Four Chaplains Writer and Director, James Hernandez, a SpiritClips film editor, teamed with our in-house writer, John Dion, to create a moving three minute motion graphic documentary about a tragic yet courageous saga of four heroic men. Debuting this Friday, October 18, 2013, Four Chaplains depicts the catastrophe of a U.S. Army transport ship that was torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II.
Hernandez developed a desire for constructing the storyline, initially sparked by Dion’s idea for the film, due to his interest in the history and underlying interfaith religious undertones. Each of the four Chaplains, all ranked as first Lieutenants, varied in faith and background but communally shared a selfless dedication to saving lives aboard the sinking ship. Throughout the pandemonium aboard the dark, moonlit U.S.A.T. Dorchester, Methodist minister George Fox, Reform-Rabbi Alexander Goode, Reformed Church of America minister Clark Poling and Roman Catholic priest John Washington stood shining among the frightened passengers calmly assisting in the evacuation of the other 900 soldiers and civilians. Once the battle seemed to be overcome by the frigid North Atlantic waters, the four Chaplains linked arms, sang encouraging hymns and not only sacrificed their own life vests to four other helpless young men, but ultimately sacrificed their lives.
The tale of these men can be summed up in the memorials mission statement,
“to further the cause of unity without uniformity’ by encouraging goodwill and cooperation among all people”.
Accounts from the 230 survivors summarized grandiose disbelief and genuine gratitude of these four honored Chaplains because they brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Keeping the powerful stories from those who endured the wrath of this calamity in mind, SpiritClips realized what a beautiful message had been born from the disaster. Our production team took the necessary steps to make sure the story would be conveyed with as much passion as the Chaplains possessed and the survivors still carry with them today. Traveling to the memorial located in the former South Philadelphia Naval Yard, photographs were taken, recounts were duly noted and informational brochures were collected as source material to ensure a truthful representation for the filming. Since May, production has grown from planning, filming, execution and today it’s release. Please enjoy the short film and the touching, inspirational message behind the documentary. Do something, even if it’s slightly impactful, to better someone’s life today. Share positivity and encourage the influences of how far a small act of kindness can go.
Click the link below to watch Four Chaplains:
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