A Message from the Director
‘Their War’ is a story I have wanted to tell for a long time. I have had an interest and fascination with both the First and Second World Wars since school. The horrors that these brave men and women showed in the face of it is something not to be trivialised and certainly not something to be forgotten by either side.
There have been countless war films made about both World Wars, some of them more general, some specifically to do with a certain group or part of the war. Our film tells the story of two soldiers during the First World War, one English, one German. It follows the two men as they leave their families behind and set off for the front.
The human and personal side of war is something I have always wanted to explore. All that separates these men is language and a few hundred yards of mud. Put this aside and you are left with two men who are fighting for the same reasons, two men who both have families back home and, ultimately, two equals.
They say filmmaking is a ‘collaborative effort’, perhaps in my naivety it wasn’t until embarking on this project that I realised quite what that statement meant. Every single cast and crew member who came onboard was totally committed to the story and the point we were trying to get across. Originally slated to begin filming in March 2018, we awoke in our accommodation on the first morning of the shoot to find two feet of snow blocking our path. We battled hard to get to the location and, after a jack-knifed generator, flat tyres and an equipment van stuck in a snow drift, I had to bite the bullet and cancel the shoot. Forty people had to pack up and go home before we’d even unpacked the cameras.
All was not lost.
Little more than a month later we were given an opportunity to go again, made possible by the generosity of a number of people. Following the train wreck of our first attempt, the crew had reason to be sceptical about coming back, but when I rang, they didn’t hesitate and headed straight back up.
It’s no small feat to pull together a Short Film of any kind, certainly one of this scale and magnitude. The cast and crew are the reason it was possible, through their generosity, flexibility and professionalism.
It is easy to sit here writing this and talk of our achievements. All we can do is wait for the film to hopefully speak for itself. In the end, the reason any film is made is to entertain, to create an emotional response and to cause people to think.
I very much hope this is the case.