I wanted to do something for my final project that relates to what I study, which is World War II. I am particularly interested in the Eastern Front, the war between Germany and the Soviet Union. This particular part of the conflict is not something that many Americans know very much about, however, taken by itself without the larger backdrop of the rest of the war, this conflict would still be the largest war ever fought throughout all of recorded history. Because of this, I want to create an overview of the Eastern Front, something which will give viewers a broad outline and some insight into the conflict.
The video will cover the main events and broad trajectory of the war, with some time to go into a few specific examples and give a flavor for the nature of the conflict which was so different from the war in Western Europe. There are a bunch of different things I want to bring into the video, there is archival footage that I can use and photos as well. The Battle of Kursk in particular, considered the greatest tank battle ever, has limited footage, but some will be useful. I’m going to see if I can find some interviews at the LOC, but I am not hopeful that they exist. I have a series of podcasts that deal specifically with this portion of the war that will give some scene, color and great sound bytes. There are documentaries I will try to take scenes from and even a Hollywood movie, Enemy at the Gates which depicts the Battle of Stalingrad, I want to use the beginning battle sequence which is a pretty decent depiction of urban warfare, and also depicts the Soviet soldiers shooting their own from behind, something which was a big part of this war. I hope to create some graphics to use that will underscore some of the statistics in a visual way. My group last week suggested making some c comparisons to help illustrate some points and allow viewers to absorb the story, making in personal. Another thing that was a great suggestion from my group was to pose an alternate ending, as in, what if some particular thing had (or hadn’t) happened, how would that have shaped the outcome of the war, of the post-war. I’ll use some generic pictures of the Russian winter to give an idea of that aspect of the conflict, and underscore it with some patriotic Russian and German music.
Another aspect that I want to try to add if I have the time, which given the scope of what I’m already trying to accomplish will be a tall order, but I would like to try and highlight the lack of awareness about this theatre of war in the US. There was a book published soon after the war by Life Magazine that is a pictorial history of the war, only they didn’t have any pictures of the Eastern Front, so Life used a series of paintings, which is revealing about the level of interest from the US. My group last week gave me the idea of looking through a series of US history text books and having a graphic that shows how little each talks about this part of the war.
At any rate, I have a lot of ideas for what to add into the video, and in my mind it looks great, I hope that I can tell a coherent story with the short format. And I’m also hopeful that I can figure out the technology to put this together…. For the script in a few weeks I want to challenge myself to do at least part of it in a storyboard format which is something that I am unfamiliar with and will be difficult for me to figure out.