Lou Reda Productions, an Emmy Award-winning, New York City-based history documentary company, and the Perry Transmedia Group, of Dunkirk, New York, are developing and producing the 2-hour documentary, “We Have Met the Enemy.” They have reached a point where they need an additional several hundred thousand dollars, and filming is on hold until the next funding level is reached. They are looking for the next $250,000 to move into the finishing stage and are speaking with several parties who want to get involved with the project which is about 40% done.
The Commodore Perry Documentary’s estimated cost is $1.4 million. “The next stage will require several hundred thousand dollars and a shot in the arm is need a shot in the arm for the next level to be achieved. This is going to be the most comprehensive documentary on that time frame.’’ “Without having the ability to have everything funded, it pushes you back,’’ Nixon said. Filming began in Erie in early March 2016, when Scott Reda, executive producer of Lou Reda Productions, brought a six-member crew in to scout sites. Crews filmed at Presque Isle State Park’s Perry Monument and filmed interviews and narrative with historians and maritime authorities at the Historical Society of Erie County.
Among those interviewed was U.S. Brig Niagara Senior Capt. Walter Rybka and William Garvey, president of the Jefferson Educational Society. Filming resumed in June in Newport, Rhode Island, where Perry was born and buried. Production crews spent five days in Newport, interviewing some of Perry’s descendants and filming aboard the tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry, the largest civilian sailing vessel in the United States. Additional filming is scheduled for Put-in-Bay Ohio, Buffalo, and Amherstburg, Ontario, near the mouth of the Detroit River.
Nixon said production crews will return to Erie at least once more to do additional interviews, a re-creation and to shoot on Lake Erie and film with reenactors. This will be a great opportunity to feature the history of Put-in-Bay in the Commodore Perry Documentary.