Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Posts Tagged ‘Ann Nutt’

Documentary Film,Film Screenings,Khe Sanh,Marines,Vietnam War

December 6, 2013

On Carson City, Kentfield and the Future of BRAVO!

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Here we are nearing the end of 2013 and it has been a fabulous year to be involved with filmmaking and with the folks who have been viewers and participants with BRAVO!

Last month we screened the film at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nevada, as part of WNC’s veterans club celebration of Veterans Day, 2013. One of the memorable elements of that event was the number of young Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans who attended. Betty and I had intense discussions with those young vets about the film and how their experiences so often mirrored what the men of BRAVO! described in the film.

Before the screening at Carson City, Betty and I took a walk with Marine and BRAVO! supporter extraordinaire, Mr. Terry Hubert, up to the WNC observatory, enjoying a moment of relaxation before the show began.

A big thanks to Terry for his efforts in arranging the Carson City screening, to retired Marine Corps Major Kevin Burns who is the veteran faculty advisor at WNC, to the WNC Veterans Club, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 388, Marine Corps League Detachment 630 and the Nevada State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America, all of whom made this event a great success.

Earlier in the day, Betty and I had a great time with Terry Hubert and his granddaughter Kayla at the Veterans Day Parade in Virginia City, Nevada. It was a glorious day weather-wise and the streets were lined with a wide variety of parade onlookers including veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East wars. The parade featured hot cars, bands, ROTC units, horses, floats, veterans and characters dressed like the old-time denizens who lived in Virginia City back in the heyday of the silver boom.

At the Virginia City Veterans Day Parade: Nice tail gate. OORAH! Marine!

Moving on to California and the San Francisco Bay area, we stopped for a lunch of tacos with Khe Sanh veteran and big-time BRAVO! supporter Mike Preston. As so often happens with Mike and others, our conversation tilted mightily toward deceased Khe Sanh heroes.

On November 14th we screened BRAVO! at College of Marin in Kentfield, California, in association with the College of Marin Veterans Association. A big thanks to Craig Wheeler and Ben Wilson of the college veterans and to Vietnam veterans Brent MacKinnon and Ted Wilson for all the work it took to put this screening together. College of Marin’s James Dunn Theatre was a first-rate venue, and the college’s catering department prepared a delicious array of food for the reception

The audience was varied with veterans present from a variety of our nation’s conflicts. Also attending were BRAVO! film and sound editor John Nutt (a Vietnam veteran) and his wife Ann. The Nutts brought an interested group of independent filmmakers to view the film and discuss its historical, artistic and technical aspects. Included in this particular group was filmmaker Christopher Beaver who has been a valued consultant on the production aspects of BRAVO!

We finished up the evening at College of Marin with a panel discussion emceed by Craig Wheeler. The panel included Vietnam Veterans Ted Wilson, Brent MacKinnon, Sunny Campbell and Ken Rodgers.

At the Virginia City Veterans Day Parade: Check out Kayla's cool cap!

Associate Producer Carol Caldwell-Ewart was on hand to help us manage the screening details and as always she did a great job.

Deceased Marine and BRAVO! interviewee Dan Horton was represented at this screening by two of his cousins, Janet and Kathryn Horton. It was a real pleasure to meet them, to see the similarities they had with Dan, and to remember Dan’s and my time together at Khe Sanh and after.

On the following day we traveled to San Francisco to discuss a possible screening of the film at Fisherman’s Wharf on March 30, 2014, which is Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day and the anniversary of a major event for Bravo Company during the Siege. A big shout-out goes to nephew Troy Campbell, Executive Director of the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit Association, for helping us make this contact. And yes, it was the opening day of crab season, and what do you suppose we ate?

It was a great trip that capped off a truly stellar year for the film in which screenings were hosted in Fresno, Clovis, Sonora, Soledad Correctional Training Facility, Kentfield and Santa Rosa, California, Casa Grande, Arizona, Reno and Carson City, Nevada, and Moscow and Eagle, ID. In addition, BRAVO! was screened for six-hundred-fifty-plus active duty Marines at Twentynine Palms, California where Bravo Company’s beloved skipper, Ken Pipes, represented Team Bravo.

2013 also saw the release of DVDs of the documentary film for purchase. The response has been good and we appreciate all the folks from around the country who have bought copies of BRAVO!.

Last but not least, we were honored to be featured, along with BRAVO!’s own Steve Wiese, on Dialogue on Idaho Public Television, a news program hosted by Marcia Franklin.

Things are already shaping up for 2014 as we are in negotiations for screenings in Las Vegas, Nevada, San Francisco, Modesto, Fallbrook, Sacramento and Sebastopol, California, and another screening in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Thank you all who support BRAVO!

DVDs of BRAVO! are now for sale with a limited-time special offer at

BRAVO! has a page on Facebook. Please “like” us and “share” the page at It’s another way we can spread the word.

Documentary Film,Guest Blogs,Khe Sanh,Vietnam War

March 6, 2012

On the Sidelines of Bravo!

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Ann Nutt, wife of Bravo! editor John Nutt, muses from her sideline seat.

Having had a close association with the evolution of Bravo! over the past year, I know that there are a lot more people out there besides me who have closely followed the coming together of this amazing film, and every one of them probably has a story to tell. Here is one of them.

My name is Ann Nutt. My husband, John Nutt, is a film editor and a Vietnam veteran (Army). Over the nearly forty years that we’ve been married, he has thought of himself more in terms of his film work than his military experience, but that experience has always been part of him. That experience came to mind when I read an article about Ken and Betty Rodgers and their film about Khe Sanh and handed it to John.

It all began when we were in Tucson, Arizona, visiting our daughter for Christmas in 2010. While there, I picked up a copy of the local paper, just to see what was going on, and there was the article about Ken and Betty’s project. The article indicated that the shooting of the film was complete (“in the can,” as these film folks would say), but the editing was something as yet to be addressed. John was, at the time, “between projects” (another term familiar to film people as well as other freelancers), so I handed him the article, thinking that with both his editing and his Vietnam experience, it might be something of interest to him. I think my exact words were, “You should call these people.” I may have repeated this advice a time or two before John went on line, got phone numbers for the various Ken Rodgers who were associated with Boise, Idaho, and actually picked up the phone to try to call “these people.”

The first phone call that John made was serendipitous. Not only was it Ken and Betty’s number, they were, as they later told us, at that moment talking about how they were going to find an editor that they wanted to work with on their film. After a few conversations with Ken and Betty and a meeting with their friend (and associate producer) Carol Caldwell-Ewart, John had the honor of signing on to work on this extraordinary project and I had the honor of getting to live alongside it.

Although Ken and Betty live and work in Boise, John worked from our house in Albany, California. It’s not a big house, and I have a corner of “the office” in which John edits. I was in and out of the office in the early months of the editing process, while John was watching hours of raw interview footage, and even though I was not sitting down to watch that footage, I was hearing the voices of the Khe Sanh survivors, listening to bits and pieces of their stories, and that is when I began to learn about courage –on many different levels.

First, there is the courage of the survivors, whose agonized stories I listened to in bits and pieces before ever seeing the film. Film or no film, it was clear that opening up and reliving their experiences in graphic detail was not at all easy for them. I heard them choke up as they talked about what had happened to them at Khe Sanh and afterwards, and how it had changed their lives. Thankfully, for the rest of us, they did tell their stories, and the film gives us not only the stories, but a real understanding of the courage it took to tell them.

Bravo! also shows something about the courage of all soldiers who go to war. The powerful observation that most of the Marines at Khe Sanh were barely out of childhood when they went into battle could probably be said about most soldiers in any war. It’s a lesson about courage on a personal level that we should all be aware of.

Finally, I had something of an insider’s view of the significant courage on Ken and Betty’s part that it took to make this film in the first place. They had never made a film before this, but they waded straight into the unknown. From the beginning of simply wanting to record the stories of Ken’s fellow survivors, they learned how to raise funds, direct and shoot the interview footage, oversee difficult editing decisions, and, when the film itself was complete, to work relentlessly on getting the film seen. I was aware of painful debates about how deeply into the brutality of the siege of Khe Sanh this film should go, and Ken and Betty had the courage to go deep, and to make artistic choices, such as adding documentary footage and powerful sound effects, that made the reality of the battle all that more real.

I went from hearing the opening explosions that introduce the Bravo! audience to Khe Sanh on the small speakers on John’s computer in our small house, to hearing it projected on a very simple video projection system in a small hotel conference room, to feeling it shake the floors (and startle me out of my seat) in surround sound at Lucasfilm, and no matter how many times I heard it, it was powerful and real.

From idly reading the newspaper in Tucson, to watching the completed film in a large theater, I have had an amazing time on the sidelines of Bravo!

Ann Nutt is recently retired from a long career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she was an attorney specializing in water pollution law. She is presently a volunteer writing coach in two public schools and has recently begun training to be among the first group of docents at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park, which will open its first visitors’ center in May.

Ann met her husband John in 1966, when he was a devoted moviegoer, but not yet involved in the making of films. They lost track of one another after high school graduation but reconnected via correspondence during John’s tour in Vietnam. She has been close to his work on many films over the years, but has never felt as drawn into any as much as Bravo!