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That's a wrap for 2023 from the director

Updated: Jan 4

Happy New Year!

As we move into 2024, I want to personally thank you for your participation in the UNTURNING STEEL documentary. “Made in America” means different things to different people, and I’m grateful to be able to include your perspective. 

I want to update you, but first,… as you enjoyed the holidays, I want to encourage you to reach out and touch base with co-workers, friends and family members. Whether showing up in a festive ugly Christmas sweater or acting like the Grinch, anyone can hide feelings of despair, and holidays can be the worst for those of us who have experienced trauma and isolation. A solemn reminder: Bill lost Sean 1 year ago, and to many, he was Superman. So, without judgment, without forcing anything, let your Vets know they matter to you and you’re available to listen.

Now for the overview:

Production has been a rollercoaster, both logistically, and emotionally. Check out the timeline which doesn’t include all the work between shoots to organize the footage and plan the next shoot:

  • December, 2022: veteran Army Captain and reliability expert Bill Leahy lost his brother Sean to suicide. He was driven to do something to help our heroes transition to civilian life. He committed himself to launching this program and to capture the process as part of a full-length documentary.

  • February, 2023: we met, hit it off, and dived into the development and pre-production.

  • June - August: began filming at Medalcraft Mint, Inc. and around Green Bay, Wisconsin.

  • August: filming in California.

  • September: filming at the University of Tennessee.

  • October - November:  fundraising and organizing 105 hours of raw footage

Coming up:

March, 2024: screening a 22-minute version of the documentary at the 28th Annual Maintenance and Reliability Conference (MARCOM) in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Then we will be screening at the United States Capitol. Yes, that’s right, we’ve been invited to present this short version of UNTURNING STEEL to the full Senate! 

Along with the screening, we have the opportunity to speak directly to policymakers about veterans’ transitioning to become civilians, American manufacturing, and societal disengagement. Very exciting, but also a bit unnerving, as we want to be fully prepared to take advantage of this opportunity and also capture what we can of this trip for the documentary.

To complete the feature version of the documentary:

  • Need to return to Green Bay, and also head to Connecticut, Washington DC, and a few other locations to wrap up the full story.

  • We’re looking to submit the full documentary to the South by Southwest 2025 film festival, then find distribution on a streaming platform. 

    • Originally we planned to premiere the full feature Spring of 2024 and now will have select screenings till the feature premier.

  • Your voice: we just lunched our marketing campaign on social media and need your help. Your word of mouth and shares on social media, the more people we can get involved. The more veterans and industry we can save!

If you haven’t already; please fill out the form on the website to receive exclusive updates, watch the trailer, or invite your friends and family to learn more.

I would also like to give a shout out to all the crew and support for this film. With out them, this documentary would be just an idea and a story that many people would not be able to benefit from. So thank you for all your blood and sweat.

Motivation for the editors

Thanks again and best wishes for a happy, prosperous, and fulfilling 2024.

Michael Wood


Never Forgotten Media

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