In a couple of weeks time, a new 90 minute documentary produced by our very own Gail Downey will be released. It explores the importance of ‘Nose Art and Pin Ups’, on US Air Force bomb crews during World War Two. Here Gail tells the story of how it came about.
If you have ever worked on a long running project you will know, that like any relationship, it has its ups, downs, beginnings, middle and end – the end either being that “I do” or “I don’t.”
After nearly four years of living with a film I started as a labour of love it is now the “I do” moment as I commit it to DVD and cinema release and officially tell the world we are a couple – wedded on celluloid and for all time one of us cannot be mentioned with the other.
It sounds dramatic but this love affair began when I was doing some research for The History Channel and came across the title “Nose Art and Pin Ups.” It turned out this was the name for the iconic images painted on aircraft, mainly by American servicemen, in World War Two.
Think Memphis Belle and you get the picture. So I tracked down one of these Nose Art artists, still alive today, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The film I’ve produced centres on those members of the United States Army Airforce based in England, mainly East Anglia. They tell their stories of love, life and loss and of course Nose Art too, which boosted morale and made their lives that bit more bearable doing one of the most dangerous jobs of the war.
Of all the bombers that went out during World War Two, only one in seven of the bomber and fighter crews returned. Servicemen distanced themselves from one another for fear that a potential friend could be taken away from them at any one time.
The film lasts around 90 mins, and we have also produced bonus interviews with a contemporary Nose Art artist and the museum in Texas which has the world’s largest collection of original Nose Art. It preserved the paintings by cutting it from the panels of aircraft as they were about to be smelted for scrap metal – much needed after the war.
‘Nose Art and Pin Ups’ will be shown exclusively in selected cinemas throughout the UK from August 17, and will be available to buy on Ebay and Amazon but you can pre-order it now by clicking here.