Andrew Amaral Faria conducted an interview of us and our film, “Soldiers of Paint“, for his paintball magazine, GRIP. The article and feature on the film is available now. Check it out here. Our spread starts on page 24. You may also be interested in the spread just before ours, which features additional photos of this lovely gal pictured here, dressed in an assortment of paintball garb.
I finished watching Soldiers of Paint and I’ve never been so into a documentary film all of the way through. Soldiers of Paint takes a historical and emotionally charged event and turns it into something that anyone can get involved in. This movie films the world’s largest paintball game and the creators of the event attempt to recreate “D-Day” down to the exact detail. Here is the catch, even though it is a recreation, anyone can win. People travel from all around the world to be apart of this game and I’m certain I will be doing this very soon as well. Watching this documentary made me forget I was watching a movie. I really felt like I was there with the folks! With my typical four star rating I give “Soldiers of Paint” a 3.5 out of 4 stars. Good job guys! Check out the film at http://www.soldiersofpaint.com
“The Made in USA Guy”
Paintball fans are not the only audiences who can enjoy the documentary Soldiers of Paint – “A Film About the World’s Ultimate Paintball Game.” Directors and writers Michael DeChant and Doug Gritzmacher and their crew create an intriguing, action-packed experience five years in the making.
Anyone can enjoy the Double Six Productions-produced the Soldiers of Paint, a documentary from 136 hours of total shooting at the famous annual World War II “D-Day” paintball re-enactment event (the “world’s largest”) in Wyandotte, Oklahoma.
Directors and writers Michael DeChant and Doug Gritzmacher and their crew create an intriguing, action-packed experience five years in the making.
Audiences get several personal accounts following a chronological timeline with special focus on event organizer Dewayne Convers, the grandson of a veteran of Omaha Beach. His strong feelings of history, military honor, and genuine care for the participants really shine through. Logistical challenges of the paintball event combine with the trials of hosting thousands of people from around the country and the world. Convers leads the annual meeting, which really kicks off the behind-the-scenes aspects of the events including some intriguing strategy, spying, and other tactics on both sides (Axis and Allies)
The filmmakers do a great job depicting every aspect of these events, especially personal accounts from the thousands of participants including the international participants.
Read the full review here.
Did anyone catch us on last night’s “Behind the Bunker” show? We (“Soldiers of Paint” filmmakers) were interviewed live. If you missed it, you can get it above. Start at 19:35.
Next week, the show’s hosts will be giving away a free DVD of “Soldiers of Paint”. Tune in!
Hey paintball fans – did you check out the new show from “Behind the Bunker” last night?
Check it out and keep your eyes out for a great video from our friend Eric Engler of Engler Custom Paintball Guns!
They also screened the “Soldiers of Paint” official trailer at the end of the show!! We’re going to do a live interview with the show’s host Todd Ancich in the next couple weeks too – stay tuned for details!!
Mike’s alma mater, Loyola University, published an interview with Mike in their latest alumni magazine. Check out the article and find out what inspired us to make “Soldiers of Paint” and how we got it made.
Here is a sampling:
How does Soldiers of Paint stand out as a documentary? What makes it so different?
It was important to us to make a documentary that was unlike anything else out there. We had a good feeling that the intense battle action of 5,000 paintball warriors storming an 800-acre field was going to be great material for a movie, but we also knew we needed interesting “characters” and a compelling story. We also wanted to deliver the highest production value that we could obtain while working with a tight budget.
We were inspired by great documentaries that tell compelling stories about interesting little-known events and communities, like Murderball, American Movie, and King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters.
With the final product we feel we achieved all of that: We were fortunate to document the closest battle in the history of the event (it comes down to a nail-biting finish—no spoilers here though!). We were also fortunate to meet and work with a truly fascinating cast of “characters” who make this event happen every year. These everyday people (who come from all over the world) make up this tight knit OK D-Day community—a community that we think audiences of all types will find funny, engaging, and perhaps inspirational.
We also have a highly polished product: We filmed in HD, mixed the audio in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround sound, created high quality graphics and map animations, and—with the help of our music supervisor, Devon Leger—assembled a fantastic selection of music for the soundtrack.
What is the audience for this piece?
OK D-Day is considered the Super Bowl of scenario paintball, so naturally we were interested in making this movie for the fans of paintball. But we also wanted to make a movie that fans of film would enjoy. We were inspired by great documentaries that tell compelling stories about interesting little-known events and communities, like Murderball, American Movie, and King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters.
We were also hopeful that since the event deals with themes like World War II and honoring veterans of all wars that the film would appeal to history buffs, military service members, and fans of war movies like Saving Private Ryan.
It is hard to believe that it was 15 years ago this summer that Steven Spielberg presented us with arguably the greatest war movie ever made with “Saving Private Ryan”.
I recently came across this Indiewire blog post that features some scenes from a documentary about the making of the movie and the original review by “Siskel & Ebert”. Watching these videos reminds me of how important “Saving Private Ryan” is as not just a movie but also as a historical document that graphically depicts the horrors of war and forces us to not forget the enormous sacrifice that these every day “Joes” made to stop Hitler’s brutal advance through Europe.
Yes it is a Hollywood blockbuster that blends fact and fiction but in the deft hands of Spielberg, he transports the audience directly to the chaos and carnage of D-Day. No one who has seen the movie will forget the breathtaking intensity of the first 25 minutes that starts when the landing craft door drops onto Omaha beach. It is this opening scene that helped to inspire me to become a filmmaker. This scene (and movie) also inspired Doug and me to create “Soldiers of Paint”.
It is this opening scene that helped to inspire me to become a filmmaker. This scene (and movie) also inspired Doug and me to create “Soldiers of Paint”.
When we first learned about Oklahoma D-Day, we didn’t know what to expect. It sounded on the surface like it was just a really big paintball battle out in Oklahoma. But when Doug and I first arrived in Wyandotte back in 2007 – we realized it was much more than just a game. Yes, thousands of dedicated paintball players come from around the world to play in this “Superbowl” of scenario paintball. Yes, the players take winning very seriously (perhaps a bit too much at times). And there’s no doubt the main reason that these players take their vacation time to play in this event is to simply have some fun.
Yet after meeting the event owner, Dewayne Convirs, and talking to some of the players we realized the significance that comes with the fact that this event is based on the invasion of Normandy. Indeed, it was the greatest invasion force in modern history and understandable that a paintball game of this scale would use D-Day as a scenario.
But upon learning that Dewayne’s grandfather landed on the actual Omaha beach 69 years ago and that Dewayne held the very first OK D-Day event in 1996 to honor his grandfather’s service in WWII – we knew that this event was also very much about history and remembrance.
Dewayne held the very first OK D-Day event in 1996 to honor his grandfather, who landed on the actual Omaha beach 69 years ago.
Dewayne takes a lot of pride in permitting children and young teenagers to play at OK D-Day. Of course he wants them to be safe, have fun, and learn to play with honor. But the greater vision he has achieved is that these young people are learning about history and sacrifice as they play.
Instead of reading about Pegasus Bridge in their history books, they are actually taking part in trying to take the bridge themselves. Of course this is only a game and the players are thankfully firing paint instead of bullets – but to a person we talked with – all come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for what those brave men faced in Europe back in 1944.
Like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Soldiers of Paint” is a movie that is meant to entertain. We were inspired by the amazing battle sequences and wanted to depict the intense paintball battle action of OK D-Day in a similar way. But the success of “Saving Private Ryan” is not due solely to the unprecedented “inside the action” cinematography.
Spielberg succeeds by giving his story a heart and soul with the touching, yet seemingly misguided mission to rescue Pvt. Ryan. He challenges us as an audience to ponder the value of one individual life. As storytellers, we knew that our movie would not be a success if we didn’t have a similar heart and soul.
We found this through documenting the story of Dewayne and his resolute dedication to honor his grandfather and the sacrifice of all veterans. It was a story that we knew was relevant and important to tell and we’re happy to have had the opportunity.
Co-Director, “Soldiers of Paint”
Just got a shipment of our first box today. Don’t they look nice?
The countdown begins. It’s just a matter of days before you’ll be able to buy the official “Soldiers of Paint” DVD or digital download.
Come see “Soldiers of Paint” on the big screen at the Annapolis Film Festival this Saturday!
Saturday, March 23, 10:30 am, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Main Auditorium. Buy tickets from the link above.
Doug and Mike will be in attendance for a Q&A session after the screening.
Hope to see you there!