Monday, December 18, 2006

Horses of Gettysburg and Visit to Leesburg, VA

It has been an exciting year for my documentary film on horses in the civil war, Horses of Gettysburg. Many people thought I was crazy when I proposed this idea years ago. After spending so much time in Gettysburg working on Civil War documentaries I became very interested in the statues and monuments. What really caught my eye were the equestrian statues like General Hancock on horseback or General Lee on Traveller. I thought it would be a great idea to learn about the horses and their role in the Battle of Gettysburg and in the Civil War as a whole. You can buy the film at just about any online retailer and many stores nationwide. You can get it at Amazon or Deepdiscountdvd for instance.

Horses of Gettysburg

Writers Michael Kraus and David Neville penned stories ranging from General Custer vs. J.E.B. Stuart on the East Cavalry Field to the slaughter of the horses in front of the Trostle Barn to general information on the million or so horses involved in the Civil War. And estimated 5000 horses and mules were killed during the battle of Gettysburg alone. The estimates for horses killed or wounded during the war are staggering. There is a beautiful monument in Middleburg, Virginia that honors them.

Monument to the horses who died in the Civil War

I was fortunate enough to visit Middleburg and Leesburg, Virginia in the early summer of 2006. I took this picture of the statue and wished I had used it in this film but did not learn about it until after production had wrapped.

Ronald Maxwell and Mark Bussler in Leesburg, VA

The film is narrated by Ronald F. Maxwell, director of the movies Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, among others. To celebrate the release of the film we had a DVD signing at the Leesburg Bookstore in town. Clips from the film were shown at the Tally Ho Theater down the street followed by a Q&A which I really enjoyed.

Tally Ho Theater

The Tally Ho Theater with an ominous sunset the night before the screening.

Leesburg, Virginia

My wife and I standing on a streetcorner in Leesburg. I like small towns and said that if you can tell the quality of a town by the quality of its sidewalks that Leesburg must be second to none. The residents of Leesburg did not disagree.

Ball's Bluff Tavern

One of my early films, Shot to Pieces, depicted the Battle of Ball's Bluff. So this bar was a fitting place to visit. I'll post some more detail about that film soon.

Leesburg is a beautiful town in Northern Virginia and everyone was very friendly, excited about horses and a lot of fun. I'm glad that we were able to celebrate the DVD release there in the heart of "horse country". Especially considering we were Yankees from Pennsylvania!

Civil War Horses

Horses of Gettysburg groupies! Thank you to everyone in Leesburg and all of those who showed up for the events surrounding the release of our film.

Filming Horses of Gettysburg with Panasonic Varicam

Horses of Gettysburg was filmed in 720p High Definition with the Panasonic Varicam. Editing was done in 1080i High Definition and the dvd was a direct, digital transfer and looks stunning. I'll have more information on the production of the film in a later post.

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the film, two of my favorite review sites in particular enjoyed it.

Thank you Betty Jo Tucker at ReelTalkReviews for your review of the film HERE.

Thank you Nicholas Sheffo and Nate Goss at FulvueDrive-In for your review of the film HERE.

More information on Horses of Gettysburg and my other documentaries will be coming soon so stay tuned. My wife snapped the following shot on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on the way home from Leesburg. Dear PennDot, these are my toll dollars at work.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Route 76 Toll Road Excitement

By the way, May 2nd, 2006 was declared Horses of Gettysburg Day in Pittsburgh!!!

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