Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Photos from Operation In Their Boots, Filmmakers Bootcamp

The Operation In Their Boot Participants in the our Filmmakers Bootcamp

From left to right: Chris Mandia, Victor Manzano, Tristan Dyer, Kyle Hartnett, Clint Van Winkle

Creator of Operation In Their Boots, Richard Ray Perez with participants

Sandi Williams, In Their Boots Line Producer

Operation In Their Boots and Brave New Foundation Mixer

Abe Greenwald, In Their Boots producer, records Clint Van Winkle.

Participants learning lighting techniques

Participants learning lighting techniques

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Operation In Their Boots Launches with Filmmakers Bootcamp

For the last two seasons we have brought you compelling and emotional documentaries that tell the stories of how people in the U.S. are impacted by the wars In Iraq and Afghanistan. Through In Their Boots you have seen Veterans struggling to recover from mental and physical war wounds, young widows coping with the loss of their husbands, military kids growing up with a mother at war and other stories.

For our third season, we will take In Their Boots to a whole new level by commissioning five Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans to produce and direct their own films as part of OPERATION IN THEIR BOOTS. Today we launched our three day Filmmakers Bootcamp where the OIF/OEF Veterans are learning the skills they will need to make their films.

This is a rare opportunity for veterans to communicate directly, through documentary film, what they have witnessed and experienced, on and off the battlefield, and how these experiences have impacted their lives and the lives of people around them. The films these veterans are producing reflect a range of styles, tone and point-of-view. Whether their films are character-driven, autobiographical or focus on a specific subject, the filmmakers will express what it’s really like to be “In Their Boots.”

Meet the Filmmakers at :

In addition, In Their Boots will produce two documentaries by Abe Greenwald and Amanda Spain. More details to come on these projects.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wow, we're almost done filmming

Well, we actually don't shoot on film, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Yesterday, producer, Sandra Keats, returned from a wonderfully successful shoot in Massachusetts. She was there shooting an episodes tentatively titled "A Year Without A Mother." It's about children having to cope with life while their mothers are stationed in Iraq. I'm sure it'll be a moving story. Sandra says she collected some excellent material. We're especially proud of her work because this is the first episode Sandra produced by herself. Most of this season Sandra has been working as Amanda's Associate Producer. From all accounts it sounds like Amanda did a wonderful job of training Sandra.

Now all that's left to shoot is a "pick up" shoot for our episode about two servicemen whose wives face deportation from the United States. This story, like all our stories, is also powerful and moving. ... We'll keep you posted on it's progress in the edit room.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keep the Train Rollin'

Wow! There's so much happening with the production and press of Season II and planning for Season III. At the moment we have two producers in the field shooting two different stories: Amanda Spain in Tennessee shooting a story of about the town of Clarkesville, and Sandra Keats in Tacoma, Washington, shooting a story about how deployments impact children. If that's not enough we're planning our press campaign around the upcoming episode that deals with immigration issues countless military families are struggling with. At the same time I have to figure what Season III will look like. Will it be exactly like this season? Should we try something completely different? Should we try what we did in Season I? Oh, did I mention that we're editing an episode.

I've described this project as a machine with multiple, simultaneously moving parts all of which have to be kept in optimum working condition for the machine to function as intended. I've also described our crew as a team of railroad workers laying down track as the train approaches behind us. ... We gotta keep the train on track and moving forward.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Silent Partners" Screening in Los Angeles

Last night, we held a special screening of "Silent Partners" at Sony Pictures Studio's Backstage Theater in Culver City. Lt. Dan Choi, our guest of honor for the night, presented the film. Read the press coverage we received in the LA Times!

The evening began with our very own hardworking Line Producer Sandi Williams and PA Joe Mielich setting up...Here's Associate Producer Steve Schrenzel trying to steal a cracker and Joe about to chastise him...
Dan arrives and immediately gives an interview...
Rick and Robert Greenwald...
Dan and Julianne Sohn getting ready for the Q&A panel
Jake Diliberto answering a question while West Hollywood Councilmember and moderator, John Duran, and the panelists look on...
Backstage Theater at night....

Click here for more pictures of the event.

"Silent Partners" is now available for viewing at

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vets for Hire

Currently showing at

A recent Department of Labor report stated that the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is an astonishing 11.2%; roughly 170,000 members of the Armed Services are unemployed.

Hector Torres served in the Army National Guard for 16 years in Desert Storm and Afghanistan. Since being home for over a year and a half, Hector still has not found employment. Despite receiving numerous rejection letters, Hector is not deterred. Hector remains positive and actively continues his job search while depending on his wife’s minimal salary and occasional contribution from his teenage daughter.

Tyron Bettis was an Avionics Electronics Technician in the Army and started his job search immediately after returning home from Iraq in 2006. His plan was to market his military skills to the private, civilian sector. Tyron even moved his family to Silicon Valley thinking there would be better opportunities. However, he found himself competing against people willing to accept lower salaries and has been unable to find a job that can support his wife and two children.

Charlie Phillips helped design a mobile computer data system in the Marines that changed the course of many battles in Iraq. He hasn’t had a job since he’s returned home. Charlie was even told by an employer that his military experience was a waste of time that set him back 5 years. As time passes and savings run low, Charlie must figure out how to pay for gas to drive to job interviews.

“Vets for Hire,” the third episode in the IN THEIR BOOTS series, chronicles the struggles of three veterans who thought their military service would open up doors to opportunities in the civilian sector. Upon their return, they find themselves waging a new battle against unemployment. With the assistance of people like Justin Brown of VFW and Congressman Glenn Nye, returning veterans are given a glimmer of hope by people dedicated to their successful transition home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Together Again!

It's been a really long time since I posted anything, but I thought I'd close out this chapter in our lives. Gary is finally home, arrived on May 21st, much earlier than we expected, only a few days shy of 13 months. The kids and I had to drive to Norfolk, Va to pick him up (Boo!), but it was a great reunion (Yay!)! We stayed a couple of days in Virginia Beach to just enjoy some alone time together and we even went to the Pungo Strawberry Festival. It feels so good to be a family again! Although I know I can do it on my own, having Gary home to be a husband and father is all I will ever need. But as with the life of a military family, we hit the ground running - Gary is PCSing and is going to schools before finally reporting to U.S. Northern Command in November. We are already packed, moved, and have our home in Colorado Springs, Colorado and are ready for a brand new adventure! Please continue to keep the families and service members who are still serving in combat in your prayers.