About this project
Update: June 29, 2011
Thank you so much to all of our backers who have helped us reach our goal! We are honored and humbled by this development and so happy that so many of you share the excitement we have for Homefront Heroines!
Even though we have reached our goal, there is still a good deal of additional work to be done on the film. Any extra backing received will go toward post-production costs, including:
- Digitizing audio interviews held at the Naval Historical center with some of the women who were instrumental in founding and leading the WAVES: Mildred McAfee, Joy Bright Hancock and Louise "Billye" Wilde
- Digitizing archival film found at the National Archives, Smith College and Mt. Holyoke College for HD broadcast
- Color correction of the never-before-broadcast 16mm color footage seen in our trailer. We have 1.5 hours of film which we hope to use in the documentary
- Online video and audio mixing and output for broadcast
- Digitization as well as rights and clearances for 1940s-era music and the film Here Come the WAVES
Again, thank you for your support!
About the Film
Homefront Heroines follows a group of quirky, individual and determined women who decided to go where no woman had gone before -- into the Navy as WAVES. It tells the story of the more than 100,000 women who joined the Navy during World War II. They were Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES.
The Hinges of History
World War II was the first time the military officially welcomed women into jobs other than nursing; in the Navy, they took stateside positions, freeing men to head to combat overseas. They served for the duration of the war plus six months. After the war was over, the women were expected to happily return home and their old lives. But instead, when the war was over, they returned home, irrevocably changed by the experience.
The WAVES served in a variety of jobs, from yeomen and storekeepers (Navy parlance for secretaries and bookeepers) to forecasting the weather or sending/translating coded military messages from both the Allies and the enemy. WAVES also trained men in some of the key skills in the Navy: flying the newest aircraft and shooting guns at moving targets from ships and planes. The scuttlebutt in the Navy was the best pilots were the one trained by WAVES.
They may not have realized it at the time, but the WAVES were riding the cusp of the wave of the future. As one woman said, they were the “hinges of history.” The women who served as WAVES would later break the mold of the stereotypical 1950s housewife trapped by the “feminine mystique.” Their experiences laid the groundwork for the social upheavals of the 1960s and ‘70s.
But their story is largely unknown.
Through recorded oral histories, the documentary reveals a hidden history about the "greatest generation" and the women who changed the course of American life.
The Funding Plan
The Kickstarter funding will be used to shoot the last act of the film. We plan to take Margaret Anderson Thorngate (who is telling the story about the USS Missouri in the promotional video on this page) back to the ship, now a floating museum in Hawaii. Ryan and Producer David M. Staton would like to follow Margaret as she returns to the site of her proclamation that the Missouri will be the luckiest ship in the fleet. The film begins with Margaret's memory, and ending with this in-person visit will allow the story to come full circle: from memory to experience.
Can We Go Beyond the Requested Funding Amount?
Of course! Homefront Heroines is currently in post-production, and extra funds will raised will go toward other production components: rights and clearances for archival film and historical music, color correction, audio mixing and other production elements.
Where Can I Find Out More About the Project?
Please visit our website www.homefrontheroines.com.
The site includes information about the project as well as exhibits helping to explain the experience of the WAVES of World War II.
We're also on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Homefront-Heroines-The-WAVES-of-World-War-II/185646915093) and Twitter (@HmefrntHeroines).
Check out our new blog www.hingesofhistory.com
Of course! It can happen one of two ways. You can enter the veteran's name into Amazon during the pledging process after you click "Back this Project." Or, you can let us know when the funding cycle is complete and we'll make sure the donation is listed appropriately.
Yes. We understand that some donors simply want to make sure that the story of the women who served their country during World War II is told. To give anonymously, click on "Back this Project." Then create a new Kickstarter account as "anonymous" or use a pseudonym. Amazon will ask for your personal financial information during the transaction, but that information will not be shared with either Kickstarter users or the creators of this project.
The director and producer interviewed 53 women over the course of five years. Most of the women were Navy WAVES, but some served in the Coast Guard as SPARs; their nickname comes from the Coast Guard motto of Semper Paratus, Always Ready. Six of the WAVES are featured in the documentary (all are featured in the promo) and five others have supporting roles. We are also using archival audio interviews with some of the women instrumental in organizing the WAVES: Captain Mildred MacAfee, Joy Bright Hancock (one of the first WAVE officers), and Louise Billye Wilde (who headed the WAVES publicity efforts and helped set up the women's billets in Hawaii).
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