Sound and Film and a Combat Medic

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing…

Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss.

Medal of Honor recipient Desmond Doss. B Company, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division.

…and the Oscar goes to…the team of Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for their work on Hacksaw Ridge the story of American soldier and conscientious objector Desmond Doss.

The story of Desmond Doss was a familiar one to me and the Mel Gibson film certainly did not disappoint. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Desmond Doss served his country but refused to carry a weapon. For his actions in saving the lives of 75 infantrymen during the Battle of Okinawa at the Maeda Escarpment (Hacksaw Ridge) Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award for gallantry in the United States of America.

William Harold Coltman VC, DCM and Bar, MM and Bar. Stretcher bearer, North Staffordshire Regiment.

William Harold Coltman VC, DCM and Bar, MM and Bar. Stretcher bearer, North Staffordshire Regiment.

Doss’ story reminds me of another well known Great War soldier who would not take up arms, but served his unit, like Doss, as a combat medic. William Harold Coltman was awarded the Military Medal and Bar, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar as well as the Victoria Cross.

…oh so many stories one could tell.


About The Author

pferguson
In April 2007 Paul met Casey and Ian Williams of the Paradigm Motion Picture Company in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul has worked with Paradigm since 2009 as Producer and Historian. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was amazed by films such as David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and he became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he discovered Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on his many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of the successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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