In 2009, Sam Fischer was working as a freelance Director and Director of Photography. Awarded a recent contract, Sam took his team to film a military history reenactment day in Le Center MN held at Traxler’s Hunting Preserve. His team used five RED One cameras and shot some exciting footage. When Sam turned the files over to the organization for preservation, the team reviewed and said, “We need to make a movie!”
Later that summer, Sam returned to Le Center MN to discuss the possibilities of making a feature film.
Jeff Traxler had a concept for a film that would involve two generations of soldiers. He presented Sam with a two-page outline that started with a 13 year old boy discovering his grandpa’s footlocker from WWII. Excited by the story line, Sam spent the next six months in development— hiring a writer, bringing on investors, and getting everything organized for principal photography.
In 2012, the film was released on a global scale. More than 15 million people have seen the movie, and it has just secured a new distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films to be available on multiple streaming platforms in time for the holiday this year. The film currently holds a 4.5-star rating on Amazon Prime Video with over 533 reviews.
For the past two years, Sam Fischer has been the executive producer and vice president of CRASH+SUES and continues to bring over 25 years of filmmaking experience to the table. CRASH+SUES is currently working on a “directors cut” cut of the film to be released Memorial Day 2021.
When SSgt. Kyle Vogel leaves a handwritten letter on the seat of his car, grabs a pistol and steps into a Minnesota forest, we wonder who he is and what he’s about to do. Flash back a few months as Vogel lies wounded in a hospital near Anbar Province, Iraq. The night before he’s due to return to combat, his doctor, Lt. Kelly Tripp, presses him on why he’s so obsessed with collecting battle souvenirs. Kyle proceeds to tell her what happened on Memorial Day, 1993, when, as a 13-year old boy, he discovered his Grandpa Bud’s WWII footlocker.
Though reluctant to talk about the war, Bud, who served with the 82nd Airborne, strikes a deal with Kyle: “Pick any three objects, and I’ll tell you the story behind each one.” As we see Bud’s WWII tales from Europe, we also see how Kyle’s experiences in Iraq have paralleled them—and how that day on the porch will affect how he ultimately deals with the losses, regrets and moral dilemmas that unite all soldiers across wars and generations.