Over three years ago, a script was passed from screenwriter Billy Jay to Vincent “Rocco” Vargas. 26 revisions later, in October of 2015, principal photography began on the project known as Range 15. But that brief overview doesn’t give any justice to the hard work and incredible support that occurred before, during, and after filming began. As the final product becomes available for mass purchase, we realize we are still very much at the height of this film’s enormous impact on both the viewer and the people directly involved with it.
Range 15 was born out of the filmmakers’ need to set the record straight about what veterans are capable of. Not only was that need projected in the content of the film, but it was also emphasized in the painstaking work and support that got the film funded, produced, filmed, edited, and distributed.
The number one credit goes to those who believed so much in the project that they were willing to collectively hand over a million dollars in crowdfunded money. They did this with nothing but faith in the plan and a short video to go off of. Additionally, the corporate sponsors who came in to back the remainder of the film’s budget was instrumental in moving the task at hand.
Within the film industry itself, countless individuals selflessly volunteered their time, money, and equipment to take this little old indie film and give it a next level feel. People like Hollywood Heard, an accomplished industry man who had nothing to gain but gave so much without asking for anything in return.
Then there was the crew. Many of them came onboard simply because, as veterans of both the military and the film industry, they believed in the project. Others had no clue about the importance of Range 15, but quickly grasped what they were a part of and judiciously went above and beyond to help make the film what it is. By the end of filming, the cast, crew, and extras had developed a bond and shared sense of purpose that is rarely found these days.
Furthermore, the early support we received from notable individuals in the veterans community both legitimized and moved the film along. Marcus Luttrell gave his name and time and asked for nothing in return. He believed. Medal of Honor recipients Leroy Petry and Clint Romesha gave their names and support, as well. All of these individuals had high reputations and everything to lose by being in a movie with material that is comically macabre, to say the least.
At the end of the day, this project has never been about adulation, money, or a desire for greater fame. The one thing we want more than anything is to give our community—military, veterans, cops, firefighters, first responders, and patriots—the film they deserve. We want to give you something you can be proud of. If we achieve that then we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.