The Spirit of Flight Foundation has begun working with the Veterans Institute of Film and Media (VIFM) in Dallas Texas to help put veterans to work on an upcoming feature film, entitled THE WILDERNESS PILOT, which is currently in development in Colorado.
VIFM will be supplying the production team with trained crew who will work behind the camera in various departments, such as camera, grip, art, and the director’s team. In front of the camera, Redmond Ramos, a Navy Corpsman with the US Marines, will play the lead role in the film. Ramos deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 where he stepped on an IED and later lost his leg. As soon as he got back, he decided to begin a life of motivating others and competed in track and swimming internationally for Team USA Invictus games. He is an accomplished film and TV actor and will be featured in the film, along with Hollywood talent who will be assigned key supporting roles.
Ramos’ character crashes his aircraft in a strange, remote wilderness, only to discover that more than just his physical survival is at stake. The Wilderness Pilot is a mind-bending adventure story about faith, family and redemption.
“Filmmaking is challenging, demanding work, and there’s no better people to put on a film crew than the men and women of the United States Military,” says Joseph Granda, the co-writer and director of THE WILDERNESS PILOT movie. “The best way to thank veterans for their service is to employ them and teach them new skills. Our project can launch careers.”
By partnering with the non-profit Spirit of Flight Foundation, the filmmakers will be able to place VIFM veterans on the film crew through tax-deductible donations. “This film is a good fit for our dual mission of preserving aviation history and honoring military veterans,” said Gordon Page, producer and host of the TV Show CHASING PLANES, who is also the Founder and President of the Spirit of Flight Foundation. “I am the film’s aviation consultant, and the Foundation will be providing a wrecked Cessna 210 airplane for the production.”
Crew will be trained through the Veterans Institute for Film and Media prior to accepting employment on the set. “The team-based film training we provide our students at VIFM prepares them well for these types of real-world opportunities.” said Maggy Croxville, Director for the Veterans Institute for Film and Media. “It’s a win-win, for the film itself, which qualifies for non-profit funding, and for our veterans to be able to work within a larger cast and crew, alongside Hollywood and industry professionals.”
Funding of the movie is being done with tax-deductible donations and will help to establish a new, repeatable model for employing veterans in film in Colorado. The filmmakers have set a goal of adding at least 5 VIFM-trained veterans to their 30-person crew, but they hope to be able to do more, if their community outreach through the Spirit of Flight Foundation is successful.
Filming of THE WILDERNESS PILOT is scheduled for the Fall of 2020, with the entire production shot on location in the Colorado wilderness.
Visit www.vetsinfilm.com for more information on the program and The Wilderness Pilot movie.