The Beauty of Documentary Filmmaking
In doing documentary work, I am given one of the greatest honors – to meet people from all walks of life and share their stories with others. That’s my job. While working on docs for AMS’ Black History Uncovered series I have met men and women whose contributions to our country have caused groundbreaking changes.
Two such people are on my mind because of the recent passing of Lt. Col. Herbert Carter. Tom Rubeck, my co-producer, and I met Mildred Hemmons Carter, who passed last October, and Herbert Carter while filming our first documentary on the Tuskegee Airmen. I could list their many accomplishments, but I would rather take the time to honor them by conveying to you the love that they shared.
They arrived early for our interview. Herbert, approaching 90, got out and opened the passenger door for his wife. They took their time walking, his hand on her elbow steadying her as they entered the area where we were filming. We interviewed him and when it was Mildred’s turn, as they passed, they blew each other a kiss!
There are times that the most beautiful stories from interviews get left out of a film because they don’t serve the larger story. In those situations, hopefully the stories make it to the DVD extras, which is the case with this one. The beauty of documentary filmmaking is that stories and ideas can be shared worldwide for generations to come. As the Carters tell their love-bird story in this video, I am glad that people who never met them get the chance to hear them tell it. Two bright, gifted kids in love meeting over rural Alabama in the 40s, with their whole lives stretched out in front of them. Their story reminds me that nothing is impossible.