Movie maker gets to use real WWII B-17 flying fortress during shoot in Colorado

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DENVER -- Action! Those are words spoken more often these days in Colorado. From movie directors directed to actors.

“We get to do things they don’t do in Hollywood. We get to cut corners,” said Darla Rae, producer and director for the indie film "The French American."

Rae knows her way around a movie set, she’s been in the business a while. “The first film I worked on was Halloween. John Carpenter’s Halloween, as an extra.”

That’s exactly why Rae was here in Colorado Friday, under the belly of a parked B-17 World War II bomber.

She was shooting scenes for her latest film, "The French American."

“It’s really a love story. He was engaged to a woman from the French Resistance. He’s actually American, grew up in France. Germans invaded, he was forced to repatriate back to the U.S. so he joined the Army Air Corps," she said.

“He” is WWII bombardier John Tschirart, played by up and coming Colorado actor Julien Oblett who flew for the very first time in a B-17 Flying Fortress. “You really feel the part. Seeing all the instruments, seeing everything. Just being in the aircraft is really something,” Oblett said.

Using a fully functional, fly-worthy B-17 aircraft was a real "get" for this movie production. “We just coordinated with Wings Over the Rockies Museum and I mean it happens. In independent film-making if you don’t ask, the answer is always no,” said Rae.

As the B-17 touches down, hopes of the cast and crew are still in the clouds for "The French American."

The movie is slated to open in select theaters on Veteran’s Day weekend, 2016.

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