Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: Maro Chermayeff
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
CARRIER is a character driven, edge-of-your-seat, nonfiction drama as well as a total immersion in the high stakes world of a nuclear aircraft carrier. CARRIER follows a core group of film participants aboard the USS Nimit... more »
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The best documentary series on modern US Carriers
J. Marsano | Urban Gristle Mill | 04/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Owing to a childhood fascination, I've watched pretty much every documentary on carriers produced in the last ten years. A few of them have been Nat Geo productions, and the latest rounds play all the time on the Discovery Channel and the Military Channel. This series beats them all, hands down.
The problem with most documentaries on this subject--or virtually any 'mainstream' docu on military topics, is that the filmmakers get distracted by the whistles, bells, and blinking lights of all the technology. As a result, the documentary lens becomes clouded by all the 'gee-whiz' of the technology and machines. Granted, this sort of perspective has its place. What gets lost, or uncovered, however, is something far more compelling, and that's the human element. A carrier is, as the old saying goes, a city at sea, and it's the lives of the crew that make for real storytelling, not more of the same file footage of missile launches or facts about the latest blocks of the CIWS and the takeoff thrust of an F/A-18 at full military power.
This series focuses on the stories of the crew, and many of them are quite moving. It's hard not to get a lump in the throat when watching how hard these (predominantly) 18- and 19- year olds have to work in order to send aircraft over the bow, or how they're trying to meet the demands of family life from thousands of miles away at sea. Their personal struggles and hopes are the meat of this series.
Production values on this series are quite high. I met the producers at a sneak preview and found that they had shot over 3,000 hours of HD video over the course of a six-month deployment. Working over that time, and with a 17-member production and shooting team, they found the real stories in the nooks and crannies of the ship. The editing, which was done by a team, is also quite good, as is the music design. The net result is a series that has the look and feel of a modern reality series, without any of the sensationalism. In short, it's filmmaking by adults. The assistance of the Navy was also nothing short of remarkable--here on the series some of the characters speak openly about how hard their jobs are, or how they work with gay crewmembers, or how they don't understand the war they're supporting. This internal confliction and confusion, from the words of servicemen and women, makes for real storytelling and makes this series worth recommending above any other on the same topic.
Deserves an Emmy
Erin Campbell | Minneapolis, MN | 05/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished watching "Carrier" on PBS and was extremely impressed by the honest, warts-and-all portrayal of life aboard a carrier. The producers did an outstanding job providing compelling human-interest storylines and showing the diversity of attitudes among the sailors, airmen, and Marines regarding their military service. The show captures the real ambivalence some have regarding our strategy on "the war on terror" and yet how they continue to serve professionally in fulfilling their duties. What I most took away from the series was the exceptional sacrifices these military members make by serving long (monotonous) tours away from their families and from the remedial comforts of home that most of us take for granted. "Carrier" puts a human face to the Navy and its personnel whose service is often performed out of sight of the American public. Kudos to PBS for airing this; to the show's producers for their painstaking work in piecing these individuals' stories together in such an informative and engaging manner; and mostly to the service members and their families who made this series possible."
Loved the show!
Christian C. Garzone | New York | 05/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had alot of fun being in the show; It's been nearly three years now, so glad this has seen the light of day. Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre, Matthew Akers are great!! -
Changed but still the same
R. kelly | 05/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My wife's name may appear as the author of this review.
I was on the maiden cruise for the Nimitz back in 1975, a NATO cruise to the North Atlantic following workups in the Caribbean. I was then on the first full Med cruise in 1976.
Much has changed aboard the ship, and yet so much is still the same. The mess deck (chow hall) looks a lot nicer, the workout area far exceeds the dinky gym we had, there is no comparison to our little stores and what is there now, and of course no phone calls or email. And most notably, no women.
But beyond that I felt like I could nearly recognize many of the sailors and marines portrayed in the show. The same kind of emotions, doubts, enthusiasm, and bonehead actions were there 30 years ago as are there now. The documentary did a wonderful job of showing what life on a carrier is like.
And that seemed to be the point of the show. There are other documentaries, many of which get rather boring, that go through and talk about all the technical aspects of a carrier, but you get the feeling the people there are just a highly evolved ant taking care of the machine. This documentary showed the people and how it is a microcosm of America. Very rightly so we often referred to it as the small town of Nimitz, Virginia.
I look forward to passing this DVD set on to my daughter and her family so they can see where I spent a year and change and understand a bit of what my life was like.
RVAH-9 Hoot Owls - HHMF!