Thursday, May 14, 2015

Behind the Screen: Forgiven.

Filmmaker John Lyden
Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award consists of a $500 prize and will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

During May's National Military Appreciation Month, filmmaker John Lyden (College of St. Rose) explains below the background to his film Forgiven.

Forgiven was made for a school assignment. Students had to choose something they were particularly passionate about and convey that through some artistic medium, whether it be music, prose, poetry, or film.  I have always been fascinated with grief and how people hide from their pasts. The struggle faced by soldiers in adapting to everyday life after coming home from war is an arduous and confusing journey.  

I wanted to channel my fascination with that subject into a short, silent film. I picked some very talented local actors whom I knew could perform their roles without speaking any lines. I often feel dialogue can take people out of a story; the most powerful moments in film and in life are the unspoken ones.  

This film serves as a portrait of what we have been seeing in this country for the last few years with soldiers returning home. War is probably the most devastating phenomenon on this earth. I hope Forgiven is seen as a tool for what we can learn about the psychological effects war has on individuals.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Behind the Screen: Life After Iraq.

Filmmaker Diana Guerrero
Note: Moving Pictures is featuring the student filmmakers from the CSWE 2015 Virtual Film Festival sharing the stories behind the making of their films. Learn how you can see the films and vote for the Virtual Ovation Award. The award consists of a $500 prize and will be presented to the top-ranked film in the Virtual Film Festival, as determined by the audience.

During May's National Military Appreciation Month, filmmaker Diana Guerrero (Univ of Maryland-Shady Grove) explains below the background to her film Life After Iraq.

Life After Iraq tells the story of Dario DiBattista---Marine veteran; author of the war memoir Go Now, You Are Forgiven; and instructor in the nonprofit Veterans Writing Project. In the film, he explains what he experienced before, during, and after being deployed to the Middle East during the War on Terror, also known as Global War on Terrorism. In addition, the documentary relates what Dario is doing now and how he feels about his experiences in Iraq.

Scene from Life After Iraq
Life After Iraq allowed me to further research the lives of multiple veterans who have suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). My goal is to raise awareness and explain what it really is to overcome such experiences and come back to “normal.”

Dario has a busy schedule, so we decided to meet at Baltimore Community College and shoot or interview there. The original idea for the mood of the interview was to incorporate a chiaroscuro technique, which added a more dense mood to the overall documentary. However, some complications occurred once I began editing, and I had to shoot the interview all over again. But persistence and patience do have their rewards in the end.