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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day


Newspaper clipping from the Antelope Valley Ledger Gazette, Thursday May 10, 1945

Sgt. Fred J. Foote was recovering from being wounded in a fire-fight in New Guinea when he got the word that his brother "Bud" had been killed in a Japanese ambush on July 20, 1944. Fred had been shot in the left hand -- a wound not considered bad enough to send him home (but enough to earn him his first Purple Heart) -- and his unit was preparing for the invasion of the Philippines in October. He would miss his fallen brother for the rest of his life, and visited his grave in Hawaii whenever he could over the years.


Airman Edward "Bud" Foote

Edward "Bud" Foote enlisted in Los Angeles in March of 1942...just 7 months before his younger brother. While Fred had later joined the famed 1st Cavalry Division, Bud wanted to be a pilot and joined the Army Air Corps as a Private...he eventually attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant with the 5307th Composite Unit, more popularly known as MERRILL'S MARAUDERS as a C-47 pilot.


"Merrill's Marauder" Edward "Bud" Foote

Though they were only operational for 6 months, their exploits in Burma under impossible odds and horrible conditions are legendary. Their battles against the enemy's superior forces as well as struggles against constant torrential downpours, hunger and disease (which took more of their lives than the Japanese did) were noted when the unit was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation in recognition of their heroism. Bud Foote (and each soldier in the unit) also received The Bronze Star...though his was posthumous, and was accompanied by a Purple Heart.


Bronze Star and Purple Heart service medals

I'm certain those reading this until now have never heard of Lt. Edward G. Foote, but he gave his life in the service of our country back in July of 1944, and was a hero in the very true sense of the word.

Remember him the next time you watch an episode of Steve Canyon, for his brother, who also was a hero during WWII...

Corporal Frederick J. Foote at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas 1943
(aka Dean Fredericks, star and namesake of STEVE CANYON)

But that's a story we are saving for Steve Canyon Volume 3.

Remembering our Veterans and fallen service men and women on Memorial Day 2011.

John Ellis
Hollywood, CA

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Update: Operation Volume 3

John Ellis sitting in front of Apollo capsule last September 25 in Chino at the Planes Of Fame Air Museum. Photo by Jan Paulshus. Click HERE for Jan's snazzy anaglyphic 3D version of this pic! (make sure red lense is on left eye and blue lense is on right eye to view properly).

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In spite of the long overdue delay in posts here, THE COMPLETE STEVE CANYON ON TV Volume 3 is ALIVE AND WELL and still on low horizon approach. There have been problems, mostly annoying, some possibly avoidable, some not...and NONE fatal. As a friend said recently, "slow...but slow PROGRESS". So Volume 3 IS COMING but is regrettably still a few months away. Announcement of the release date is forthcoming.

I recognize that some of you have been waiting a LONG time since you pre-ordered, and that it may seem ludicrous BUT this is an unusual project, totally underfunded...and I want to remind everyone once again that this is not a throw-away product to us, not only is it a labor of love, but also a one-man operation...it just takes time and lots of it.

It's not "paint-by-number" either, every day and every decision is an adventure that effects everything else, and it's very hard to predict a schedule. I absolutely love what I'm doing and I thank each and every one of you that have written with encouraging letters and messages of support, they really perk my days! This is important to me to get it right...not perfect, just...accurate. It means a lot to me to honor Dean Fredericks and all the associated cast, crew and material to the best of my ability and I promise to have it in your hands not a minute later than is possible.

Think about this: Your pre-orders are what are making this possible! I consider that we are all in this together, shipmates on a journey...with the final destination just ahead!

You've Probably Noticed...

We haven't posted for a while due to a few technical glitches here on our website (involving images and media files) which are now gladly a thing of the past. I'm not a complainer and would rather talk about what's going RIGHT with the wrapping up of Steve Canyon Volume 3.

Pending Interviews

We are rescheduling several critical interviews with celebrities and Dean Frederick's family members that we had to postpone recently (due to circumstances REALLY beyond our control, such as extreme weather, distance and health issues): we heard from "The Virginian" James Drury (another Steve Canyon regular cast member) who called to let me know he is recovering from surgery and is looking forward to wrapping up his interview with us soon. We wish him well and look forward to sitting down in person and talking with him about his days on Steve Canyon!

James Drury as Lt. Richard Muller (flanked by Frank Maxwell as Major Barr on left and Dean Fredericks as Col. Steve Canyon on right) checking something sinister in the front wheel-well of an F-100 Super Sabre at oh-dark-hundred in the final filmed episode of Steve Canyon, "SABOTAGE" (directed by Walter Grauman).


More info on wrapping up other pending interviews is coming in the next few posts...so stay tuned!

MORE VOLUME 3 NEWS

We recently uncovered a treasure trove of information about the filming of the series through the kindness of director Walter Grauman, Chris Soldo and USC's Ned Comstock. Mr. Grauman had donated his directing notes and papers to USC and Mr. Soldo put me in touch with Mr. Comstock at USC (as he was aware of some Steve Canyon materials that were included in Walter's donation). Ned went on a hunt within USC's archive that was both above and beyond the call of duty, and which netted us not only Walter's extensive notes for the seven episodes he directed (and dozens of heretofore unseen newspaper clippings related to the show) but also the "daily production reports" for nearly every episode in the series!

This amazing find is extremely significant due to the fact that most of the details of each day of shooting were written down by the assistant director. So many questions that I have had have been answered in these papers and much of this material is going into the "making of" documentary in Volume 3. In fact it's caused me to revamp significant portions of the documentary and I am now finishing with renewed confidence. Our thanks go out to Ned, Chris and Walter for this amazing gift from which we will all benefit.

Clowning around on location at Van Nuys Airport during the filming of OPERATION NOSEWHEEL.
From left, Dean Fredericks, Col. Frank Ball, Abel Fernandez, and Jerry Paris. (also directed by Walter Grauman).
Photographed Wednesday December 3rd, 1958

More news on the horizon (and in separate posts)...I am going to try to post once a week from here on out until Volume 3 is released, so stick around...it's about to get very interesting!

And be sure to check out this related blog post by our pal Dean Mullaney concerning Steve Canyon and IDW Publishing's big CANIFF art book that's coming out this summer!

Again, Volume 3 is coming soon...we're on track and moving forward every day... andI thank everyone for their interest and patience...your support is appreciated!

More next week...roger that!

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