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Showbiz Nation LIVE! Interview Film Director KYLE OLSON
Film director KYLE OLSON discusses the making of THE LAST SIGNAL, which documents the reunion of two World War II veterans reuniting for the first time in 70 years.
In June 2015, a 92 year old man became an overnight internet sensation. His name is Raymond “DeVere” Johnson, and he was believed to be the last surviving World War II veteran of the LST-218. Adamant to prove he was not alone, his daughter created a post on Facebook asking help finding him a fellow shipmate. In just days, the post went viral, garnering over one million hits and attention from media outlets from all over the world. Weeks later, 91 year old veteran John Heimsoth was discovered. In effort to make up lost time, these veterans scheduled their first and final reunion.
Post-Production has begun on The Last Signal, a feature-length documentary by award-winning independent filmmaker Kyle Olson (Letters to Ashleigh), that was shot partially throughout greater Chicago and is especially relevant and noteworthy during this contentious and questionable time in our country.
Simple yet incredibly powerful, The Last Signal is a beautiful All-American true story about two World War II veterans reuniting for the first time in 70 years. And with just weeks until the 2016 presidential election and Veteran’s Day, The Last Signal also serves as a positive, uplifting and necessary reminder of what is right and real with our country and the people who serve to protect it.
The story, 70-years-in-the-making, gained worldwide attention last year when the Cheryl Johnson Brown of Joliet, IL posted on Facebook for her father, Chicago-based 92-year-old Raymond “DeVere” Johnson, who believed he was the last surviving World War II veteran of the Navy ship LST-218. Wanting to give back to her father who had sacrificed so much for her family, Cheryl’s post asked for help in finding her father a fellow shipmate. In just days, the post went viral, garnering over one million hits and attention from media outlets from all over the world.
“After finding out about the story on Facebook my team and I contacted the families, secured all rights to the story, facilitated the reunion and began production on the documentary,” said Olson. “As an independent filmmaker, as an American, I immediately knew I wanted to document this incredible story on film to help educate and inspire people of all ages.”
Weeks after the post went viral, 91-year-old veteran John Heimsoth was uncovered and these two great men scheduled a reunion. Olson and his team traveled with Johnson and his daughter to St. Louis, Missouri and Heimsoth’s home in Stover for the historic and much anticipated reunion.
While John attended several reunions for the surviving crew of the LST-218 throughout the years, DeVere never knew of the reunions, nor did he seek them out. It was only after the Facebook post went viral that he began to open up to his family about life in the war.
“For these men, this event was much more than a reunion. The Last Signal proves it is never too late to make history, or share it, even at the end of life,” continued Olson who is currently securing finishing funds for the film. “The story is also a testament to the power of the internet community and their far-reaching ability to unite to help those who served our country in a unique way…and it all started with a Facebook post from Chicago!”
People who want to be involved in this extremely important project are encouraged to donate or pre-buy the film by visiting www.lastsignalmovie.com.