We hope you are enjoying the documentary 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!
The documentary trailer is now online…
We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at 7:00pm on November 2nd at the premiere event at the Evans Theatre.
We are proud to announce that the documentary, Warpaths: Every Town Had Soldiers, will be premiering at the Evans Theatre on November 2nd 2012. The event begins at 7:00PM with a champagne reception – the screening of the documentary and a special question-and-answer session with the filmmakers, Graham Street and Marc George, to follow.
This premiere is also part of The Brandon Film Festival’s 2012 fundraising efforts, as all net proceeds from the event will go to the Save Our Screen Campaign. Find out more at www.evanstheatre.ca.
Warpaths: Every Town Had Soldiers is a broadcast-length documentary, featuring the stories of three men from Western Manitoba who fought for Canada during the First World War. This community-expression documentary was produced by Street Media Inc. and is written and hosted by The RCA Museum Director, Marc George.
Filming for this project took place in the spring and summer of 2012 and features many locations throughout the Westman area including the Town of Boissevain, Camp Hughes Provincial Heritage Site and The RCA Museum in Shilo. The filmmakers also traveled to France, following the footsteps of the Westman soldiers who fought for their country in the iconic Battle of Vimy Ridge.
This documentary was commissioned by MTS TV’s Community Expression, Video-on-Demand service, ‘Stories From Home.’ The broadcast premiere of Warpaths: Every Town Had Soldiers will take place on the ‘Stories From Home’ service November 8th 2012.
…was a great experience. Using the 44th Battalion War Diary, unit history and 1917 trench maps, we were able to follow the path of our soldiers very closely. Finding the remaining signs of the battlefields of the 44th Battalion in Vimy National Memorial Park and on the Pimple was very rewarding. It was powerful to know that we were standing exactly on the fields that Hank, Gordon and Cliff had fought over. As we went along it was fantastic to find signs that we were on the right path. In Bouvigny we found graffiti by another soldier of the 44th Battalion, so we knew we were in the right place: a billet the Battalion history referred to as the “white chateau”. The French people we asked for help were always so gracious and went out of their way to assist us. The kindness of the owners of Chateau de la Haie in allowing us access to their property was so appreciated. They did not realize that the Canadians had used their Chateau, they thought it had been English troops. They shared their stories that have been handed down through the four generations since the Great War. It was a stunning moment to be shown the “English” Sergeants’ Mess painted sign, which I recognised as having been placed there by the 4th Canadian Division. I realized that we were the first Canadians to see it since the Great War, which is why none of the family knew its origins. It was good to tell them how their Chateau had played such an important role in the Canadian victory at Vimy; a role they had never heard about before. As we left I thanked them profusely for hosting us and told them the documentary would be much better because of their participation. The owner looked at me very seriously and said “You do not need to thank us. It is our obligation. It is the least we can do for these soldiers. Thank you.” I have rarely felt so proud to be Canadian as I did at that moment.
Visiting the graves of Hank and Gordon at Canadian Cemetery Number 2 was very moving. At one point, a British woman who was part of a bus tour walked over to us, absolutely overcome and in tears. She managed to ask if we were Canadian. We nodded and she said that we should be so proud of what had been done here, so proud of this beautiful park, of the stunning memorial and of how well the cemeteries are kept. Then she walked away, still crying , to rejoin her tour. I couldn’t trust myself to speak for several minutes. In a way, I was glad to discover that Gordon’s tombstone lists his middle name and date of death incorrectly, because it allowed us to take the necessary steps to correct it. I left a complete copy of his military records from the Library and Archives of Canada with the Manager of the Vimy National Memorial Park. He assured me he would pass the record to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)and he felt certain they would fix the errors as soon as possible. Such errors are actually fairly common, and he noted that the CWGC are excellent about fixing such mistakes. Everywhere I have been, the standard of care that the CWGC gives to all cemeteries is second to none. Their work in honouring the graves of our Fallen is magnificent.
The Canadian staff at Vimy were outstanding and did everything they could to facilitate us getting the footage we needed. They are very focussed on sharing the park with all Canadians via film and television. They were great to work with. I wish every Canadian could have the opportunity to experience the power of Vimy Ridge. I hope that our documentary will, in some small way, help Canadians connect with Vimy even if they never have the opportunity to visit it. It is Canadian territory, given to us by France in gratitude for what Canada did in the Great War. That feels absolutely right when you are there, surrounded by so many Canadians who fell to take the Ridge. It is a hushed, reflective, green space now; though still scarred by craters and trenches. It truly has a terrible beauty, somehow like the War is still lurking just below the surface, holding its breath. I cannot imagine any Canadian visiting it without shedding a tear. I have yet to manage it even with repeat visits.
After five production days in France and three production days in the United Kingdom, the documentary has now been rough-edited to forty plus minutes. We have one full segment left to shoot and the dramatic reenactments to finish before we wrap production and focus solely on postproduction.
Here is a selection of production stills from the European segments in the documentary…