In For Want of a Nail, the second full-length episode of Starship Farragut, Mark Hildebrand brought the role of “The General” to life with a unique understanding of the character. This came from a love of American history that we shared as Mark and I developed the story. Mark also wrote the screenplay and directed, so that definitely gave him an advantage on playing the part!
This summer, Mark’s production company Make Your Mark Media will be releasing a one-hour long documentary film called Anthem. “It’s about The Star-Spangled Banner and the music of the War of 1812,” Mark told me in a recent conversation.
“There are many myths and misconceptions about this period in our history, and about how and why this song was written. I’ve heard more than one person state with confidence that our national anthem was written during the Revolutionary War!”
They are in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter – http://kck.st/ytf2q4.
“This is a great way for people to help us make this film. We have funded the costs so far with donations from family and a few other individuals. We’re on track to broadcast Anthem on Maryland Public Television this fall, but they are not providing any funding. We need to raise $20,000 by the end of February to get us to a “rough cut” stage.”
The film includes interviews with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, author and historian Richard Brookhiser, president of the Marching Ravens Band John Ziemann, historian Ralph Eshelman and musicologist David Hildebrand. Yes, that is no coincidence.
“My brother David has been the leading specialist in the field of Colonial American Music for many years. He and his wife Ginger have produced several CDs over the past 30 years through their organization The Colonial Music Institute. This is the first time we have worked together!”
Filming began in January of 2011 when Mark, David and Ralph travelled to England. They interviewed scholars at Oxford University, and filmed at several locations nearby including Sulgrave Manor (the ancestral home of the Washington family), the Chesapeake Mill in Wickham and the Portsmouth Naval Yard.
“We also interview Count Nikolai Tolstoy, a longtime member of the Sublime Society of Beef Steak – a London club dating back to 1735.”
A new preview video can be seen on the Kickstarter page – http://kck.st/ytf2q4.
Also working with Mark is fellow Farragut alum Eric Lund (“Michaels” in For Want of a Nail and Rock and a Hard Place, assistant director Just Passing Through).
“Eric has been serving as director of photography and has kept me on track with the film’s story and pacing. He’s had some great ideas and is a joy to work with.”
Mark recently became a full-time filmmaker, and thanks Farragut Films for pointing him in the right direction.
“After having so much fun writing, directing and acting with Starship Farragut, I realized that this was what I wanted to do from now on. I wish I had known this back in school, but there are endless opportunities to learn and grow while making films. When my 9 to 5 job folded in 2009, I decided to jump in the deep end. I created both my film companies (Make Your Mark Media is a nonprofit and M5 Films is an LLC) and have managed to stay afloat with small jobs and tapping in to some of my savings.”
In 2010, Mark wrote and directed the TV pilot Semper Paratus for Hayden Productions. He’s also produced promotional videos for the National Park Service’s Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, the Utopia Film Festival and Colonial Players of Annapolis. Once Anthem is completed, we hope Mark will return for another cruise on the USS Farragut.
“I have an idea for a Crew Log about the night shift on the bridge. I really miss working with you guys!”
Follow Make Your Mark Media on Twitter @MYMMedia.