Production near complete for “Captain”

April 9th was a busy day of filming for myself and Captain Richard Updaw, USMC, Ret., who is  my film subject for an upcoming documentary entitled Captain. With the film about 80 percent edited, I’ve been able to identify areas in need of additional filming and so, with list in hand, Dick and I set out.



First stop was the Rush Public Library where we filmed Dick doing research in his quest to memorialize Cpl. Robert Hodes, who died at the Battle Of Iwo Jima in 1945 at the age of 19.



We had great cooperation from Linda Repka, Library Clerk, standing to the left of Dick,  and  Library Director Kirsten Flass. They asked how they could be of help, cleared tables for us, and showed a real interest and enthusiasm for the project. Thank you Linda and Kirsten!





We left the library and headed over to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off of South Avenue in Rochester. I  wanted a shot of Dick approaching the site and then looking at the granite memorial with the names of those soldiers from the Rochester area who were killed in the war. It is a beautiful memorial, (my first time there), and it reminds one of the courage and sacrifice of the those who gave their lives.

Then we pressed north to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester where Cpl. Hodes is buried. I have been to this cemetery half a dozen times now to try and create images that will cause viewers of the film to reflect on the theme of remembrance that is at the core of Dick Updaw’s quest . In some ways I feel this graveside is the main character in this film…So easy to walk right past and to overlook,  but unforgettable once its story is known.  Of course,hundreds of  veterans are buried at Holy Sepulchre – as are tens of thousands elsewhere. For me, Robert Hodes is their representative .

Finally we arrived at a blustery Lake Ontario where I filmed Dick walking along the beach with a backpack filled with about 80 pounds of sand.  To explain: I was hoping to evoke Dick’s trip to Iwo Jima in 2004, where  he  filled his backpack with black, volcanic sand, and walked the entire route that Cpl. Hodes would have walked  from the beach where he landed, to a ridge on  the northern part of the island where he was killed. I’m not trying to fool anyone into believing that this footage was shot on Iwo Jima, (for one thing, the sand is white here!), but rather to evoke a memory – and the sense of brotherhood that this walk suggests…

And finally, a little bit of filming back at Dick’s farm on West Henrietta Rd. These shots may appear in the film’s opening – and I’m hoping will set the stage for what I hope is a very interesting story to follow…I’m aiming for a Memorial Day, 2012 release for this film.

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