A substantial amount of research was conducted before shooting began, including background information on the issue, the potential subjects, the organization; developing interview questions for each subject; and logistical information. The resulting sixty page document was distributed amongst the crew before production.
MediaStorm and Starfish Media Group spent a substantial amount of time conducting interviews with potential subjects, attempting to find individuals that would be both open to the process, and able to get what they needed from the week of counseling sessions at Save a Warrior. MediaStorm was as open with the soldiers as possible about what the process would look like so that there were very few surprises about what our crew would be asking for once production started.
MediaStorm prides itself in working in small teams. As such, we act as ‘flies on the wall’ letting a process unfold without getting in the way. This approach seemed absolutely essential for this film, which covers so much sensitive ground. MediaStorm hired a small crew for the shoot including Cinematographer Rick Gershon, and Audio Technician Jonathan Seale to work with Director of Photography Andrew Ellis. Doing so allowed MediaStorm a greater opportunity to act as witnesses to the healing and capture intimate moments without interfering in the process.
In post-production, MediaStorm worked closely with Starfish Media Group and CNN to ensure that all broadcast standards were met while maintaining the integrity of the project and it’s sensitive subject matter. It was important for the team to show not only what it is like to live with post-traumatic stress, but to provide a broader context for the issue. MediaStorm and Starfish Media Group decided providing context would best be done by Soledad O’Brien. This allowed for a combination of “fly on the wall” shooting and correspondent centered documentary. The result is a potent combination of actualities and fact-checked context about the issue.
With the exception of several in-person critique sessions, communication between MediaStorm, Starfish Media Group and CNN was done almost entirely through email and google docs. Doing so allowed each company to have a record of what one another was responsible for in the creation of the film.
MediaStorm also collaborated with Downtown Community Television Center
to color correct and mix audio on the project.