It is our pleasure to interview Mark D. Rose. He was born in Corvallis, Oregon to a logging family seasoned in the outdoors. At an early age he and his family moved to Alaska, where he was raised near Juneau. Immersing himself in that challenging environ, he early took up aviation, focusing his career in that direction for the next decades, eventually thrown into the construction of the Alaska Pipeline as a helicopter fleet manager, tasked with building out the mountain network vital to the project. Rose worked and flew in those extremes which pushed he and his colleagues to the edge on many occasions, teaching life lessons that only Alaska and the mountains can.
Mark was always fascinated with photography, attested by the photo albums he collected based on the experiences he witnessed and documented along the way. Eventually earning multiple patents in wireless, Mark moved from high-tech to writing and now to now to film, seeing that the current generation would rather watch than read, so here I am!
The story of Alaska Long Hunters follows the life of a young pilot who flew in Alaska’s frontier arctic. Experience the front-seat thrills of bush planes and helicopters operating in the most dangerous conditions on earth, airborne among the magnificent mountains, glaciers and rivers that only Alaska has to offer. Includes true-life experiences of accidents, comradeship, humor and heartbreak of life in early Alaska, gone forever when dismantled into parks in the 1980’s. Based on the book Last of the Long Hunters by Mark Rose, the scene opens with an early history of the Great Land and those that lived in it through interviews with several life-long Alaskans, including Hilda Lidner, Ray Atkins and Gale Ranney to name a few. Leading up to the introduction of the authors use of a new tool of transport – the single engine airplane, but not without extracting a terrible price. Experience what it was like to growing up among the dangerous game, hunting the massive caribou herds and absorbing the greatness of the county. Pilots will gain from the flying experiences related, and every boy, man and aviator will be compelled to grapple with its final truth, concluding with a crisis encounter that forever changed the pilot's life forever.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
Alaska Long Hunters was my first film, so 3 years..
What genre of filmmaking are you looking to work on and why?
Historical documentaries have really got my attention. So does Alaska history, the land, aviation and the people behind it all.. What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker?
Without question: Distribution How challenging is it to fund indie films?
My first was self-funded. My next will be joint
Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?
#1 John Ford, (John Wayne Western films ) #2 Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves) #3 Clint Eastwood. In my next work, Alaska Rescue Story, I hope to better connect the audience with nature and Alaska wildlife as Costner did in 'Dances.' E.g. - Horses for aircraft, Buffalo for Caribou and Alaska for the prairies.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
We're working on a narrative feature version of Alaska Long Hunters called 'Alaska Rescue Story'. This piece will add far more detail about bush flying, and a strong helicopter element based on my 40+ years in that industry. Further, as a future treat for your Canadian audience, we have a team working on a documentary about Reginald Fessenden, the Canadian inventor of wireless voice. What was the inspiration behind your latest documentary film project? In a low time in my life I wrote a book about my happier days as a 20 something flying and supporting helicopters in Alaska, the book called 'Last of the Long Hunters,' referring to the long hunters of the 1800's like Kit Carson and Daniel Boone. Enough folks liked this title so eventually we made 'Alaska Long Hunters` our first film, based on it's content. Why do you make films and what kind of impact would your work have on the world?
I'm a Christian guy and feel there`s room for real-life experiences about folks placed in do-or-die situations (as represented in Alaska Long Hunters) to honestly share their faith and tell their story. I will say the more we dug into the lives of most of the folks interviewed in ALH, the greater our encouragement to continue forward. As an example, winning 4 documentary awards out of 4 in Paris alone last year, plus the amazing feedback from other film festivals around the world was surprisingly unexpected and encouraged us. It appears many folks are attracted to an honest straightforward story over a high-tech visual extravaganza (as in many films these days), and we hope to provide such for them. So here are links to our latest project; www.alaskarescestory.com & (Facebook) www.facebook.com/alaskarescuestory