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“Souvenirs” the movie nearing completion
Traxler’s Hunting Preserve in southern Minnesota provides location for filming of war saga “Souvenirs”
The film centers around a young boy’s discovery of his grandfather’s World War II souvenirs. He then persuades his grandfather to recount his experiences during the last World War.
Later, “Souvenirs” follows the young boy as he takes the lessons learned from his grandfather and applies it to his own service in Iraq with the Minnesota National Guard.
Despite the fact that “Souvenirs” only has a six-figure budget, it has high production value, in part, because of a crew of World War II re-enactors. However, the film also features veteran actor James Cromwell and his son, John.
“I was skeptical … but he pulled it off,” John Cromwell said. The film has “a production value worth 10 times as much as our actual budget.”
The fact that Traxler’s Hunting Preserve offered a rent-free location also aided in keeping production costs low, as did borrowed military hardware featured in the film.
“Souvenirs” was the brainchild of Traxler, who developed the story with partner Kyle O’Malley. Traxler was plugged into the world of war re-enactments due to previous mock battles on his game preserve.
Larry Fryklund, the World War II coordinator for “Souvenirs,” said re-enactors seek to honor veterans and educate the public. Some even have military experience including Travis Jacobsen, who plays a Nazi officer in the film. Jacobsen served in Iraq with the “Red Bulls” of the 34th Infantry Division.
The re-enactors in “Souvenirs” operate at different skill levels, but director Sam Fischer said “some of these guys came out of the game and’re amazing.”
Aside from a couple of days of shooting this winter, when snow is required for certain footage, “Souvenirs” is nearly complete.
The film is expected to be finished by March in time for a showing at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April.
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