The subject of a documentary made entirely of video footage shot by Marines says he hopes the award-winning film will show what war is really like.
"Severe Clear " was shot by First Lt. Mike Scotti and other members of his battalion with their personal cameras in the early days of the Iraq War. The documentary by Kristian Fraga is based on their video, as well as Scotti's journal entries and letters home.
"I captured the sights and sounds of war,” Scotti said.
Scotti said he shot the video while he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 to remember his experiences.
"I realized how impactful showing that footage to my family was to get them to understand what it was that I had just went through," he said. “And it wasn't a picture, it wasn't some scribbling notes in a journal, it was real, and it was a motion picture, and there was sound to it."
Scotti said he wants military families and others to see and share the film to get a better understanding of what combat is like.
Scotti is also a founding board member of the Dallas-based nonprofit Reserve Aid, which delivers need-based grants to military reservists and their families.
"We support the families back home,” he said. “It could be a Walmart gift card so they can buy diapers for their children. It could be fixing a car so that the injured National Guardsmen or reservists can make it to their physical therapy. It could be paying the electric bill, to keep the lights on in the house.”
"Severe Clear" was awarded Special Mention for Cinematic Excellence at the 2009 International Rome Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Salem Film Fest and the 2009 Barrymore Award. It was also an official selection at the South By Southwest, Big Sky, Lone Star, Palm Beach, San Diego and St. Louis Film Festivals.
The documentary is being screened at the Studio Movie Grill Royal in Dallas at 8 p.m. Wednesday. "Severe Clear" is also available for pre-order on DVD at deepdiscount.com.
The "Severe Clear" Web site