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D-Day: Down to Earth—Return of the 507th

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About the Film

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When did PBS get involved? Did you develop the film further? What was your aim?
Phil: In the spring of 2003, we shopped the original version of the film to cable and broadcast outlets with the hope of generating some interest in the project. PBS felt like the most natural venue for the film, and fortunately for us they were interested. Their feedback was pretty simple: Expand the film to 57 minutes, add more veteran interviews and archival footage, and flesh out the stories. The execution of that, however, was pretty involved.

Over the course of the next few months, we interviewed 13 additional veterans and collected a large body of archival material. Also, through our relationships with the veterans and Marty Morgan, we began to understand some of the finer details about the regiment's story. However, we couldn't change the film too much since everyone had bought into the basic structure and flow of the film.

Our aim was simply to tell the best story we could. We added historical context through narration, re-interviewed Marty Morgan and mixed in the new veteran interviews throughout. In some ways the re-edit was more difficult than constructing the initial version, since we had to work around the structural pillars of the existing film. It was something like renovating an old home—one must take great care in the process to remain true to the original design while actually adding something of substance.