Two Deborah Dickson Documentaries
I never really mentioned this before, but over the course of the past four months I also somehow managed to score two feature-length documentaries for director Deborah Dickson. Deborah and I were introduced through a film editor, and she's a pretty fantastic director; the fact that she's been nominated for three Oscars for her other films should attest to that. This afternoon I put the final touches on the second of the two films, and so I thought I'd finally blog about them, as a little diversion from all the album-talk that's dominated over the past few months.
The first one is called Another Day In Paradise, and is executive produced by Mel Gibson and his company Icon Productions. It follows a six-month deployment of the USS Nimitz as it heads to the Persian Gulf in support of the war in Iraq. It's a great film; at once a character study of the men and women of the armed forces (and the lives of those they leave behind), and at the same time, an exploration of the role of an aircraft carrier in modern warfare (hint: it wasn't designed for ferreting out insurgents).
The second is called Witnesses To A Secret War, and chronicles the history of the Hmong of southeast Asia. During the Vietnam war, the US government recruited the Hmong people to wage a secret war by proxy against the Viet Cong; but when the US pulled out, they abandoned the Hmong to the persecution of the communist forces. Those that weren't killed immediately fled across the Mekong River into neighboring Thailand, where they lived in poverty in refugee camps. Eventually they were given the chance to relocate to the US. This film follows one such family as they leave their country--and its tragic past--and resettle in a land where they have a future.
Both films were recorded with the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which is one of the oldest of the low-budget session orchestras of Eastern Europe. The cost of recording with them is ridiculously affordable; and while they're not exactly a premiere orchestra, you still get a good bargain out of it. Their string sections seems to be their strong suit, which benefitted my 'Witnesses' score tremendously.