski, Manitoba Special Envoy for Military Affairs; Mayor Shari Decter Hirst of Brandon; Mayor Wayne Blair of Carberry; and Reeve Ralph Oliver of the RM of North Cypress. I’m honored to say that over $1,600.00 was raised and donated to the Brandon Film Festival’s ‘Save Our Screen’ fundraising efforts.
Following the film we conducted a panel Q&A that was mediated by Diane Nelson and including, Marc, Kim Bell from MTS TV and myself, which wrapped up the night very nicely.
On behalf of the filmmakers and the cast and crew I want to thank all of those who attended and supported the film and for making the premiere night truly special!
Look for the documentary’s broadcast premiere on MTS TV Stories from Home on November 8th!
The documentary played to a home town crowd of 170 people in Boissevain on Sunday, 28 October. It was very moving to have a large number of relatives of our three soldiers in the theatre, including three children. Although it happened almost 100 years ago, the Great War is in no way remote for hundreds of thousands of Canadian families who are still only one step removed from the men who fought and died for Canada. It was also striking to screen the documentary on almost the same day in October as the Town farewell dance was held for the men of The Boissevain Detachment of the 222nd Overseas Battalion in 1916.
The people of Boissevain were very generous in their support for the making of the documentary. They were also characteristically generous on Sunday with their praise for the film and their donations totalling over $1,000.00 towards the new digital projector for the theatre. Graham and I are both so pleased that they see Warpaths as a fitting tribute to Cliff, Gordon and Hank; as well as to all who served our country in the First World War.
My home town always makes me proud. Thanks Boissevain!