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Steampunk Day In-The Wars of Other Men-A Tremendous Short Film

I was at Teslacon III this weekend and had the opportunity to screen The Wars of Other Men by Mike Zawacki and Paradise Valley Media www.thewarsofothermen.com. I had seen the trailer on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dL44dad034 and had been very much looking forward to seeing the entire film. The star of the film Scott Norman and the director Mike Zawacki were there as well as some of their crew. They had a great table down in the main hallway with props and posters and what not.

I was able to see the screening on Saturday night. The trailer had been well put together, so I had fairly high expectations. The full film doesn’t disappoint. Shot on location in Detroit, Michigan the field sequences have a hard gritty feel to them. The good guys are wearing Cold War period East German equipment with other items thrown in to the mix. Acting is excellent, and I won’t say for an Indie film, I just say excellent. Scott Norman as the officer leading his squad into no man’s land on a critical mission is outstanding.

The visual effects are good as well. Airships and tanks dominate the battlefield. They fold in well with the storyline and live action. Effects are used to support the storyline and don’t dominate it or drive it. Characters and action move this film forward. The individuals in the squad are an assortment of war weary veterans. From their, demeanor, expressions and  actions you get a sense that the conflict has raged on for years and been both bloody and indecisive.

I won’t offer any spoilers or plot discussion. Its a short 26 minutes long so it would take longer to read about it than see it. Like a good short story there is a lot of plot and character in this film. And like a short shory there is an elegant efficiency of narrative which is often lacking in media these days. It didn’t seem like anything was missing, but it also didn’t have anything that didn’t belong, that was extra to the story being told.

The folks there with the film were great to talk with. They were proud of their effort but still extremely down to Earth. They answered many questions from fans after the screening and were informative and pleasant. I enjoyed chatting with them a bit after everyone else had left. Good people who have done a great job!

I highly recommend this to anyone that wants to see what a dedicated group of people can do with almost no funding but skills, ideas and some heart.  Well done Paradise Valley Media and I look forward to your future productions!


Terry Sofian