Gender Equality and The Military

It’s official – women can now serve in all areas, in all jobs, in the Armed Forces. The ban has been lifted. So what does that actually mean for the men and women who serve in the military?

Since 2013, the military has opened the doors to allow women in combat jobs. However, it was Former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter who put the finishing touch on this process. Carter already knew, and acknowledged, that for many years U.S. women have fought, and sometimes died, during combat posts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(Former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter)
The uplifting of the ban means no matter what the job is – infantry, artillery, sniper – women in the military can be assigned to any of those roles. Even the elite and Special Forces teams, like Navy SEALS and Army Rangers, are open for any military woman to apply.
       (Military men and women compete against each other during mixed martial arts fights)
“As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before. They’ll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said at a news conference in December 2015.

Former President Obama, a long advocate for gender equity, said:

“One of the qualities that makes America’s armed forces the best in the world is that we draw on the talents and skills of our people. When we desegregated our military, it became stronger. In recent years, we ended ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and allowed gay and lesbian Americans to serve openly — and it’s made our military stronger. Over recent decades, we’ve opened about 90 percent of military positions to women who time and again have proven that they, too, are qualified, ready and up to the task. In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, our courageous women in uniform have served with honor, on the front lines — and some have given their very lives.”


Ranger Women

(Captain Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver)

In August 2015, the first women to ever pass the Army’s elite Ranger training were First Lt. Kristen Griest, who has since been promoted to Captain, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver. No special guidelines were instilled to make the grueling training, which included exhausting hikes, horrific weather, simulated combat patrols, sleepless nights, any easier for Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot, and Griest, a military police platoon leader. Both women had to complete the course at the same standards as their male classmates.

The Army Ranger school is designed to build world class military leaders. The course usually has a high dropout rate.  By the end of the 62-day course, which started with 381 men and 19 women, only 94 men and two women completed all the necessary requirements to become Rangers.  What is even more amazing is the fact that Griest and the Haver, who both graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., beat out most of the men for the honor of becoming a Ranger.
“We felt like we were contributing as much as the men, and we felt that they felt that way, too,” Griest said.
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said “It’s clear to all of us that women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission of defending the nation,” Panetta said. “Female service members have faced the reality of combat, proven their willingness to fight and, yes, to die to defend their fellow Americans.”

 
(Griest and Haver with their Ranger badges)

Stats According to the Defense Department date:

  • During a decade’s worth of conflict, more than about 300,000 women were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • More than 9,000 female troops have earned Combat Action Badges.
  • More than 800 female service members have been wounded and at least 161 have died from combat – and noncombat-related incidents.

Cons – The Naysayers

Despite military women’s involvement in combat, there are still haters and naysayers who believe women have no place beside male soldiers.

When the US Special Operations Command surveyed a number of men in the military, 85% stated they opposed women being in combat roles. One solider wrote, “It’s a slap in the face telling us that chicks can do our jobs.”

Here are some of the arguments against women serving in combat roles.
1) Women aren’t strong enough.
2) They are too emotional. With war comes death and many men think women would crack under the strain of combat. “Women are very protective,” a sergeant in the Army’s Special Forces wrote. “They nurture kids. Will a woman return fire and kill a child insurgent fighter?”
3) Menstrual Cycle and PMS are problems.
4) Male infantry soldiers shoot more accurately than women.
5) Men can carry more weight and move more quickly through some tactical maneuvers.
6) Women have higher injury rates than men.
7) Military men tend to take on the “protective” role to a female, which is counterproductive on the battlefield.
8) Women get pregnant. In an article from The Wall Street Journal it stated: “Female soldiers were evacuated at three times the rate of male soldiers – and that 74 per cent of them were evacuated for pregnancy-related issues.
9) They can’t endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations.
10) Women serving alongside men in combat roles will hurt the units’ morale and cohesion.
11) Although men and women can become prisoners of war and are at risk of being raped and tortured, women prisoners are more liked to be sexually abused than men.
12) Men who go by society’s tradition of male/female roles may become resentful of having women in the unit, which could present a problem.
13) Higher number of sexual assaults and rapes of women by the males in their unit.

 

Here’s what the United States President, Donald Trump, said about sexual assault in the military.
“26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?” Trump goes on to say: The Generals and top military brass never wanted a mixer but were forced to do it by very dumb politicians who wanted to be politically C!”

In 2013, even before Trump became Commander-in-Chief, he stated why sexual assault in the military is out of control. He blamed it on “men and women serving together in the armed forces.”

Pros – The Believers

1) Women in combat situations have proven they are physically, mentally, and morally capable of handling pressure under stress.
2) To help reduce injuries for females they can do extra pre-training.
3) Take any women who is an athlete, especially Crossfit women, and they will out do most men physically.
4) Females have wonderful decision making skills, which is useful with the military’s high technology battlefield technical components.
5) Just like with other male dominated positions – firefighters, cops, construction workers – cultures evolve over time. The military will set into plan a way to successfully integrated women into combat units.
6) In the past two wars (Afghanistan, Iraq), females in the military have already been upfront and deeply involved with combat situations, so being in combat roles wouldn’t be such a big stretch.
7) In many circumstances women, who are usually great with communication, are more effective than men, e.g. deescalating a potentially dangerous situation. This skill comes in handy in situations between military units and people in foreign countries, especially during time of war.
8) The Armed Forces have noticed that with women there are fewer disciplinary problems than with males.
8) Being male does not necessary mean he will be a superior solider. Many men aren’t capable of dealing with the physical and mental stresses of military life.

Equality At What Cost?

After looking at the pros and cons of having women in “male-dominated” roles, people who are in the military and civilians, will always take one side or the other. Which do you choose? Should women be allowed to serve in any, and all, jobs in branches of the military?

#ASOPmovie #JillianBullock #TamaraWoods #JohnQuinlan #PTSD #PostTraumaticStressDisorder #SexualAssault #Veterans #LamontFountain

#American #Country #Families #Forces #Freedom #Honor #Job #Life #Love #MemorialDay #Men #Military #News #People #Sacrifice #Service #Today #Veterans #War #Women #World #Years

Independent Movies and Film Festivals

Once a movie is finished being edited and the music and score have been completed most independent filmmakers hit the film festival circuit. This means usually the director or producer submits the film to various festivals in hopes that their movie will get selected. Once it does, the key members attached to the film (director, producers and lead male and female actors) attend the festivals. The goal is to network with other filmmakers and of course, hopes are high for a win. Winning a festival, especially if it’s a big one, e.g. Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, can change a filmmaker’s life. A win normally includes media interviews, exposure to agents and distribution buyers, and in some cases cash awards.

WHAT ARE FILM FESTIVALS?

Film festivals are events or venues that provide an opportunity for filmmakers, especially up-and-coming filmmakers, to get their movies screened in front of an audience and to have their films reviewed by professional critics and distribution companies.
Film festivals are a golden opportunity for filmmakers, but it can be quite expensive. To enter a film into a festival it can cost anywhere between $30 to $100. Most independent filmmakers don’t remember to include these fees in their budget. That means the money for entry fees must be paid out of pocket by the director and/or producer(s). Due to the high fees, a director or producer will be more selective when choosing a film festival to enter their movie into.

For “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives,” Jillian Bullock, writer, director and producer, will enter the film into major film festivals - Sundance, Cannes, and Tribeca, among others – but she will also enter the movie into smaller festivals which are Academy Awards qualifiers.

DISTRIBUTION DEAL

Every independent filmmaker wants his or her movie to get picked up by a distribution company, whether it’s a big studio or a smaller one. With a distribution deal the film can either go into theaters, straight to DVD or to TV with online streaming through channels such as Netflix, Hulu, AmazonPrime. It used to be that filmmakers frowned at the mere thought of getting offered a deal from companies like Netflix, but that has changed in a big way due to the power this company has generated over the past few years. Currently, Netflix has over 16 million paying customers and it’s the world’s leading Internet subscription service for movies and television in the U.S. and Canada. Even A list actors, including Dwayne Johnson, Robert DeNiro, Will Smith, and more, are making lucrative deals on Netflix.
(Will Smith)
(Dwayne Johnson)
(Robert DeNiro)
Most filmmakers want to make a deal with a company who will 1) pay them a fee that will help them recoup the money they put out to make the movie. 2) An advance so they can benefit financially from making the movie. 3) A company who will put in marketing dollars to help promote the film.
It is rare that an independent movie, with no named actors, will garnish millions of dollars upfront fee from a distributor. However, a good sum can be secured if the movie is marketed and promoted properly. For the director and producers this means getting as much press as possible before the movie goes to film festivals. Doing this is called Pedigree.

Pedigree means getting tons of press coverage, interviews, quotes from critics, and awards, if possible. By doing this it says to potential distributors that you have a winning movie.

The road to acquiring a distribution deal for a movie is arduous and not for the weak at heart. It takes time, patience, and a great deal of hard work to secure a deal that benefits the filmmaker and the distribution company.

#independentfilmmakers  #filmmakers #WomenInFilm #FilmFestivals  #FemaleDirectors #Netflix #Hulu #Amazon  #ASOPmovie #JillianBullock #JohnQuinlan #TamaraWoods #LamontFountain #PTSD #SexualAssault #Veteran

Equine Therapy For Veterans With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Problem

The United States Armed Forces currently has a far-reaching epidemic. With the return of active duty members, who are now veterans, the number of these men and women who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which many times includes years of depression and other debilitating psychological issues, continues to be an on-going problem.

The repercussions of veterans serving in the military, whether he or she served in a combat situation or was a victim of sexual assault or rape, or anything in between, the result is the same. PTSD often finds a veteran who has a difficult time adjusting back to a “normal” life. As a result he or she constantly lives with fear, anxiety, anger, nightmares, confusion, startle reflexes, irritability, depression, hyper-vigilance, and hopelessness. When the emotional, and sometimes physical pain, becomes too much to bear veterans often result to taking their own lives.  

 In 2012, the U.S. Army reported that for the first time in history of the United States more soldiers were lost to suicide than to combat.
  
Therapists who treat veterans for PTSD and other mental health issues are always looking for better ways to help their patients. Instead of spending years in therapy session trying to make a breakthrough, many therapists have introduced their patients to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).

Horses For Therapy

(Misty Godfrey, owner of the Bill Picket Riding Academy in Philadelphia, PA)
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is being used more often by therapists to treat the aftermath of what military men and women deal with while serving in the Armed Forces. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs estimates that Post Traumatic Stress affects roughly 300,000 men and women who return from overseas. For the past few years, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy has grown because the results of treating veterans who suffer from PTSD shows great promise.

Almost any kind of pet – dog, cat, rabbit, bird, etc. – helps the owner reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and boost the immune system. But with horses, patients with PTSD show tremendous reduction with their symptoms. Horses are hyper-vigilance and rely heavily on body language. They recognize and react to levels of anger, anxiety, fear, or sadness. This is why veterans learn how to react to their horse with calmness.

 Talk Therapy  


Talk therapy between a mental health professional and patient can take years to produce positive results because the doctor and patient have to establish a connection and form trust between each other. This can take extensive time to do, especially for a veteran who fears being judged or told what to do or made to seem like it’s their fault.

According to Dr. Laurie Sullivan-Sakeada, a Utah based Clinical Psychologist and leading practitioner of EAP, stated “one session of EAP in the barn is equal to five sessions on the couch.” She goes on to say that using horses as therapy tools helps speed up the therapy process.

Although equine therapy is relatively new compared to other forms of therapy for PTSD, doctors are enthusiastic about the positive results they are seeing.

Emotional Healing Power

 
Veterans who participant in equine therapy are required to groom their horses, tack them up, ride, cool them down, feed, water, and clean stalls. This is part of the daily routine that goes into properly caring for a horse. These interactions help veterans bond with their horse and at the same time gain confidence, build emotional growth, and learn about themselves.

Veterans also learn to be vulnerable with their horse and let their guard down knowing they won’t be judged or feel pressure. In fact, through horse therapy veterans gain confidence by learning how to master horsemanship skills. They also learn how to communicate, sometimes non-verbally, with their horse and achieve harmony and a sense of relaxation, which helps veterans control their rage, anger, agitation, and aggressiveness. Instead, the gentle and loving way veterans care for their horse leads to cooperativeness and behavioral control, along with developing the skills to express themselves better and with more patience. This translates to a deeper relationship with veterans’ loves ones, especially their spouse and children.
 
(Actor Tamara Woods feeds a carrot to a horse in one scene)
In “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives” Sgt. Diane Torres (actor Tamara Woods) suffers from PTSD as a result of being raped by her commanding officer, Captain Jake Nixon. Later, she finds out she is pregnant and she has a difficult time deciding whether she should keep the baby or abort it. Having PTSD Diane sinks into a major depression and becomes unhinged and violent at times. It is through therapy with horses, or Equine Therapy, that helps Diane cope with the horrible experience she endured in the Army. She eventually comes to terms with what happened to her and decides to keep the baby.  
(On the left, Misty Godfrey, was the horse stunt double for actor Tamara Woods, (center) who was eight months pregnant at the time of this scene. On the right, Jillian Bullock, director, writer and producer)
 

Finding Peace In The Saddle

For veterans who struggle with PTSD or depression horse therapy may be the answer to helping them find peace and cope with their daily life. For those interested search for a local therapeutic riding center in your area. Be mindful to check to make sure the staff is accredited by a national organization.

Check out Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and http://www.operationwearehere.com/EquineTherapy.html for more details and information.  

#ASOPmovie #JillianBullock #JohnQuinlan #LamontFountain #TamaraWoods #PTSD #SexualAssault #Veterans

Difficult Scenes To Direct In Movies

 


(Director of Photography Lamont Fountain and Director Jillian Bullock) 

Award winning filmmaker Jillian Bullock has worked on her own and other filmmakers’ movies as a director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and fight choreographer. Sometimes she has worn all these titles at the same time. Each hat she wore took on its own unique challenge, but for her as a director she has learned over the years that some scenes are much more difficult to direct than others. Here are Jillian’s top four choices.  

Rape Scenes

Jillian has said that directing any type of brutally violent scene, whether it’s rape or torture, is the most difficult for her. A Sense Of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives #ASOPmovie #veterans #military #PTSD #militarysexualtrauma #suicide # honor #respect #ASOPtour #jillianbullock#tamarawoods #lamontfountain #johnquinlan 
In “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives” the movie deals with not only with the rape of a female Army Sergeant, but it also sheds light on men who are raped or sexually assaulted in the military.
 
(Actor Kerwin Gonzalez)
According to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day. Every four hours a sexual assault or rape is reported in the United States Military. A military survey indicated that there were 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact in one year; More than have of the victims are men.

 
(Actor Kerwin Gonzalez)
The aftermath of military sexual assault can include post-traumatic disorder, substance abuse and homelessness:
Half of military veterans suffer from mental illness; two-thirds suffer from substance abuse problems; and many from dual diagnosis, which is defined as a person struggling with both mental illness and a substance abuse problem.
(Actor Kerwin Gonzalez)

57,849 veterans are homeless on a single given night.

Directing a rape scene is difficult because it’s such a sensitive subject. To make it look real the actor who is portraying the rapist must come off as a despicable asshole to the audience even if he is a nice person in real life. In “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives,” John Quinlan portrays Captain Nixon who rapes Sgt. Diane Torres, played by Tamara Woods. John was naked during the scene and Jillian stepped in to be the body double as the rape victim since Tamara was about eight months pregnant at the time. The other men in the scene, actors David Bazemore, Ben Yon and Nicholas Mangino, who portrayed military men and buddies of Captain Nixon, were also involved in the sexual assault. As the men groped Jillian’s breasts and body and John simulated the rape, it was not only difficult for Jillian to be lying on her back getting “raped” but to direct from that awkward position.  

Love Scenes

Love scenes can be some of the most difficult to shoot for a number of reasons. From a passionate kiss to a full out love making scene when actors are naked, basically two strangers must appear to be in love or in lust with one another. Sometimes, like on the movie “An Officer and A Gentlemen” where actors Richard Gere and Debra Winger hated each other, it makes the director’s job so much more challenging. Between the arguments and screaming matches, it’s almost impossible to get two actors to look like they are in love on film. But a great director knows how to bring out the best in actors, even when they hate each other.  
On some sets, like “The Notebook,” you have two actors, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, who get along so well they end up getting together sexually and having a relationship in real life, at least for the duration of the movie, sometimes even afterwards. Their chemistry during intimate scenes come across the screen so real because off screen it is real. Then you have actors who are just damn fine actors. They work together seamlessly to make sure the audience believes their lovemaking scenes, but afterwards when the director calls cut, both actors retreat to their dressing rooms, and that’s the end of it. No matter what scenario love scenes take on, directors always have a closed set to respect the privacy of the actors. This means only the most essential crew members are on set, e.g. the director, assistant director, director of photography, sound person, lighting person, script supervisor.    
On the set of “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives,” John Quinlan and Jillian Bullock had already established a relationship as friends so they didn’t feel weird doing their intimate scenes. Jillian portrays Jessica Winters, the ex-wife of John’s character, Captain Jake Nixon. As their characters rekindled their love for each other they had to do kissing and intimate scenes.
Jillian noted: “In all the kissing scenes with John, he kept messing up.  We had to do take after take after take.” John said: “What can I say, Jillian’s a great kisser.”
 
 If actors can get to know each other and build chemistry before they have to shoot love scenes it helps makes their lives and the director’s life much more comfortable. Since Jillian was the director it was a smooth shoot with John because they knew each other for five years prior to beginning work on the film. They had already established a connection which helped make filming their love scenes a breeze.  

Fight Scenes/Action Scenes

Directing fight scenes are challenging because actors must look like they are hitting each other either with a punch, kick, or an object. Even with careful rehearsing and step-by-step choreography actors often get injured on set.  With a fight scene one actor may throw a punch and the receiving actor may bob when he should weave and then the punch connects to the actor’s face. Or a kick from an actor can land a bit too hard to the body of the other actor involved and ribs are broken. With action scenes the same rule applies. During explosions on set, car crashes, buildings falling, etc. actors can be injured. Although stunt men and women are used to ensure the actors don’t get injured, often times many actors want to perform their own stunts. Think Tom Cruise in all of his movies. Any director would be horrified if any of his or her actors were injured during filming. Not only do you want your actors to be safe, but injury could halt production of the movie, especially if it’s the lead actor, and depending upon how severe the injury is. Jillian said it is always a stressful day her as a director when fight/action scenes are filmed.  
(Actors Michael Pleasant and John Quinlan) 

(Actors Sara Osi Scott, Joe Hunter and Tamara Woods) 

Since Tamara was about six months pregnant at this time, Jillian had to be extra careful  how she choreographed the scene to ensure Tamara’s and the baby’s safety. However, Joe did take a hard elbow to the chin from Sara during rehearsal. He took it like a man.
(Actor Robert Murray and Tamara Woods rehearse fight scene as Jillian, in orange shirt, looks on) 

During filming of “A Sense of Purpose” there were a few fight scenes, which were choreographed by Jillian Bullock. Using her extensive background as a martial artist and boxer, Jillian has choreographed fight scenes in other movies as well.  

Crying Scenes

In movies you often see actors cry. However, some actors can’t pull it off and then you have what’s called in the movie business – dry eye crying. This means the actor has no tears coming out of his or her eyes.  It is not a good look on film. To be a pro at crying and how to put off all the emotional essence behind such a dramatic scene look no further than actor Viola Davis. If any actor truly wants to learn from the master on how to bring a heart stopping crying scene to film, she is the woman to study.

 
(Viola Davis) 

In “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives” there were a number of crying scenes. Being new to acting John had a difficult time bringing tears during a scene he shared with his wife, portrayed by Jillian. Directing John, Jillian explained to him what “method acting” is, which means to dig deep down inside yourself and think of a very painful memory in your past. Use that pain to bring forth tears. After several takes, John was able to conjure up the tears needed to make the scene believable. However, crying, especially when the actor has to do multiple takes is draining on him or her. With professional actors, they can turn on and off tears like a switch. But this takes years of practice or studying with an acting coach. It isn’t something most actors can do right off. In the end, the scene with John and Jillian came off wonderfully. 
(Actors Jillian Bullock and John Quinlan share a tender moment) 

 

Most people don’t realize how challenging and hard acting is. Actors transform themselves to portray characters, who in most cases, are nothing like them in real life. The true test of any actor is to make his or her character so believable that audiences become engrossed in the movie, play or TV show and forget it’s all just “acting.”   

#JillianBullock #ASOPmovie #JohnQuinlan #TamaraWoods #LamontFountain #JoeHunter #PTSD #FilmMaking #Veterans #Military #Films #Movies

What Goes Into Making A Feature Film

 
 A Sense Of Purpose Movie Poster, #ASOPmovie 

Practically every day someone asks Jillian Bullock “When will the movie (A Sense of Purpose: Fighting For Our Lives) be available for the public to see?” People who are not filmmakers ask this question because they have no insight into how movies are made. Whether it’s a big budget movie like “Captain America” or an independent film like “Moonlight,” the process is similar. Depending on the movie it can take from two to ten years to get it made and into theaters. Here is Jillian's take on how the process usually works based on independent films.

 DEVELOPMENT

When a screenwriter, who is oftentimes the director, has an idea for a movie, development begins. The writer will craft the script. Depending on the subject matter, like “A Sense of Purpose,” which deals with veterans, military sexual assault and PTSD, it can take years to complete due to the research that must be done to ensure accuracy. Since it is an independent film, which means the movie can be produced for $10,000 up to a few million, the screenwriter and/or director usually tries to keep the locations minimal as well as the special effects. If the budget is ultra-low (less than $100,000) the director will also usually stay away from period pieces, musicals, or working with animals or children. The decision to do the movie as a non-union or union project also affects the script. Working with the union, Screen Actors Guild, means the filmmaker must secure a bigger budget. Next comes hiring key people, or what it’s called in the film business – above the line people - individuals who have tremendous influence and add to the creative direction and process of the movie. A few of these roles include the screenwriter(s), producer(s), director, casting director, and principal actors.

PRE-PRODUCTION
(Front row – Producer Delayne Powe, Director, Writer, Producer Jillian Bullock, Lead Female Actor Tamara Woods. Back row - DP/Editor/Producer Lamont Fountain, Executive Producer/Actor Joe Hunter, Lead Male Actor John Quinlan)

  Pre-production is bringing people together – screenwriter, director, producers, executive producer, line producer, production manager, and more. Auditions for actors and interviews for cast, scouting and securing locations. Going after money for production. This can be done in several ways. For independent filmmakers that usually entails doing a crowdfund raising campaign, e.g. Indiegogo, fundraisers and/or seeking investors. After auditions for cast, the director must finalize the complete cast list, hire crew members, and have the script  broken down, so he knows what the budget should be, how many scenes there are along with how many locations, what make-up and wardrobe will be needed, what kind of props, cars, equipment will be needed, and much more. The shooting schedule will be completed so all involved know when he or she is required on set, the actors know what scenes they’re in, the head crew people, like the director of photography, will meet with the crew who works under them. The unit production manager handles the production budget and the production schedule. Many times the director will want the script storyboarded, but not always. Storyboarding – the script is illustrated, especially fight scenes, action scenes, car chase scenes or any difficult scenes. This visualization helps production run smoother. All contracts with cast and crew are completed at this time. Rehearsals begins for actors.  

PRODUCTION

Independent filmmakers try to get a movie done in thirty days or less. For production on A Sense of Purpose, it took little over a year. Part of the reason for this was money fell through and the script had to be re-written for a smaller cast, less locations. Since most of the cast and crew worked day jobs to pay their bills and feed their families, filming took place normally on weekends. Plus, the lead female actor, Tamara Woods, became pregnant two months into production. Instead of trying to work around her pregnancy,  Jillian rewrote part of the script to include her pregnancy in the storyline.


(Jillian, in black hat, directing a scene)

( Cast and crew look on at one scene)

 
(Lead female actor, Tamara Woods, two months pregnant, along with DP Lamont Fountain do a scene in 90 degree weather)

(Actors Sara Osi Smith, Joe Hunter and Tamara Woods filming fight scene)

(Actors Michael Pleasant and John Quinlan filming fight scene)

(Cast and Crew on break)

(Director Jillian Bullock, also acted in the film as Jessica Winters, the wife of Captain Jake Nixon, portrayed by actor John Quinlan)

(Award winning Director of Photography Lamont Fountain and Award winning Director Jillian Bullock work as a team)


  POST PRODUCTION

 On an independent movie the film editor, who usually still works a 9-to-5 job, has this restriction that is her biggest obstacle. This determines how long it will take to get the film completed. If there is post production money allotted for an editor to not work a job, but to focus entirely on editing, that’s ideal. Promotion should be done during production, but it kicks into high gear in post in order to prepare the movie to start hitting film festivals. Of course every filmmaker would love for his movie to hit the bigger festivals, like Sundance and Cannes. However, it is difficult to be selected for these major festivals because thousands of entries from around the world are submitted. Independent filmmakers usually enter their movie into small film festivals and if the film wins that makes it easier to get selected at the major festivals.    

DISTRIBUTION  

Independent filmmakers normally do the festival route when their film is completed. This could go on for a year to two years after post-production. Winning at festivals helps to secure a distribution deal, which could be with a major company, like Sony or Lions Gate, to place the movie in theaters or on TV with companies like Amazon, HBO or Netflix. It is the ultimate goal of any filmmaker to get a distribution deal so they can move on to the next project. This is just a small glimpse into how a film goes from an idea to completion and why the process is so long. Film making isn't for the weak at heart. It is a long and arduous process, but a very rewarding one when millions of people see the end result of a filmmaker's movie on the big screen or on TV.


#JillianBullock #ASOPmovie #JohnQuinlan #TamaraWoods #LamontFountain #JoeHunter #PTSD #FilmMaking #Veterans #Military #Films #Movies    

Combat Veterans and War

When a man or woman returns home from serving in the Armed Forces family, friends, co-workers, and associates are overcome with joy. They open their arms with smiles, deep hugs, and sometimes parades in their city to show their appreciation for the veterans’ service. However, no one can understand what goes on in the mind of someone who has been to war in a foreign land except someone else who has been through it. This is where the problems begins.

The emotional and psychological process veterans go through to assimilate back into society is difficult for many reasons. They are asked by society to transition from a high-stress combat war zone to a quiet and peaceful home environment. That is difficult to do especially for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. People, even loved ones with good intentions, have absolutely no idea what that solider goes through when they are in a foreign land and they must constantly deal with the threat of death each and every day. In addition, soldiers are required to kill for a living. That is their job. They are exposed to terrible horrors and many times they see things and must do things that challenge their values, their morals, and their faith. This can cause many veterans to come home with guilt and shame.
Every Soldier Who Goes To War Comes Home Changed
The experiences combat veterans have will forever alter their lives and change how they view the world.
Here are some of the things combat veterans must deal with when they return home:
1) Anger and Trauma
Combat veterans who return home from war often experience post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of trauma. Part of PTSD is anger and veterans use it as a survival skill to cope with life’s stresses. However, that’s not a good thing when anger turns into rage, which results in a veteran getting into bar fights or slapping his wife around.
When soldiers come home and they have flashbacks, nightmares, sleep deprivation this is what psychologists say is a “connection to post-service anger and hostility.” In many cases, anger is the only way a combat vet can deal with the deep emotions of war.  Anger is used as a form of control and when a soldier comes home he is no longer in control. He lashes out because he feels powerlessness and alone at the same time.
Many veterans are angry because they feel guilty. They survived when so many of their friends didn’t. They experienced lost and they grieve. Soldiers must also come to terms with the fact that as must as they hated war they would go back in a heartbeat because that’s where they feel most comfortable, most alive.
2) Feeling Alienated
One of the reasons why the suicide rate is so high for veterans is the feeling of alienation. You have combat soldiers who are used to being wired for action and enormous amounts of adrenaline. That’s their life day in and day out for years. Once they’re no longer in the military they don’t know what to do with themselves when the adrenaline and being on edge all the time is no more. This is something so ingrained in them now that leading what society considers a normal life in the suburbs and working a 9 to 5 job is utterly mundane to them, which leads to depression.
Also, many veterans, who are combat soldiers, come back from war and they feel that no one understands them and what they have been through. They are expected to forget all that happened to them and just get on with life. In order to keep their anger in check, they will isolate themselves and live in the basement or the attic, or become homeless. They do this not to protect themselves but to protect their loved ones, friends, co-workers, and society. However, this alienation doesn’t go over well with family, especially a spouse and children.
Alienation means a veteran often pushes away the ones he doesn’t want to hurt, like his spouse. He still loves her, but things are different now. After being deployed numerous times and being away from home for a year or more, not only has he changed, but his wife has too. The veteran’s spouse may say, “Don’t you love me anymore? Why don’t you talk to me? “We haven’t had sex since you returned.” This emotional break is what causes many military marriages to dissolve.
“One of the problems is that if they’ve (veterans) been away from their families, especially if they’ve been away for a year, that’s a long time for a family. The children change immensely in the space of a year. So when they come back to their families, their families are going to be different. … They will have expectations about what their families are going to be like. Their families have expectations about what they’re going to be like. And the one thing that is absolutely true about all of those expectations is all of them are going to be wrong. They’re going to have to make some adjustments in order to match their expectations with the realities of the situation,” stated Thomas Burke, Director of Mental Health Policy, U.S. Dept. of Defense.
3) Loss of Family
The loss for combat soldiers isn’t their biological family, but their military family. When a military unit spends 24 hours a day, seven days a week together and they deal with some pretty intense experiences together, like road bombs, mortars exploding, surprise attacks, they become extremely close, like a family. The bond they create is actually tighter than their family because they understand each other and they’re dependent on each other. Their experiences together are unique to them, so they all can relate. These guys love each other and when one is hurt or killed it’s as if a family member has died. The bottom line – they eat, sleep, shit, laugh, cry, and kill together. You can’t get closer than that.
When combat veterans come home they are welcomed back into their biological family, but that’s often not comforting to them because their other family, the brotherhood, is now gone.
4) Emotionally Numb
A soldier who goes into the military and learns how to kill for a living is bound to change. In combat, the once joyful, funny guy or the sweet, sensitive guy has to learn how to shut off his emotions in order to do his job well. These emotions get in the way of survival and don’t serve him well. Therefore, those emotions must be shut down. Instead, they must transform into a ruthless, cold-hearted person, which can be profoundly jarring to families, spouses, children, and friends when a soldier comes home. This is not to say that soldiers will always be this way, but it will take time, and maybe therapy, for veterans to learn how to “feel” again.
Jonathan Shay, Psychiatrist and author, “Odysseus in America,” stated “There is one aspect of it [returning veterans from Iraq] that I think that [many] administrators may have trouble wrapping their minds around. And that is that the wave of veterans needing mental health services may not hit as soon as they think it’s going to hit, because veterans come home proud and they come home angry. So someone says to them, “How you doing? You need any help with what you did over there or saw over there?” the response is likely to be “Well, I’m fine, and what’s your problem?” Now that’s a proud response, but it’s kind of self-destructive.

How Can Soldiers Be Prepared To Return Home?
The U.S. military does have pre-deployment care for homecoming soldiers and their families to help them get ready to transform into civilian life. Many organizations cater to veterans and  provide mental health care, education, job training, etc.
Veterans and their loved ones, especially spouses, need to keep the lines of communication open. Family members need to be mindful that veterans need a strong support system in order to heal. Although redeployment will not be seamless, it can work.

**Note, it is acknowledged that women are also in combat areas during war. However, this article focuses on male soldiers because they are the ones usually doing the fighting.

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