Making A 1 Million Dollar Historical Documentary – Ron King and Darroch Greer [FULL INTERVIEW]

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: Gentlemen, I’m wondering if we can go back to whether it was growing up in the (SF) Bay Area or Santa Barbara or even as far back as living in the Midwest and just think about what story impacted you the most as children? Whether it’s a TV show, comic book, novel and how did it form your love of story?

Ron King: What I like to think about is the fact that we didn’t have a television my house so I went over to the neighbor’s house and ever year they used to broadcast The Wizard of Oz. And I saw The Wizard of Oz when I was very young. I must have been about four or five years old.

And everything was good until we got to the Wicked Witch, then things got a little scary so…I bailed! I said “I can’t stay here anymore. I have to go home.” So I don’t know if it was a traumatic impact, but that story was something that made a huge impact as a kid and you know finally got through watching the movie a little when I was a little older but I found that one to be so realistic and terrifying that it made a very, very  deep impression.

Darroch Greer: I used to make cocktails for Margaret Hamilton at my first bar tending job in New York City way back in the late seventies.

Film Courage: How did she like her Martini?

Darroch Greer: I can’t remember what she drank? I just remember how diminutive and tiny she was and she no longer looked very scary.

Film Courage: Oh…good! I hope she was a good tipper, by the way?

Darroch Greer: She sat at a table. For me I distinctly remember reading Jack London’s Call of the Wild and tears streaming out the sides of my eyes at the end of the book and just the power of story that I wanted to relive and wanted to stay in that world.

Probably a bigger impression was a weird collection of American history stories, badly illustrated in three tone colors and I re-bought the book about a decade ago because it made such a big impression on me.

Photo courtesy of The Millionaires’ Unit

In second grade I started a club writing presidential biographies and coloring portraits of the presidents and so that’s probably how far back my love of history started.

Film Courage: Ron just as a side note you mentioned briefly not having a television and having to go to a neighbor’s. Was this out of fear of this new box that seemed to be taking America down?

Photo courtesy of The Millionaires’ Unit

Ron King: I wish I could say that it was that important of a commentary on why we didn’t have it but what happened was the TV broke at a certain point and then my parents decided they weren’t going to get it fixed and then we didn’t get one for another like 11 or 12 years.

Darroch Greer: My God!

Film Courage: Wow.

Ron King: So…that’s how that happened. Because I do remember watching The Flintstones in the basement with TV dinners but that was you know a long time ago.

Film Courage: Interesting.

Darroch Greer:  We were without a television, as well. I was born when my father was in medical school and I don’t think we had one when we moved to New Hampshire and I also remember…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Photo courtesy of The Millionaires’ Unit



About the film:

Seven years in the making and filmed on three continents, The Millionaires’ Unit documentary tells the dramatic story of a group of Yale students who were the first to fly for America in WW1, some of them making the ultimate sacrifice.