In March, we were contacted by Ken Serfass to document his passion for brass band music, reenacting, and Civil War history. As we had no experience with Civil War reenactments, we were surprised to learn that reenacting was even done in Southern California. (Later we learned Civil War reenacting has venues throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Italy – who knew?) Jake, who loves music, saw this as a creatively appealing opportunity. He aspired to use Ken’s 1860’s brass band music along with the reenactment images in the final film.

The morning of the shoot was classic San Diego – bright, sunny and warm. We entered the camp just as things were getting started and met up with Ken and the Marine Detachment from the USS Wabash. As in true Civil War style, the men had spent the night sleeping on their cots in canvas tents. As smoke curled up from the fire, they cooked their breakfast, introduced themselves and through jokes, stories and some serious battle reactment planning demonstrated their love of Civil War history.

“I wanted to give the film a sense of history, make it feel almost dusty, without degrading the footage.”

The day was fast moving for us and them. As living historians the Detachment remained available to the public to answer questions regarding the Civil War. They participated in the scheduled battles and in the band performance evoking an enthusiasm for the history and the music they were sharing with others.  Jake and I were busy keeping up with the changing scenes while we found a few minutes to work in an short interview with Ken.

The grading of the film was inspired by O Brother, Where Art Thou. “I wanted to give the film a sense of history, make it feel almost dusty, without degrading the footage.” As aspired, the action moves along with the beat of the brass band reviving the tumultuos and influencial history of our nation’s past.

– Jennifer Y. Tapia, Producer