I also helped with two more releases by Valor, namely "Into the Night" By Matt Hall and Sainte-Marie-du-Mont by Gil Cohen. In both cases I took the modern photos and helped with the placing of the figures and details depicted in the finished paintings.
Whatever your needs may be, just e-mail me with what you are looking for and I will see what I can do to assist you.
In 2010 my proudest achievement was working with my friends Adam and Bryan Makos at Valor Studios on the Brothers in Arms print, pictured right. From taking the initial photos in Ste Mere Eglise, to looking at the artist's proofs I saw the project through to completion. Probably the toughest part was choosing a time for the hands on the church clock face. We were attempting to portray several hours of activity into one picture, so it was not an easy decision.
When I lived in the UK I worked on many productions as a specialist military supporting artist, including the Dunkirk scenes for No Bananas for LWT with Stephanie Beacham, Saving Private Ryan, The Memphis Belle, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells with Dame Judi Dench, Battlefields (Arnhem and Monte Cassino episodes) with the late Professor Richard Holmes and many more. I also worked as a technical advisor on some documentary series, notably The Blackout Murders, and War Stories for Discovery Channel. As such I have worked on productions both large and small and in addition to the actual film shoots, I am happy to work with your writers and/or post-production teams.
I do not always have to work for a fee, it very much depends on the project. For veterans' documentaries and/or independent films, I can work for just a credit. But if Steven Speilberg or another millionaire is reading this - lets talk real money!! Please e-mail me with details of your project and what assistance you may require.
If you are filming in Normandy I can assist with location scouting, permissions and historical advice. Plus (with notice) I can arrange for WWII military vehicles, re-enactors, weaponry and other props that may be difficult to bring to France if you are coming from overseas.
As a former military vehicle owner, and WWII re-enactor with 20 years experience I can offer advise on wardrobe, uniforms, weaponry, vehicles and serve as technical advisor. Which combined with my knowledge as a battlefield guide can be invaluable to film-makers.
Plus, I am also familiar enough with the film industry to know how things work. I know when to shut up and let the film-maker pursue his vision and would not over-step my role.
I am proud to include quite a few military authors amongst my friends, and I have helped with and indeed am currently helping a variety of people on numerous Normandy books. Consultancy is maybe an overly important term, sometimes I have just read through a couple of chapters to give some feedback, but at other times I have assisted with photos, names, dates, places and other details. In 2009 I helped Larry Alexander with his book In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers, and I am featured heavily in the Normandy chapters. Andrew Roberts thanked me in his book a History of the English Speaking Peoples, and more recently his Storm of War book about the whole of WWII. Mar Zuehlke acknowledged me in his 2011 book Breakout from Juno, so too did Marcus Brotherton in his book Shifty's War. I also assisted Patrick K. O'Donnell with some information on Pointe du Hoc for his excellent Dog Company book that came out in 2012.
Please e-mail me if you have need of Normandy information for your book, and I will do my best to help you if I can.
Normandy Technical Advice
Whatever your project - advertising, computer game design, toy manufacturer, comic book writer or independent historian, you may be in need of specialist help about the battlefields of Normandy. Books and the internet do of course provide an amazing amount of detail, but there's nothing like having feet on the ground.
Here are a couple of examples of projects I have assisted with. An artist working from a black and white photo of a soldier in a field in June 1944 was painting a colour version. He easily worked out the uniform colours and equipment details, but there were flowers in the grass behind the soldier. I was able to assist with information about what flowers grow in the meadows in June here in Normandy and he completed the painting.
Another artist was working on a portrayal of a paratrooper landing beside a canal. On this occasion I provided photos of the typical vegetation on a canal bank in June and again it helped her finish the painting.
Aside from my tours I am also available to assist with all manner of Normandy related projects.
I have worked with several film-makers on projects about Normandy. In 2011 Myriam and I participated in an archeological dig at Brecourt Manor, behind Utah beach for a brilliant BBC series called Dig WW2, presented by Dan Snow. I was the local historical expert and appeared on screen digging and identifing the various relics we found. In 2009 I worked with director Keith Famie and his crew for the Normandy portion of the documentary "Detroit our Greatest Generation." I scouted locations for filming, and arranged for permission to film inside museums and a chapel. I also acted as unofficial historical advisor with regards to connecting the memories of the participating veteran - Captain Merle Barr (US Combat Engineer on D-Day) to the places he fought on Omaha beach and towards St Lô.
I am excited about several forthcoming projects I am already involved in the planning stages of, including Eagles of Mercy about two paratroop medics and another Normandy themed programme. Both of which are backed by my friend Tim Gray. There is also a feature film in the pipeline that I ma help with - although this isn't likely to occurr until 2013 or 2014.