Our mission is to develop a timeless, enduring, and iconic feature film that evocatively and compellingly tells the story of Saratoga in a way that rivals iconic masterpieces such as “Last of the Mohicans”, “Dances with Wolves”, “Glory”, and “Saving Private Ryan”. This film will aim to vividly depict the dramatic events and autumn grandeur that set New York’s Upper Hudson Valley ablaze in 1777.
America’s patriots are a cresset torch that glows with an abiding love of country and the sacred fire of liberty that burns brightly in their hearts. This brilliant beacon is indeed what makes America a noble “shining city upon a hill.”
The sacred fire of liberty – which ignited the American Revolution – is fueled by the courage, faith, grit, loyalty, love, and wisdom of the nation’s patriots and veterans. The very foundation of our cherished Republic – that was established upon the principles of liberty, equality, and justice – was forged by this very sacred fire. Over the generations, this fire has courageously defeated tyranny; secured the fundamental rights granted by our Creator; built a nation; saved a ‘house divided against itself’; crushed the serpent of slavery; conquered fascism; ended the scourge of segregation; and outlasted the brutality and immorality of communism and totalitarianism. America’s patriots and veterans truly reflect what is best about our nation and remain its guiding beacon. We will never allow the sacred fire of liberty to be extinguished nor permit anything to tread upon the noble experiment that has been entrusted to us and posterity. We will ensure that our nation’s heroic origins are never forgotten as we maintain an unwavering fidelity to the oath that we solemnly took to defend The Constitution and our way of life. We will faithfully and securely pass the torch – that holds this sacred fire – to the next generation. This film project is a grateful salute to the patriots that courageously kept the sacred fire of liberty burning during one of the darkest hours of the American Revolution, when all appeared to be lost and America needed a miracle. They did their part. Now, we must do ours. Please support this promising, veteran owned project so that this compelling story can be brought to the widest audience in time for the 250th anniversary of the turning point of the American War for Independence on October 17, 2027.
—MARK O’ROURKE, U.S. ARMY VETERAN
Dedicated to the life, example, and memory of
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kenneth R. Hobson, II
Dedicated to the life, example, and memory of
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kenneth R. Hobson, II
In addition to the courageous soldiers that served and sacrificed in the Adirondack Mountains, Champlain, Hudson, and Mohawk Valleys to heroically save America’s fight for independence in 1777, this project is dedicated to the life, example, and memory of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kenneth R. Hobson, II (May 1, 1971 – August 7, 1998). Ken was one of the finest persons that I had the privilege of meeting in my life and was absolutely one of the very best soldiers and leaders that I served with while on active duty in the U.S. Army’s 513th Military Intelligence Brigade (“the Vigilant Knights”). He faithfully embodied the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) creed, led by example and was a true pro. More importantly, he was a great friend, loving son, husband, and father.
I poignantly learned of another October miracle just a few short days before the long anticipated public launch of this project on October 17, 2023. I was deeply moved to learn that Ken’s daughter – who was born 8 months after her father’s death – had just given birth to a son who was proudly named in honor of his late grandfather. Ken Hobson was a “Vigilant Knight”, a soldier’s soldier, and a true gentleman. His life was indeed a life well-lived. Sincere thanks to Deb for allowing me to dedicate this project in Ken’s memory. Those who proudly served with Ken miss him dearly and always think of him fondly. It was a privilege of a lifetime to share our journey with Ken and Deb, as lovely a young couple as one could possible know. Ken’s sterling example now echoes in eternity. A profoundly grateful nation is forever in his debt.
To date, there has surprisingly not been a major motion picture or feature film that compellingly presents the fascinating story of the stirring triumphs at Bennington and Saratoga and their profound, enduring impact on American and world history. While iconic battles such as Bunker Hill, Lexington, Concord, Trenton, Yorktown, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Midway, D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, and Iwo Jima are well-known, Saratoga’s singular importance – as the crucial victory which helped preserve America’s bold experiment in limited government – is unfortunately less understood. The stunning triumphs that occurred in the Upper Hudson Valley in the late summer and early autumn of 1777 nevertheless contributed to one of the most consequential victories in world history. The reality that Saratoga ultimately became the turning point of the American War for Independence is transcended by the fact that Burgoyne’s shocking surrender also marked the beginning of the end of centuries of repressive rule by despots and tyrants around the globe.
The Project’s Timeline
It is the clear goal of this project to bring this feature film to the widest possible viewing audience – both domestically and internationally – in line with the 250th anniversary of the victory at Saratoga on October 17, 2027. A multi-episode series is also planned.
View the milestones of the project below, as well as our projected milestones. Or, read the full project summary by clicking the button below.
Founding of Saratoga Feature Film Project
Project’s leadership meeting with History Department, U.S. Military Academy at West Point and James K. Martin, Ph.D., the 2017-18 Charles Boal Ewing Visiting Professor of Military History.
Project retained James Kirby Martin, Ph.D. and Bob Burris to oversee writing of feature film screenplay Commencement of writing of feature film screenplay. Initial draft of feature film script completed.
Completion of multiple script revisions. Screenplay completion. Commission of comprehensive script appraisal necessary for formulation of film’s budget. Production of info & sizzle reels, as well as initial website development.
Col. Kevin Weddle joins the project. Commencement of comprehensive outreach to a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
Project decisively retains 32 Mile Productions, Five Towers Media, and Justin Cerone to comprehensively overhaul project’s marketing materials, website and social media channels.
Comprehensive refresh of project’s marketing materials completed. Launch of project’s fundraising phase.
Secure endorsements from key stakeholders and accelerate fundraising campaign.
Sustained fundraising phase. Commencement of production.
Completion of fundraising phase. Production continues.
Production completed, followed by post-production marketing with the release & premier of iconic motion picture feature film on or around October 17, 2027.
Key Facts About the Project
Veteran-owned and operated project advised by the nation’s most preeminent military historians and institutions.
Screenplay written by veteran industry screenwriter and was carefully composed to be faithful to the actual history.
An opening montage of animation, graphics, and archival material familiarizes the audience with the harsh reality that it is truly the darkest hour—the American Revolution is on the verge of collapse and the flame of liberty close to being extinguished just a year after the signing of The Declaration of Independence.
We meet Daniel Morgan and his rugged group of riflemen, including Timothy Murphy. These able outdoorsmen are armed with a new type of weapon–the fabled Pennsylvania long rifle that is far more accurate and deadly than British muskets. Morgan exhorts his men: with their modern rifles, and revolutionary guerilla war tactics adopted from Indian warfare, they represent the best hope of turning back the invasion. Members of Congress argue over whether to promote the politically connected Horatio Gates or the daring but reckless Benedict Arnold to serve under Washington and stop Burgoyne’s advance. They acknowledge Arnold’s immense value as a fighter, but ultimately choose Gates.
As Burgoyne pushes south, he discovers the advance is not as easy as he expected. The thick forest, stifling humidity, rain, and unfamiliar terrain are enemies as well–not to mention the constant harassment of American snipers. Hungry for information, Burgoyne enlists a party of Indian allies to scout ahead–however, the mission goes horribly wrong when settler Jane McCrae, who the Indians were to escort to safety, is instead killed and scalped. Burgoyne is furious, the last thing he needs is a martyr to rally the colonists. When he berates the Indians they react by abandoning him–leaving his glacially-moving army now without valuable eyes and ears. Those closest to Burgoyne, including his mistress Gwen and his trusted commander Von Riedesel, advise holding off on the advance until adequate support and intelligence can be gathered. The haughty Burgoyne makes it clear that retreat is not an option. The Americans prepare for attack, but an explosive argument between the defensive-minded Gates and the aggressive Arnold threatens to shatter the unity of American forces.
Even after Burgoyne receives the news that the support he is counting will not be coming, he insists on moving forward–a rout at Bennington does little to dissuade him, nor does the fact that his troops are tired and hungry. At the same time, unbeknownst to Burgoyne, the colonists’ force has dramatically increased, inspired by the massacre of Jane McRae, the Americans finally hold numerical superiority. At Freeman’s farm, the two armies collide in a spectacular battle, driving the British back. Undeterred, Burgoyne launches a second assault. In one of the most pivotal moments in American history, American snipers take the unheard-of action of killing a British general, Benedict Arnold is a bold leader who nearly dies in the effort, the American common man rises to the occasion, and the British are delivered a stunning defeat.
As Burgoyne surrenders to Gates, he has to accept that the unthinkable has happened: his elite forces have been beaten by the “rabble” he despises, and the tide of the American Revolution has inextricably turned in favor of the colonists.
A comprehensive script appraisal and budget evaluation have been meticulously completed, catapulting our independent feature film project into the next phase of realization.
Accompanying the meticulously appraised script is a thoughtfully curated budget, totaling $125 million. This budget stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to producing a cinematic masterpiece that exceeds expectations. Every dollar will be carefully allocated to ensure the highest production values, from awe-inspiring battle sequences to the intricately detailed period sets.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.
— PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
May all of you, as Americans, never forget your heroic origins and never fail to seek divine guidance… We are forever indebted to those that have given their lives that we might be free.
— PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN