When one thinks of their favorite films about Vietnam, what aspect normally comes to mind? For most, the answer will probably be the psychological effects that war has on a human being, as they go through training and fight their way through battles, seeing friends and comrades dropping by the thousand beside them. While it has become tradition to form films about Vietnam and even World War II in that manner, films made about the American Civil War tend to be more broad. Unfortunately, the number of them produced in the past has not allowed for such specificity, but that all will be coming to a change in 2013, as an upcoming film set during the 150th anniversary of one of the War’s most pivotal years promises to strike audiences with a vivid and accurate depiction for what war really is—as General William Tecumseh Sherman best described: “hell”.
The film is currently titled 1863, the brainchild of young filmmaker Justin Dombrowski, and is currently in the earliest stages of even pre-production. The project will be independently produced, which the writer and co-producer assures me will guarantee that they get to keep all the scenes and accuracy they have planned. This is something very important to Justin, as you will read below. There are many details about this project that make me very excited, and unfortunately, not all can be made public as of yet, for reasons you can easily understand. I have been in contact with filmmaker, and will be on a regular basis, so as soon as there is any news, you can be sure you will read it here. I also have a copy of the script as well, and have just glanced through it so far. All I can say, without going into too much detail, is that it will prove to be a very pleasant surprise once the full synopsis is made public. It is a project that will intrigue both die-hard Civil War buffs and newcomers to the genre.
Because I plan to write about the progress of this film regularly, I thought it best to start out with an introduction from the film’s writer and co-producer, Justin Dombrowski:
I was born in Erie Pennsylvania, which is coincidentally the home of Brigadier General Strong Vincent who died in Gettysburg. I’ve lived here almost my entire life. Ever since I could remember I had a love for films and anything history. It wasn’t until 1997 when I started to take acting lessons, and around the 6th/7th grade in middle school when I started to experiment in the realm of screenwriting and how films are made. There after my interest and determination took off. I was reading any script I could put my hands on. I was doing as much research on it as possible. I paid exclusive attention in my English classes which eventually also helped me understand important things such as tones, themes, plots, etc. Everything and anything which is instrumental in writing for movies, documentaries and television shows. Several years later now I’ve slowly come into my own. At this time I’m working on several projects (1863 included). I co-wrote and helped furnish a template/script draft for an upcoming pilot episode of ‘American Museum’ which was recently shot in November, in Gettysburg. That program features Erik Dorr, curator of the ‘Gettysburg Museum of History’ and the operations and daily stories of his Museum. It can best be described as American Pickers meets Pawn Stars, with a heavy influence on historical artifacts that will blow your mind. Next I’m involved with a proposed television series called ‘Grey Angel’. I was brought on board as a co-writer for that project and it’s best described as a Supernatural series that involves redemption, love, and the great lengths we go to uncover the greatest mysteries. Besides that I have several other feature films/Independent films in development for the time being.
And now, here is as much information about the production that is allowed to be made public for the time being:
As far as 1863, we’re still in the early ‘rough’ stages. The mere infancy in this films journey. There is no scheduled release date, no scheduled date for Pre-Production and other stages to begin. All of those times will be announced accordingly and properly when the time comes. The film deals with not only the true brutality of the American Civil War, but the psychological ‘warfare’ that each soldier faced. Every detail will be combed over for excruciating detail. From uniforms, equipment, battlefield descriptions, and even locations will be kept as close as possible to what it would have been like. Even though it is not a major blockbuster, there are plenty of details and avenues inside the storyline itself which will not only be a treat to armchair historians/Civil War enthusiasts, but will be hopefully if not one of the most accurate films portraying the year 1863, the most accurate film. Certain actors are being discussed for certain roles, but like everything else, those details are too early to discuss and release at this time.
I would just like to end with the fact that I am very happy to be covering the progress of films such as this. I have offered them my help, in any way possible. While I do not know what future role I may have with the production, I have been assured that there will be plenty for me to do. I look forward to sharing more information with you all as I get it. For now, I hope your appetite is wet enough to hold you over until the next article, which will an interview with Justin.