Background I have always enjoyed working on projects about WWII, and have worked as a Battlefield Historian on several TV documentaries. If you want to discuss a project with me, please contact me. I have long had a secondary career in TV and film. I started out as an extra and appeared in many British TV shows, a lot of which don't appear on my resume. Since 2000 I moved to behind the scenes work and have assisted under various titles such as "battlefield guide" and "military advisor." In many cases my contribution is acknowledged under "thanks." Here is my personal listing on Internet Movie Databasewhere you can find details of most of my on-screen and off-screen credits.
Media work in 2020 With the travel restrictions of Covid-19, this year has been a quiet one in terms of working for other companies. Of course I have been busy with my own WW2TV filming, but there has been no other work. I did appear on a History Hack podcast talking about my book Angels of Mercy.
2019 Credits and Work In November I was interviewed on Canadian Radio about Remembrance Day and how it is commemorated in France and I spoke on BBC World News in September talking about the 80th anniversary of WWII commencing.
With 2019 being the 75th Anniversary of DDay year I was very busy with media work. In April I contributed image and footage to a LPBS documentary about the battle of La Fière Manor which aired in June.
On June 4th I spent a wet and windy afternoon with Europe Remembers on their trek across many battlefields in Europe. I did a couple of interviews along Omaha Beach. The films were meant to be short and sweet, so I didn't go into much detail, but it was a pleasure to be involved. I appear mid-way though this clip:
On June 5th I participated via Skype to two DDay special broadcasts for France 24 TV. The first at 2.00pm live from Bayeux CWGC Cemetery about the preparations for the 75th Anniversary and the second that evening in a panel discussion along with Julie Le Gac - Historian, Craig Symonds - US Naval War College, Jacob Fields - Historian and Author and Anne SEBBA - Author. I joined in via Skpye from Carentan.
The next day on June 6th I worked for several hours on BBC World News 24 in Caen alongside presenter Mathew Price commentating on the events in Bayeux, at Colleville sur Mer and Juno Beach. I had an opportunity to talk about how it is for veterans to return to their former battlefields, the battle for Caen and various other topics.
Then in the evening I did a radio interview for CHED Afternoon News with J'Lyn Nye and a piece for EuroNews.
Then finally that day rather tired I did this piece for EuroNews.
Earlier in the year I was asked to help Bright Button Productions with an amazing new three part series Normandy '44, DDay and the Battle for France presented by James Holland and Dr Mike Simpson. It was an honour and privilege to spend time with this crew and the finished films will be among the very best, if not THE best coming out this year. Please watch the promo below, in which I appear. I was a jack-of-all-trades on this one: driver, translator, sandwich boy, advisor and will appear on-screen several times as a "local guide/expert." The best film job I have done to date.
2018 Credits and Work 2018 started off with various side projects taking my attention. Notably I was deeply honoured to be one of the 8 person panel judging entries to the 2nd Normandie international Film Festival. It was truly amazing to sit and watch over 30 hours of short films, documentaries and feature films about WWII. The standard was very high and I look forward to the results in June.
2017 Credits and Work My first media project of 2017 was taking part in a podcast about the 82nd Airborne, an officially created series of shows by the current 82nd Airborne Public Affairs Office. I appear in this show - talking about the famous DDay cricket.
2016 Credits and Work In September 2016. The Smithsonian Channel aired a series called WWII's Most Daring Raids". I helped with Easy Company's First Assault with advice about the layout of guns at Brecourt Manor (as featured in my Band of Brothers Tour.) Some of my advice was not taken, but it is still gratifying to assist in getting Normandy stories into the homes of history buffs worldwide. In 2015 I helped organise the Band of Brothers reunion in conjunction with WarGaming Europe - see me at 3.20 minutes here in this clip. Past Credits and Work In 2014 I was asked to be the military advisor on Eagles of Mercy, a film about the two 101st Airborne medics I wrote about in my book. An interesting piece about the shooting of the film can be found here on the Johnston Sunrise website.
In March 2014, I was interviewed in a studio in front of a green-screen to appear as a talking head in a big 4 hour DDay in HD Special for History Channel. I featured in the first show primarily talking about the landings on Omaha Beach and the second show covering the fighting for St Lo. I also talked about the Mulberry Harbours and the British beaches for the History Channel website.
Here are two Webshorts I presented that accompanied that show.
In February 2014 I was engaged by Windfall films from the UK, and spent several days filming with them on Omaha Beach. This was for a new documentary primarily about new methods of studying the invasion - DDay 360, which aired on PBS in the USA in June 2014. The team were doing some quite exciting things, including creating a 3D LIDAR model of Omaha Beach (Dog Green) sector into which they placed 360 degree photos of bunkers, troops and weapons to provide a new way of explaining the German defences. I was used as a guide and filmed leading American weapons and bunkers expert Steve Zaloga through some positions not normally visited by tourists. It was truly fascinating work and something I found stimulating and rewarding. I was initially only to work behind the scenes but ended up getting mic'd up and appear guiding expert Steve Zalogo through a mortar bunker - you can see me at 28 minutes 30 seconds here on YouTube.
If you are reading this and are looking for someone who knows Normandy and enjoys working with film-crews please contact me with details of your film.
In 2013 I was the local guide and on-screen historian in a two-part film about 30 Assault Unit Royal Commando. BBC One Show politcal and current affairs presenter Justin Rowlatt's Grandfather was killed in Normandy serving with that unit, and I guided the crew to the exact location where he was killed and explained some of 30 AU's role on camera to Justin. Despite the fact it was freezing cold that day it was a interesting experience. Justin referenced me (albeit spelling my name incorrectly) here in this magazine article.
It was particularly gratifying to get across (however briefly) the truly international nature of DDay. We filmed on Utah Beach, which of course was an American landing site on DDay. But men of many different Nationalities and backgrounds landed there, including Ian Fleming's (yes THAT Ian Fleming) 30 Assault Unit. To stand in a field very close to a well-used tourist road and consider the British specialists who died there in a German air-attack was humbling.
Another project I helped with in early 2013 was Mega Nazi Weapons Atlantic Wall for PBS. You can watch the show here. I am not sure I would have chosen the overly dramatic title, and my role was minor in the production. Basically I gave the director a tour of some bunkers in Normandy and answered a bunch of questions for the researcher.
I have worked with film crews on both large National TV projects and independent films. all are rewarding - in different ways. In 2012 I assisted with D-Day the Last Heroes for the BBC with Dan Snow and in 2011 I participated in an archaeological dig at Brecourt Manor, behind Utah beach for a brilliant BBC series called Dig WW2 - also presented by Dan Snow. I was the local historical expert and appeared on screen digging and identifing the various relics we found.
In 2009 I worked with director Keith Famie and his crew for the Normandy portion of the documentary Detroit our Greatest Generation. I scouted locations for filming, and arranged for permission to film inside museums and a chapel. I also acted as historical advisor with regards to connecting the memories of the participating veteran - Captain Merle Barr (US Combat Engineer on D-Day) to the places he fought on Omaha beach and towards St Lô.
If you are filming in Normandy I can assist with location scouting, permissions and historical advice. Plus (with notice) I can arrange for WWII military vehicles, re-enactors, weaponry and other props that may be difficult to bring to France if you are coming from overseas.
As a former military vehicle owner, and WWII re-enactor with 20 years experience I can offer advise on wardrobe, uniforms, weaponry, vehicles and serve as technical advisor. Which combined with my knowledge as a battlefield guide can be invaluable to film-makers. Plus, I am also familiar enough with the film industry to know how things work. I know when to shut up and let the film-maker pursue his vision and would not over-step my role. When I lived in the UK I worked on many productions as a specialist military supporting artist, including the Dunkirk scenes for No Bananas for LWT with Stephanie Beacham, Saving Private Ryan, The Memphis Belle, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, The Last of the Blonde Bombshells with Dame Judi Dench, Battlefields (Arnhem and Monte Cassino episodes) with the late Professor Richard Holmes and many more. I also worked as a technical advisor on some documentary series, notably The Blackout Murders, and War Stories for Discovery Channel. As such I have worked on productions both large and small and in addition to the actual film shoots, I am happy to work with your writers and/or post-production teams.
I do not always have to work for a fee, it very much depends on the project. For veterans' documentaries and/or independent films, I can work for just a credit. Please contact me with details of your project and what assistance you may require.