Frederick Hellenga
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Hellenga Crew
5th Air Force
90th Bomb Group
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Blogs  (Updates, insights and ramblings from Alejandro Mena and his Team) . . .
Posted Monday, June 18, 2012 by Alejandro Mena    

New Teaser Tape Coming!

We have been working on a new marketing tool for CREW 713. We are putting together a new trailer on the advice of an experienced veteran in the cable network industry. But it's not really a trailer, it's called a teaser tape. It looks like a trailer, smells like a trailer, but it's called a teaser tape. Why? because trailers are for films attempting a theatrical release and teasers are for projects that are being pitched to cable net executives. The subject matter could be a 30 minute reality program, a 60 minute dramatic piece, or in our case a 60-90 minute documentary film. The things you learn when making a movie!

Alex Mena
Me reading voice over script

So where to begin. Last Fall, my good friend James Faust recommended me to a west coast production company that was working in Dallas/Fort Worth. I landed the gig, (Thanks James!), and on the first day of work the producer noticed my picture of CREW 713 on my laptop cover. She inquired about the project and bascially said, "you need to meet two of my ex-boyfriends!" OK....well she did introduce me to them. I met and spoke with both of them on the telephone. Nice guys both. One of them had worked for National Geographic Channel and had experience with documentary filmmakers. We sent him our reel and support materials. He was quick to reply, very courteous and really liked the project. His one key word of advice was that the overall length of the trailer (6 mins, 30 secs without Kinky Friedman's introduction and a whopping 8 minutes with) was a bit too long. He said that most production companies pitching to network executives show a demo of between 2 to 2.5 minutes in length. His recommendation was a re-edit. I thought long and hard about it and decided to write a new script, add new music and create a new teaser tape from scratch. My reasons were that the original film trailer had existed for three years, (OMG! 3 years! where has the time gone?) and that it should continue to exist as part of the CREW 713 legacy. At heart, I am just a romantic sentimentalist I guess.

Alex Mena and Daniel Montoya
Me and Daniel Montoya
Alex Mena and Bruce Faulconer
Me and Bruce Faulconer

This past January, I set about writing the new script. We went through numerous drafts, and was constantly sending it back and forth to my producer, Fiona Hall for corrections and reviews. We finally settled on a nice tight script which weighed in at just over 3 mins. Justin, (Fiona's husband) offered to do some animation pieces. We had additional veteran footage from interviewing 492nd BG vet Bob Cash in early December-2011 as well. Then about mid-January, my gig as Director of Operations for the Dallas Film Society kicked in and pretty much, all things CREW 713 ground to a halt. At the same time, Fiona was in the final stages of having their second child, (Florence Mary Grace). Well, things finally got back to normal this past May. My gig with DFS had ended and Fiona and child were happy and recovering and she was ready to go back to work on the film. So we started getting the elements together for the edit. We approached our original editor Marc Chartrand to do the edit, but Marc was slammed with work and unable to work on it. Neither was his assistant editor, Wesley Williams, who also had worked on the original edit. Busy, Busy, Busy was Wes. Hey! I love it when my buds have paying gigs that occupy their time. I'm all good with that. So I turned to some new colleagues in Dallas and approached a gentleman who I had never worked with, but had met at several parties. His name is Daniel Montoya and together with his wife, Elizabeth Hong; they own a small production company, IndieMindTV specializing in corporate work and supporting their own documentary projects as well. They had just finished working on their documentary film, "Mercury Undercover" about the health issues in the dental industry. A real eye opening film.

We also asked our good friends over at Cakemix Productions; Bruce and Lisa Faulconer, if we could record some new Voice Over tracks and also do the mix for the teaser tape over at their wonderful facility. They said yes. Great news there as well.

We then located some wonderful original music from Dallas composer Uriel Vazquez to go with the new teaser tape. So now we are set to go.

Editing a Liberator crash photo
Editing a Liberator crash photo

Last week, we edited a rough cut of the trailer and I sent it out to certain individuals for their feedback and input. Utilizing this feedback, we will go back into the edit bay this coming Thursday and hopefully have a new marketing tool that everybody is excited about. Most importantly is that we'll be able to use this version in pitching CREW 713 to cable network executives, and also using the finished piece in crowdfunding pieces and other marketing arenas.

More information will soon be forthcoming!

Alejandro Mena
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