Filmmaker to enlist Lloyd war vets

By Geoff Lee

June 20, 2018 2:58 PM

B.C. filmmaker Eric Brunt who camped the night at Elk Island National Park on Sunday is looking to film and record the stories of Second World War vets in Lloydminster starting Friday for a documentary on Canada at war. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Lloydminster veterans of the Second World War are invited to serve their country once again by taking part in a documentary about Canada’s wartime experiences.
Eric Brunt, a graduate of a film production program at the University of British Columbia, will be in Lloydminster on Friday for a day or two to videotape veterans willing to tell him their stories.
The 25 year-old has called ahead to Pioneer Lodge and the Legion Branch 39 looking for local veterans to interview at their place of residence.
“I decided to come there because I heard—a number of Legions told me there was a bigger concentration of veterans in Lloydminster,” said Brunt.
Brunt can be reached by phone at 1-778-714-0071 or by email at ericbruntmedia@gmail.com.
He said the war stories you read in text books don’t have the same type of emotion and act-outs and sense of nostalgia that you get from the veterans’ own mouths.
“I’ve always kind of been a storyteller, so what I’m always trying to get when I am interviewing these veterans —I’m trying to get stories from the past,” said Brunt.
“That’s for me what makes it so interesting, the storytelling aspect of it.”
He said as an audience we are so much more willing to listen to stories when there is a beginning, a middle and an end.
He has interviewed more than 70 veterans already from B.C. and Alberta on his cross-country filmmaking mission to Newfoundland and Labour travelling in his van.
He plans to put the documentary together this fall from the footage that he captures.
He said many veterans have told him stories they have never shared with their own families before and some breakdown with emotion.
“It’s almost like you are dusting off an old record,” he said.
“I hope at the very least telling these memories for the first time will be a relief for them to get off their chests – it’s absolutely incredible for the documentary of just passing down some of these stories and what war is really like.”
Blunt said the project came about when his own grandfather who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the war passed away and he realized that he’d missed out on the chance to record the stories he heard growing up.
His dad told him there would be other veterans alive who would be interested in telling their stories.
He started interviewing veterans for a school project and saved the money from his own production company to fund the documentary for a possible TV or film festival audience.
He said the message of the documentary will be a mix of what war is really like and how we should avoid it at all costs so history doesn’t repeat itself.
“Also what I want to show is how proud we should be to be Canadian,” he said.
“I hope it shows people of my generation what it means to be Canadian and hopefully, they walk out of seeing this movie saying ‘wow I am really proud of this country and these men who sacrificed their lives for me to be here today.’ “

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