Author: Alan

The Blue Angels: A Story for the Camera

The Blue Angels: A Story for the Camera

‘Devotion’s’ director had an ace in the hole: his father, a Black Blue Angel pilot. After meeting his father, he realized that “what makes a man a pilot…is not just the fact that he’s a pilot…but that he’s a father.” So, when he was offered a chance to direct Martin Scorsese’s latest epic—a documentary about flight-testing the Blue Angels himself—the question was: Would anyone get off his ass to do it?

But the director would get off his ass to make it, and he wouldn’t just do it for his father. It was an idea he’d first considered a decade earlier after attending the National Air and Space Museum’s annual airshow, when he noticed that some of the exhibits had flown on a Blue Angels exhibit, and he learned about the pilots who’d flown the planes, and how they’d made them. It was the kind of thing the museum would never have been able to do on its own, and he wanted to show the public what the museum itself could do. He was convinced that this idea was not only a story for the camera, but that it could become a museum.

So, he went to the museum’s executive director and director. “Hey, I’m making a film about the National Air and Space Museum.” She said, “Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of thing we should tell the public.”

Devotion is the story of the pilots who made the Blue Angels, of their time in the cockpit, and of their time working out of the museum itself. It was also an opportunity for him to meet the museum’s director, Tom Burch. The two hit it off instantly, and began a relationship that would become so strong, they’d moved in together almost a year later—when, in 2003, Burch was finally able to retire.

The first thing Devotion does that makes it an extraordinary film is that it takes its time. It sets out to tell the story of the Blue Angels, and then spends years gathering footage of their daily lives. The first thirty minutes of the film are devoted to the story of the Blue Angels in the National Air and Space Museum. At the end of the

Leave a Comment