Stop everything you’re doing right now and give yourself ten minutes to watch “Warbird Pilot: Behind the Visor,” a short documentary film about John-Curtiss Paul’s journey to piloting some of America’s oldest flying aircraft:
It’s been a rough time of late for aviation documentaries. Aside from the quality work from National Geographic (like their recent two-hour piece on the 747, which I felt delved too long into averted disasters), since the death of the Discovery Wings channel, we’ve been subjected to a lot of dreck in the aviation documentary space over the last decade or so.
But since the advent of digital filmmaking, we’re seeing a resurgence in the quality of video storytelling. This film is an example of that.
I’d like to see more of this going forward, especially combined with a bent on explaining engineering a-la the Moon Machines series from Science Channel. The technology is there to do what great programs of the past, like “Wings” and “Reaching for the Skies” could not: Combine history and narrative with modern technology to help people like me visualize and understand the stories behind
One last thing on the film: It was shot, edited and directed by Rob W. Scribner, who I had the good fortune of meeting face-to-face at my regular job at Full Sail University (Rob is a Full Sail graduate).
Rob is an Air Force guy who worked on avionics for the F-16 and later the F-35 before leaving the service and going into film. After graduating from Full Sail, Rob went into business with John-Curtiss Paul (the subject of the film) to form Sky Tower Productions. “Warbird Pilot” is the labor of love that put it on the map, as it was named a Vimeo Staff Pick. These guys know what they’re doing.
I’m looking forward to more like this from this particular crew. In the meantime, enjoy the film!