There are 3 projects underway that I’d like to see come to fruition in 2017. Like any flight, the beginning and the end are the difficult parts. While all three have successfully taken off I’d like to see them land in theatres or on television this year.
First In Flight focuses on Orville and Wilbur Wright’s most difficult day: May 30th 1912. Orville spends his final moments by his brother’s deathbed, reflecting on their lives—the joys and pains, friendships and betrayals, successful flights and fateful crashes. Though they have taught the world to fly, they have made enormous sacrifices along the way. With years of partnering about to end, they are haunted by the question, “Was it worth it?”
It was written by Brandon Hess & Tara Tucker; it will be directed by Hess and produced by Tucker. An award winning “thesis” version of the movie has been shown at several festivals and is available on-line. Hess told me this morning,“We would like to see a feature length version move forward in 2017 as well! We have a finished script and are now currently packaging the film with cast / key crew members and seeking partners / financiers.”
Tara, daughter of award winning air show pilot Sean D. Tucker, studied fine art and graphic design leading to her first job as a creative assistant at Twentieth Century Fox. There she had the opportunity to collaborate on shows like Glee, The Simpsons and Avatar. In 2010 she was accepted at the prestigious American Film Institute where she received her MFA in creative producing. At AFI she produced First In Flight as her thesis. Brandon also graduated from the AFI and won the Great American Video Contest for his touching piece Honor: Pass It On. Hess and Tucker are married to each other. Academy award winning composer, James Horner wrote and recorded an original score for the film.
FlyGirls is a scripted TV Miniseries about the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WW2 and is in the second phase of development. The ten-part dramatic series will portray the untold story of these women as well as their predecessors, the American women of the British ATA.
The project has already raised $30k in seed money. It’s being developed by Oscar-nominated director, Matia Karrell’s company, The Red Door Films. Karrell told me, “The excitement is there and so many people want this project to happen. It inspires us to work harder (if that is possible). We hope to have a very important announcement in the next 3 months, FlyGirls is at two very high profile production companies. An A list actor has approached us for a role in our series and we are in the middle of securing our A list writer.” The team will continue to accept donations from their fan base and are getting added support from From The Heart Productions.
Producer Hilary Prentice added, “we are thrilled our social media campaign has proven FlyGirls has a wide audience appeal. Our followers across social media platforms are ages 18-65, and 50-50 male/female, so it’s great to see we have an equal number of men interested in seeing this series come to fruition. We reach around 500,000 people each week. It is gratifying for us to share this history with many people who write us messages or on our Facebook page that they never knew about these women- and that upsets them. People feel this history should be known, these women should be in school text books, and they should be recognized for their contributions and sacrifices. And people let us know how excited they are to see this come to life as a dramatic television series.”
Karell continued, “All in all, we feel very good about where we have the project situated. Now it is getting it to the right people we believe will give FlyGirls the best chance to be the best dramatic series possible. We have been and continue to be diligent in our efforts to create some of the best television ever. We owe it to the women who contributed to our country in WWII and to all future generations to get this right… and we believe we will!”
A few years ago, while learning to fly, Colin Ebeling received a copy of Rinker Buck’s book Flight of Passage. Upon finishing it, he immediately passed it on to fellow film maker Henry Saine. The duo vowed to do whatever it takes to bring the story to the big screen. Ebeling told me last night, “We just signed on with a producer Braden Aftergood. His first feature, Hell Or High Water (starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges) was nominated for 3 Golden Globes. He is very enthusiastic about us and the project. We’re currently addressing a few of his notes on our script and then will be going out to studios and financiers in a few weeks. We hope to be in production this spring!”
In order to move to the next level, they made a short film to present to investors, actors and studios. The short showcases some of the book’s best moments including a flying sequence shot by Bill Richards, one of Hollywood’s best aerial cinematographers.