A YEAR IN THE BLUE
Inside the Air Force Academy
The U.S. possesses the greatest air and space force ever known! Its leaders are responsible for its massive capabilities—and for the people who serve under them. So where do future Air Force officers and pilots come from and how are they developed into leaders of character? The independent feature-documentary,
“A Year in the Blue,” is an exciting and intimate first-person account of a group of a freshmen cadets at the United States Air Force Academy. The film documents the challenges doolies face during their grueling first year and the upperclass cadets charged with leading them.
The freshmen have just arrived, fresh off the bus and in total culture shock! The majority are recent high school graduates, tops in their class, but at the Academy they are just the new “average.” The firsties are barreling toward graduation and this is their last opportunity to use what they have learned about leadership to train and lead the freshmen. From the science whizzes to the jocks—they must learn to become warriors and by working together as a team! They'll train on the ground, in the skies over beautiful Colorado landscape and visit the Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team. They will have only the one-year together, but the impact they have on each other will last a lifetime.
“A Year in the Blue” is an intimate portrayal of life inside the Academy—the heartbreaks and triumphs of balancing boot-camp style military training, a rigorous four-year college education, mandatory athletics, flying and parachuting. Unprecedented access allows cameras to follow the cadets from the dorms to Jacks Valley, the airfield, Falcon Stadium, West Point, Alaska and into the skies for stunning aerial photography.
Made possible with sponsorship from Boeing. For more information, visit the website.
A WOH Productions – Postmodern Company Film
As a June sunrise splashes across the Colorado Rockies, Melanie Daugherty is following in her father's footsteps to become a fighter pilot. Charles Lewis' dad died when Charles was 8-years-old, searching for the remains of POW-MIAs in Vietnam. Charles dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Together they board a big blue bus with a group of other high school grads to begin the ride of their lives!
When the spit-shined upperclassman yells, “Get off my bus!” they step into total culture shock. Under pressure from their cadet-officers, the high achieving young men and women suddenly find themselves struggling to follow the simplest commands.
They dreamed of becoming pilots and officers, but find themselves slogging through mud and barbed wire on the assault course, and chasing through the sweltering summer heat in combat exercises. Some want to drop out. Is there purpose behind the madness or is it just old-school military bravado? And what will it take to be accepted by their cadet-squadron?
After making it through Basic Cadet Training, the school year spins up quickly. Mandatory “aero” and space engineering classes take them from flying self-designed balsa-wood gliders, to launching model rockets, and to the real thing—assisting with the launch and then controlling a multimillion dollar cadet-built satellite!
The pace quickens on all fronts: the football team chases after the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, new cadets struggle to pass their fitness tests, and all the freshmen long to have their tiresome “freshmen restrictions” lifted and be accepted by their squad-mates through a three-day rite of passage called Recognition, which has been called “basic training on steroids!”
The dramatic hat-toss at graduation marks the start of new adventures for the seniors. Those moving up to take their place at the Academy greet the first busload of incoming freshmen and another year begins! The U.S. Air Force Academy is home to 4,000 cadets in the four-year program. Upon graduation, they become second lieutenants in the active-duty Air Force. Half become pilots. Approximately 20 percent are female.
“A Year in the Blue” is “a roller-coaster ride of action and emotions,” “lots of laughs and lots of heart,” “an honest portrayal though the eyes of cadets—you nailed it.”
The cadets are surprisingly open and honest on camera. Lifelong friendships develop, leaders become mentors, and young men and women grow up. It's an intimate “insider's” story as seen through the eyes of those living it!