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My Dad (USN) shot this beautiful color Kodachrome 16mm film footage before, during and after VJ Day, August 14, 1945, in Hawaii.

My Dad’s rude introduction to WWII took place on the morning of December 7, 1941 when, eight minutes before enemy bombs rained down on Pearl Harbor, he was literally bombed out of his bunk at Oahu’s Kaneohe Naval Air Station by Japanese fighter planes.

Following the passing of my Mom and Dad I came into possession of this spectacular 1945 film footage of VJ Day celebrations in Honolulu. Coincidentally the global economy tanked the same year. My initial efforts at conserving the footage and the producing my intended documentary of VJ Day and its consequences, “The Bravest Generation” were impeded by the scarcity of funding. Efforts at winning financial backing from traditional sources like institutions and corporate entities to pursue preservation and documentary production were negatively influenced by overall economic conditions.

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But with the advent of Kickstarter, an entirely democratic method emerged independent of previous, difficult-to-access avenues allowing hundreds of people like me to bring their creative dream projects to reality.

An initial digital scan on the footage was performed in 2009, and the result can be seen here in the trailer. Since then, film scanning technology has advanced exponentially, as has also the software technology for the masking/removing of dirt, scratches and other flaws on the film without altering or degrading the original images.

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The trailer for The Bravest Generation has proven hugely popular. It has attained 4.7 million views on Vimeo.com. Since we as individuals are unfettered by the red tape, conditions and vagaries that bind institutions, and we emotionally respond to the events captured in this footage in a visceral manner, it made sense to appeal to Kickstarter’s population of film lovers, history devotees, veterans, patriotic citizens, preservationists, and even classic automobile buffs to complete this film.

Three Goals For The Use Of Funding

There are three goals to which the money will be put:
First, the preservation of the physical celluloid film material itself.
Second, the digital preservation of this film via 4K HD Digital scanning and image restoration.
Third, the editing of this footage into a film that tells the story of the day that WWII ended, and the collective realization and euphoria that those in Hawaii who had survived the war and the bombing by Japan, military and civilians alike, would go on to have a future.

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Kodachrome

No commercial color movie film medium other than Kodachrome has survived deterioration for three quarters of a century. My footage, save for easily-remedied color fading and color shift (the trailer has been color corrected using 2009 technology), is virtually unchanged after 68 years. Germany’s Agfachrome movie film from the 1930s −1940s, for example, was inferior to Kodachrome from the get-go, with present-day surviving Agfa motion picture and photographic color slide film from that era having shifted dramatically in overall color tint toward green. Even Adolph Hitler turned his back on Agfachrome, preferring instead Kodak’s products to document his rule. Today’s surviving Nazi-era color films were virtually all shot on Kodak’s Kodachrome film.

Properly stored Kodachrome, like the footage my Dad shot, has survived amazingly well, but it is ultimately beginning to show its age. Common Kodachrome problems due to the passage of time and less-than-ideal storage conditions are often seen as a shift in overall color toward red, and the crackling of the emulsion in a spider-web-like pattern similar to that seen in the glazes on antique pottery, which dulls the overall moving image and allows mildew and emulsion loss to take hold.

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Before natural conditions caused by time’s passing can diminish this unique record of the euphoria of VJ Day and the wrapping-up of the military’s wartime role, this footage deserves and requires the best quality digital scanning, dirt & scratch removal, and color balancing to return it as close to possible to its original 1945 state.

What’s on this footage?

When you watch the trailer you will see a good sampling of what is in this film footage, but there is much more not seen in the trailer, including the VJ Day parade down Beretania Street to downtown Honolulu, with its very strong presence of female military marching columns, and dramatic flyovers of the parade route by military aircraft, as well as the return of the Pacific Fleet to Pearl Harbor as the ships and planes pass the hordes of Hawaii citizens who crowded cliff tops among their parked vintage cars to gain a good vantage point, and interesting footage of enlisted men and women enjoying R&R; sightseeing and playing at beaches, waterfalls and city sites,

What is The Bravest Generation About?

Interweaving remembrances of veterans and civilians in letters written soon after VJ Day describing in their own words the joyous mood, the mischief, the relief, the sacrifices, their future plans and the gratitude of those who brought the US to victory, the story is about what happened commencing from the moment the news was received, proceeding through the weeks following as soldiers and sailors prepared to go home and resume civilian life.

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The Music

The public domain music track added to this trailer was obtained from the US Library of Congress, which provides a valued and economical source for pertinent period music and wartime radio news broadcasts.

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Preview Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai at this link:

http://www.discoveringhawaii.com/Browse_Driving_%26_Discovering_Maui_and_Molokai,_The_Award_Winning_Hawaii_Guidebook.html

Driving & Discovering Oahu, "best Hawaii Guidebook", American Airlines and the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau

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Preview Driving & Discovering Oahu at this link:

http://www.discoveringhawaii.com/Browse_Driving_%26_Discovering_Oahu,_The_Hawaii_Conventions_Bureau_Award_Winning_Hawaii_Guidebook.html

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I foresee little that might delay this project or present challenges. I have been collecting personal accounts from participants for years in anticipation of completing The Bravest Generation.

How will the money be spent?

— professional conservation of the original footage
— digital scanning at 4K, dust, dirt and scratch removal, color restoration
— production costs related to assemble the footage into the intended to answer the story’s question of What Happens Immediately After Victory Is Achieved?, a subject that has not previously been explored in depth.
— costs related to entering the finished motion picture in film festivals
— rewards. Producing DVDs and other rewards consumes a significant percentage of the budget.
The goal date for completion of this project is August 2014, the 69th anniversary of VJ Day. Delays being a normal part of the film-making process, it’s important that backers of this project understand that I will see this project through to completion as close to the finish date of August 14, 2014, if not before. Regardless of any challenges, I will work tirelessly to keep on schedule.
Any funds over the goal amount will be devoted to frame-by-frame manual restoration for those more severe anomalies that software cannot remedy.

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    Your willingness to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, your blog or elsewhere online would be a significant gesture toward the end goal of bringing The Bravest Generation to the screen. Your contribution will be acknowledged by email with a digital postcard.

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    A Thank you email + signed printed postcard from filmmaker Richard Sullivan + download pdf map of Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s famous Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed locales seen in classic TV shows and hit movies.

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    Thank you email + signed postcard + free download of finished film The Bravest Generation + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Signed postcard + free download of finished film + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you may be on island. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii guidebook + signed postcard + free download of finished film + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Special thanks in a rolling credit at end of film + DVD of The Bravest Generation + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii guidebook + signed postcard + free download of finished film + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014. International fee covers shipping for both book (August 2013) AND DVD (Apx. August 2014)

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    Personal invitation to the first private or public showing (travel expenses not included) + special thanks rolling credit end of film + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan's award-winning Driving & Discovering Oahu + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii guidebook+ signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii photo-guidebook + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island.+ signed postcard + download of finished film + DVD of The Bravest Generation. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Associate Producer credit = IMDB listing + personal invitation to the first private or public screening (travel expenses not included) + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan's award-winning Driving & Discovering Oahu + signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii photo-guidebook + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island.+ signed postcard + download of finished film + DVD of The Bravest Generation. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Co-Producer credit = IMDB listing + lunch or dinner with Richard Sullivan in Hilo, Hawaii or Los Angeles areas (travel expenses not included) + personal invitation to the first private or public screening (travel expenses not included) + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan's award-winning Driving & Discovering Oahu + signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii photo-guidebook + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island.+ signed postcard + download of finished film + DVD of The Bravest Generation. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Upfront “Producer: Your Name” = IMDB listing + lunch or dinner with Richard Sullivan in Hilo Hawaii or Los Angeles areas (travel expenses not included) + personal invitation to the first private or public screening (travel expenses not included) + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan's award-winning Driving & Discovering Oahu + signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii photo-guidebook + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island.+ signed postcard + download of finished film + DVD of The Bravest Generation. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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    Upfront Executive Producer credit or “(Sponsor's Name) Presents A Film By Richard Sullivan” credit at beginning of film = IMDB listing + lunch or dinner with Richard Sullivan in Hilo Hawaii or Los Angeles areas (travel expenses not included) + personal invitation to the first private or public screening (travel expenses not included) + Signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan's award-winning Driving & Discovering Oahu + signed personalized copy of Richard Sullivan’s top-rated Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai Hawaii photo-guidebook + download pdf map to Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s Oahu Film Locations guide to scores of famed shooting locales of classic TV and Movies on Oahu AND Driving & Discovering Hawaii’s pdf driving map to the Big Island’s best eating places, convenient to wherever you are on island.+ signed postcard + download of finished film + DVD of The Bravest Generation + personal invitation to the first private or public screening. Film products will be delivered when project is completed no later than August 2014.

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