Recently the ABC network invited military veterans to submit original scripts for short films about the military with a holiday theme. The project is called “Veterans Home for the Holidays”. I had the chance to talk recently with Ryan Curtis, an Army veteran whose story will warm your heart.
Ryan is thrilled to be involved with the project. His movie “The Dance” can be viewed at ABC.com http://vetshomefortheholidays.com/. The film tells the story of a young soldier who is determined to surprise the girl he loves with the dance they never had. This success didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of hard work and determination. I was struck by Ryan’s perseverance and drive to make it in the film industry. He made contacts where he could, worked as an actor, production assistant, writer and director while living in Las Vegas. Ryan finally decided if he was going to commit to a career in film, writing and directing, he would have to move to Los Angeles to pursue his dream, and he did. There he joined a group called Veterans in Film and Television. Through that group he learned about this opportunity at ABC for veterans and his journey continues. His story was selected.
The movie was shot in one day but there were a lot of things to be done. He was mentored by Ted Sullivan (Revenge) who helped him to perfect his craft. Ryan was committed to having veterans act in his movie. Ruty Rutenberg, a veteran who served in the United States Army as an Infantry Combat Medic, was chosen for the lead role. With a title like “The Dance” the music had to be just right. The song had to fit the time and place of the movie. Enter Eric Durrance.
Eric Durrance’s song “I Wanna Dance With You” was selected for the movie soundtrack. Ryan said "The song fit perfectly with the theme and it was almost as if it had been written for the movie". Eric was very excited to be involved in a project about our veterans. Eric and the Tobacco Rd Band are touring and making music after signing with Silvercreek Records. He is a down to earth family man as well as a creative songwriter and entertainer. His music comes from the heart and people can relate to what he writes. The Nashville music scene is taking notice and now, Hollywood is looking his way. “ I Wanna Dance With You” is available at https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/eric-durrance/id166109806.
When I asked Ryan what he would like people viewing his story to take away with them it was evident that this was important to him. He mentioned the people back home and the support system they provide for our deployed men and women in the military. “One of the major issues I touch on is having a loved one wait for you while you are deployed,” Curtis said. “It’s so unbelievably difficult for the significant others at home and then adding a massive trauma only compounds the issues. To have that rock at home is so important for soldiers returning and it can drive them to amazing things. Seeing soldiers battle back from lost limbs, injuries or burns is awe-inspiring. The determination and grit they have is a story worth telling on its own.”
That says it all.