Co producer Co writer Sara Matthews and I worked together first with my film PUBLIC ENEMY, which she acted in.
She and former U.S. Veteran Steve Keesal were working on an "edutainment short" about adjustment problems vets face coming back from America's longest war in history. Steve having first hand experience and Sara, coming from a fitness and dietician and general wellness background. Asked me to come on board early in the actual production. Always glad to learn and work with new subject matter, to say nothing of the important topic to any American, I came along and worked off an on throughout most of 2013 on it.
I learned a number of grim facts about Vets but the film and the experience for me as director is more about hope and finding your own wellness formula to go on in life.
A large and excellent cast with lots of new faces helped on all levels as well.
A lot of the story elements are based very closely on real life experiences. Most of the cast are not vets themselves, though all that was closely watched and guided by Steve and others with real first hand knowledge.
Editing is underway now.
The war is never over for combat veteran Isaiah whose return to the country that turned him into a soldier now seems a foreign land. His battle to reclaim some semblance of sanity and normalcy is ever haunted by the tragic effects of PTSD.
Directed by: Jay Woelfel | Written by: Sara Matthews, Ernest Pierce
Cast: Erik Kowalski, Ernest Pierce, Danielle Kelly, Paul Chirico, Sara Matthews
Clayton Norcross, Tony Nevada, Tasha Tacosa, Xuelian Lei, Ire Wardlaw, Michael McAdam
Produced by: Steve Keesal, Sara Matthews, Sylvia E. Gonzales, John Masters, Iyad Hajjaj
Music: Ken Jacobsen | Cinematography: Victor Bradford | Film Editing: John Travers
Costume Design: Danielle Kelly | Makeup Department: June Yamada
Assistant Director: Danielle Kelly | Other Crew: Jake Osti, Zora Pasztor