Director Erik Nelson discusses The Cold Blue

Director Erik Nelson discusses The Cold Blue

June 13, 2019 An Eastern Region Special Projects Documentary Series Screening

During WWII, the Eighth Air Force flew multiple deadly missions over Europe. DGA and Oscar-winning Director William Wyler (Ben-Hur) went to Europe to capture the air war in progress and flew actual combat missions on while crafting his 1944 documentary, The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, a tribute to the titular WWII bomber.

Director Erik Nelson’s The Cold Blue uses newly restored 4K footage and outtakes from Wyler’s work that was recently discovered in the vaults of the National Archives. Also featuring narration from some of the last surviving B-17 pilots, Nelson's documentary is both a tribute to one of the world’s great filmmakers and the men of the Eighth Air Force. The Cold Blue premiered at AFI Docs and screened at the New York Film Festival.

Following the DGA Eastern Region Special Projects Committee’s Documentary Series screening in New York on June 13, Nelson discussed the making of the film in a conversation moderated by Director Sandra Luckow (That Way Madness Lies...).

In addition to The Cold Blue, Nelson's filmography includes the documentary features A Gray State, Dinotasia, JFK: The Final Hours, Scrapbooks from Hell: The Auschwitz Albums and Dreams with Sharp Teeth; the movie for television Anne Frank's Holocaust; and episodes of the series Pearl Harbor Declassified, Journal of the Unknown and Secrets and Mysteries. Nelson has been a DGA member since 1984.

You can listen to Nelson's Q&A by clicking the podcast episode embedded below. You can find more DGA podcast episodes here.


Event photos by Ryan Jensen - Print courtesy of HBO.

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