by Glen Starkey | New Times San Louis Obispo
You’ll be flooded with emotion watching Tour of Honor, a stirring documentary that chronicles a trip orchestrated by Honor Flight Central Coast California (honorflightccc.org), an organization that flies American war veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit their respective war memorials.
You’ll also be amazed when you discover that the 54-minute documentary—which will screen with two other films at 7:15 p.m. in Mission Cinemas (next to Fremont Theater) at the 2016 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (SLOIFF)—was created locally by two young brothers: Kyle and Carlos Plummer.
“We were both born and raised here in SLO County and are proud residents of Cambria,” Carlos explained in an email interview. “We started making this film when Kyle was 17 and I was 13. Kyle is now 19 and I’m 14, turning 15 in April. I attend California Virtual Academies, a public charter school, and Kyle is currently attending Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, studying communications with an emphasis in film. We learned filmmaking mostly through experience starting way back in 2007 and ’08 when we made our first short film Indiana Jones and the Crystals of Eternity and our award-winning film The Magic Hat.”
The Plummer brothers attended the very first SLOIFF filmmaking workshop in 2008, and they’ve been honing their skills ever since. Tour of Honor features effective camera work and film editing, and makes excellent use of its soundtrack and score to increase the emotional potency of what is already an emotionally wrought subject. For these American war veterans, recalling their wartime service can be difficult and cathartic.
“We learned about Honor Flight through Ron Waltman of the American Legion Post 432 as well as Cheryl and Robert Tolan of Welcome Home Military Heroes, while making a documentary about them,” Carlos said. “We were very intrigued by the subject and learned that we are losing our World War II veterans at an increasing rate. We decided this would be a worthy documentary subject; in doing other short documentaries, we learned the impact these veterans have had on our country and felt that honoring them by telling their amazing stories would be our way of giving back to them. Kyle and our father, Jeff, went on the flight and documented it from start to finish. I edited the film, taking several hours of footage and honing it into the powerful 54-minute film, which will be shown at the festival.”