I entered Colony Bay Production’s Facebook contest for best article and won. The Rules: you need at least 100 FB friends, you need to post the attached link, you need to tell your friends why they should spend a few dollars on Courage, New Hampshire, and most important, you need to tell them why history is important.
“Examine History, for it is ‘Philosophy teaching by Experience.’” ~ Thomas Carlyle, Essay: “On History”
Last year, it was my good fortune to attend the premiere of Courage, New Hampshire: The Travail of Sarah Pine. As a history buff this series had particular appeal to me. Billed as “the tale of a shire town on the western border of New Hampshire in the years prior to the Revolutionary War, when the sons of liberty carried out frontier justice in a struggle against royal tyranny.” The experience was quite unique as this was the first premiere I had ever attended and I knew the writer/Director James Riley. I was the first to leave the theater, and outside stood James Riley waiting to greet the audience and get their reaction. I extended my hand and congratulated him. He asked me what I thought, and lacking a more insightful response I replied; “A great start. I look forward to more.”
James Patrick Riley and Mark Stradley on the set of Courage, New Hampshire Episode 2: The Sons of Liberty
My second experience with Courage was when I saw an open call for extras for Courage, NH 2: The Sons of Liberty on Courage’s producer Jonathan Wilson’s Facebook page. My son Dean and I went to Riley’s Farm where the shoot was and were outfitted by wardrobe as New England farmers. We were in only one scene, and that was the hanging of a counterfeiter and the branding of a burglar. Andrew Breitbart was the High Sheriff and oversaw the proceedings.
My son Dean on the set of the Courage, N.H. II shoot
“My son should study much history, and meditate upon it, for it is the only true philosophy.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
It was my great pleasure to shake hands with and talk to Andrew Breitbart on that day. The three brief conversations I had with him are a story unto itself and outside the scope of this “experience.” I must tell you, that while on the set, we were well fed and looked after like we were family by both Riley and Wilson, as were all the crew, staff, stars and extras.
Mark Stradley and Andrew Breitbart on the set of Courage, N.H. II
Another part of my second experience with Courage was writing about it on my blog. See here: http://independentfilmnewsandmedia.com/peasant-king-media/. Watch the videos in that blog post for greater insight on Courage.
Dean Stradley, Victoria Jackson and Jonathan Wilson at the Reception for the Premiere of Courage, N.H. III
My third experience of Courage was at the premiere of Courage, NH 3: A Snake in the Grass, May 6th, 2012. You may note that I haven’t mentioned any of the plots of these episodes so far. I don’t wish to spoil things for the viewers. I will say, though, that I am fascinated by the theme of redemption. In Episode 1, a man finds redemption through love of wife and child. In Episode 2, a man finds redemption through pain and regret. And, in Episode 3, a man may or may not find redemption through fear and mercy. A future episode may answer the question.
Back to the premiere: As Episode 3 ended, the credits rolled on the screen. Cheers and applause erupted for all. Myself, I was particularly touched by the last credit. “In Memory of Andrew Breitbart 1969-2012.”
Catherine and Mark, with James Riley behind at the Reception for the Premiere of Courage, N.H. III
The reception after the show was a thing unto itself, a veritable Ode to Joy. A celebration of accomplishment and conviviality. James Riley quipped later that he wished it didn’t have to end. A sentiment of many I am sure.
I enjoin all of you to watch all three episodes of Courage. I think it is more than entertainment. It is an education. Buy the DVDs or watch the streaming video over the Internet at this link: http://www.colonybay.net/w/index.php/buy-dvd/
Support quality entertainment: Support Courage!
Join the Courage, New Hampshire Fan Page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Courage-New-Hampshire/214406558590726
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