Aging Pilots’ Memories Fly High During The Filming of ‘Old Bold Pilots’

Old Bold Pilots TNThis past Thursday night I finally got the chance to sit down with George Dawe, a 51-year-old actor and stuntman (you can check out his IMDB page here), residing in Fallbrook, CA and talk about his newest project he’s passionately working on.  Now let me back up for one minute before we dive into further discussing this newest endeavor of his.  I have known George for a number of years now and let me tell you the man has quite an impressive resume of accomplishments in life.  Not only is he an actor and a stuntman like I mentioned prior, but he was also once an attorney and a pilot.  I mention the word pilot to cleverly segue into the reason we are all here today to talk about his newest “pilot,” the documentary television series Old Bold Pilots.  And yes, for anyone who’s counting, I said the word pilot three times in a sentence.  I am aware of that, but I digress.  Let’s talk some Old Bold Pilots.

So the story goes a little something like this.  Three local hobbyists, George Dawe, Patrick Pranica and Robert Broughton, a member of the Old Bold Pilots (I’ll get to them in just a moment), all met flying radio-controlled planes in the Palomar Radio Control Flyers Club.  After forming a friendship the trio decided to focus on a “higher” calling by telling the stories of the men of the Old Bold Pilots, a social group consisting of mostly World War II, Korea and Vietnam pilots who meet each week to share stories, jokes, books and friendship over pancakes and coffee.  I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very interesting group that I want to be part of.  The trio’s goal is to capture the stories of aging war pilots, many of which are in their 80s and 90s, on film before their tales are lost forever as so many already have like those of George’s dad in the Korea War or his grandfather’s in World War II.

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Just like George, Patrick is also no stranger to the entertainment world as he’s a former television producer and a lifetime aviation buff.  He had spent the last eight years of his 45-year career producing films for Boeing, but came out of retirement for this one as the trio believes they created something really special here.  Knowing firsthand how passionate George Dawe speaks about this project I have no doubt it is.  So in essence, Old Bold Pilots is a documentary they hope to market as a television series some day.  Patrick serves as the project’s director with George as the co-producer, underwriter and narrator and Robert as the technical advisor.

So far, as of this writing, the trio have filmed the stories of 10 Old Bold Pilots and they have another 52 members signed up for interviews over the 90-day filming schedule of which they shoot three times a week.  They are planning to get the first episode completely done by July 15th with plans of entering it into two Santa Monica film festivals this year and later a military one too.  However, let’s take a step back and examine how they are doing all this.  This isn’t just your lazy two-camera interview shoot.  Oh no!  This is so much more!

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They have spent a small fortune on the most advanced equipment in the filmmaking business and have also spared no expense on effects making sure these unbelievable stories are intricately captured, rendered and preserved in such a way to rival what’s out there on television nowadays.  The way George sees it (in my own words), kids need real heroes to look up to in life, not these trivial reality shows you see littered on just about every channel nowadays when you turn on the tube.  This will be good quality programming for all generations, young and old, to re-live, learn from and be amazed by.  The word awe instantly comes to my mind.  Just sitting in the room with these gentlemen who served and risked their lives for our country and hearing their stories has to be simply awe-inspiring.  George informed me firsthand that there’s some really amazing stories that are being told here and I don’t know about you, but I want to hear about them all.  Just typing all these words I now understand the elevated level of passion these three men must feel in the quality of the project they are turning out and producing.

Old Bold Pilots 3As you can see in the photos within this post, all of the interviews are done in front of a green chroma screen that will later be replaced in post via digital effects with photographs, medals and other personal memorabilia the pilots bring with them to the recordings.  This is high-tech folks.  They shoot these interviews in 4K resolution with Sony NEX-FS700UK cameras utilizing 18-200 automatic lenses captured on a Convergent Design Odysessey7Q recorder 4K raw recorder.  In post they use FX material via a Microsoft flight simulator program where they can recreate the historic flights with the utmost of accuracy and even missile views too.  How cool is that?  And finally things are all gorgeously rendered, cut and edited for precision in Adobe Premiere.  George and I swapped some stories about my days professionally editing with some of the earliest non-linear digital editing programs back in the 90’s.  Those were the days!  So as you can clearly see, just like I said up above, no expense is truly spared here.  The total cost of this whole endeavor is budgeted around 250k.  I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of beans and hopefully you can see why I don’t consider these your basic cut and dry interviews because they’re anything but not!

I know you’re probably wondering what’s next after all the shoots are completed.  Where do they go from here here?  Well, obviously there’s a lot of editing to be done, but in reality the sky’s the limit for this trio and the hours of programming they will have on tap for one lucky outlet to eventually air.  Will it be shown on the History Channel or even the Military one?  That remains yet to be answered, but one thing’s for sure there’s a lot of recycled programming out there currently on the air, don’t you think?  In my opinion, here’s a television channel’s chance to grab ahold of bold, new material.  As George told me, these are great flight stories, some more incredible than others with tales of missiles coming out at them and more.  I’m looking forward to these interviews.  How about you?  I would encourage anyone that’s intrigued and whose palate I have now whet to keep your eyes posted here for more information as I get it in regards to the future of Old Bold Pilots and make sure you Like them on Facebook too.  Anyone that’s interested in the actual group, the Old Bold Pilots, make sure you check out their official membership website here.

In the meantime, best of luck George, Patrick and Robert with all the future shoots and “piloting” the future direction of this series.  I look forward to meeting with you all during my next trip out to beautiful San Diego (no other place we would rather be).   Thanks for the update, George, and the time spent catching up with me.  Until next time…soar high guys!

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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