Image: World premiere, Barney Danson Theatre, Canadian War Museum, Q&As
Reviews "Shooters is the visual story of the members of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit ... This story of a group of Canadian soldiers, who carried cameras into action instead of Lee-Enfields or Bren guns in order to take “history by the neck,” is impressively presented on DVD. ... The story of the CAFPU is a visual one, and it could not be properly told without the moving pictures produced, so DVD is therefore an excellent medium. The images give Shooters tremendous impact. ... James O’Regan ... has achieved a remarkable feat in assembling the story of a unit ... the first to provide film of the assault waves landing in Sicily and in Normandy, the first to get still pictures from Normandy onto the front pages of the world press, and the only ones to produce coloured pictures of Operation Overlord. ... Admittedly, the first few minutes of Shooters has all of the hallmarks of one of those intense, sonorous Remembrance Day specials on the History Channel, but the unit veterans soon assume control of their story and they captivate. ... the most moving part of the DVD, watching a CAFPU cameraman film his own death over the Rhine River. ... [James] O’Regan ... [has] produced a solid historical video-document that makes the film and picture record of a “writing generation” available to a more visually-oriented generation. ... honoured a particular type of uniformed warrior-chronicler that no longer exists." - Lieutenant-Colonel Terence W. Loveridg, Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2006, p.74
"Thanks to these men, the world could watch newsreels from the front. They were in the middle of the action and preserved a true image of war." - Tony Costa, Imago Web Editor (European Federation of Cinematographers)
"SHOOTERS (Customflix): Made with the assistance of the department of National Defence, this patriotic doc pays tribute to the Canadian Film and Photo Unit, the members of which dodged bullets while gathering still photos and film footage during WWII. Filmmaker James O'Regan's father was the man who discovered the CFPU's most famous piece of film -- the first to show Allied troops coming ashore on D-Day -- in a canister that a cameraman had dropped on the beach. Though O'Regan's style is rudimentary, the footage is frequently extraordinary and the interviews with the unit's survivors reveal how Canadians excelled at getting the war on film. Our secret weapon: tripods." - Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly, May 5, 2005
"A new documentary by Ottawa filmmaker James O'Regan, available on DVD for home viewing, tells a remarkable, compelling story that we’ve only seen or heard before in various bits and pieces. The documentary Shooters is the full, start-to-finish story of the amazing Second World War adventures and world-beating accomplishments of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit." - Don Angus, CSC News, June 2005, p. 18
"Shooters ...the remarkable story of this unique group of Canadians who went to war armed only with a camera..." - Bill Twaito, Esprit de Corps Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 12, p. 44
"Shooters has its share of "talking heads," all veterans of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, but their presentations (apparently short clips from O'Regan's interviews with them) are skillfully married with the contemporary film footage. ... This DVD includes some useful technical tips for the budding photographer. ... The video concludes with a moving tribute, again using their own work, to the seven member of the unit killed on active service in Europe. It provides a sober ending to remember the remarkable work of this team of Canadian visual chroniclers." - Owen Cooke, Canadian Camera, Winter 2005/2006, p. 32-33
"Shooters makes an excellent resource for the new Grade 11 curriculum, for programs in film, photography and media literacy, and for Remembrance Day activities...." - FOCUS NEWSLETTER A Publication of the Social Studies Council of the Alberta Teachers' Association, Volume 35, Number 3, June 2007, p.8-9
"I want to thank you for sending the preview DVD of "Shooters". I just finished watching it and I must say that this will be an excellent resource for our division. It must have been a true labour of love for you, documenting the work your father and other brave soldiers did for the allies in WWII. Please send me the invoice!" - Gabe Kraljevic, Divisional Teacher Team Leader, Seven Oaks School Division #10, Manitoba
"Shooters: The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit 1941-1946 is an interesting and excellent film which incorporates original World War II film footage, still photographs, interviews and narration by Mr. O’Regan, the son of a CFPU veteran. This film would enhance Media Arts (ASM2O), Contemporary Canadian History (CHC2D/P/L), Canadian History: Identity and Culture (CHI4U), Communications Technology (TGJ2O), or any English Course 9-12 to address Media Literacy expectations. Not only does the film provide an interesting perspective on the experience of Canadian soldiers in World War II, it also demonstrates the importance of the film medium: reporting news, recording history, supporting the war effort and maintaining morale. A particular segment focuses on a training manual created by one of the CFPU veterans. Communications Technology and English students investigating the Media Literacy strand would find this section very interesting as its presentation of camera and filming techniques would support their learning. ..." -Mark Woermke, Social Studies Consultant, in collaboration with Rosann Mullins Coordinator of Intermediate/Secondary Programs Dept., www.ottawacatholicschools.ca
"First, compliments on this production - funny, sad and informative. There are a number of (excuse the pun) new angles in this film. I think the stories behind the famous photographs/footage (especially at Juno Beach) are great - and news to me. There are opportunities for critical/media literacy here and a spark for discussions about propaganda. ... Thanks for the opportunity to review the DVD; clearly, this was labour of love and pride... FYI - I viewed the film with my 10 year old son who both liked it and asked many questions. I like to fan the flames of curiosity." - Ian Pettigrew, Instructional Coordinator, Social Studies; History and Geography; Canadian and World Studies; Social Sciences and Humanities, (Grades 1-12), H.J.A. Brown Education Centre, Peel DSB
“Great story… and stories behind the film and stills that have become iconic points of WWII reference.” - Peter Kent(Global News)
"It gave me goosebumps..." - See User Commentsabout Shooters at the Internet Movie Database. Add your own comments there too.
"James I just finished watching your film. Great work. It brought tears to my eyes, and I mean it. I'm afraid I got a bit emotional watching the wartime story of my unit. I am going to make sure that the Military Photographers Assn hear about it and order some videos. It was nice to see your dad in the film, that alone moved me to tears." - Gord Croucher, Canadian Army Photographer
"James, I just watched your DVD "Shooters" on the weekend and I thought I would let you know just how much I enjoyed it. The story of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit is one that every Canadian should know about, but unfortunately has until the release of your DVD been lost to history. Your documentary is a lasting tribute to not only the professionalism and ingenuity of this unit, but also to their bravery and dedication to Canada. To me, the D-Day assault footage is the most captivating motion picture imagery of the war and I am overjoyed that someone has taken the time to show us the full film clip. Your DVD brings many lost treasures to light and should be staple viewing on TV during Remembrance Week." - W.O. Ed Storey, CD
In July, 2002, The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board determined that Shooters met the requirement of "outstanding significance and national importance."
Press Stories & Notices
Features: Riddle of the Day "According to James O’Regan’s splendid documentary history of the CAFPU, Shooters, this footage was the first seen by Eisenhower and Montgomery, Roosevelt and Churchill, and it remains the only actual film of the assault to survive." - Marc Milner, Legion Magazine, April 26, 2010: Features: Riddle of the Day James O'Regan Interview with Adrian Harewood, All in a Day, CBC Radio One, Ottawa, November 8, 2007, 3:10-3:25pm.
Shooters WNED PBS Top Pick - weekend of September 28-30, 2007
The Globe and Mail, Tonight's Pick, September 28, 2007
SHOOTERS: A new documentary "It tells a remarkable story of the Second World War adventures and worldbeating accomplishments of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit. Little has been seen or heard before of this group of dedicated photographers. The Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit (CFPU) was late to be formed but they were the first in scooping the world on major events in Europe..." - The PHSC E-MAIL, Volume 6-1, Supplement to Photographic Canadiana, May 2006, The Photographic Historical Society of Canada,
Video honours little-known facets of war reporting An idea was born during the hearty greetings and clink of glasses at a military reunion in Ottawa when a son watched and listened as old comrades slapped his father's back, shook his hand, and talked war stories." - Dave Brown (Ottawa Citizen, March 20, 2005, p. A8; Note: The town identified in Dave Brown's story as Dieppe was actually Bernieres-sur-mer.)
Shooters Documentary Available “Some of the most iconic images of World War II were captured by a little-recognized group of Canadian photographers and cameramen nicknamed the Shooters. These men belonged to a Canadian Army unit that followed frontline troops into battle--whether it was landing at Juno Beach on D-Day or parachuting over the Rhine--in order to capture the news as it happened. The story of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit is told in a recently completed documentary film by Canadian writer and producer James O'Regan, whose father Brian O'Regan was a member of the CFPU. The hour-long documentary features some new colour footage of the D-Day landings and extensive selection of CFPU footage, some of which is truly excellent." - Adam Day, Legion Magazine, September-October, 2005
THROUGH THEIR EYES, WE SAW WAR “At full strength during the Second World War, there were 60 members of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit. More than 20 would become casualties, six of them fatal. The number of survivors of the little-known unit dropped to five with the death Feb. 8 of Charles "Bud" Roos, 92, in Victoria, B.C." - Dave Brown (Ottawa Citizen, March 6, 2006, p. D1)
Propaganda on Display ... The CWM also screened local moviemaker James O'Regan's "Shooters," about Canadian war photographers. ..." - Randal Marlin, Peace and Environment News (PEN), February 6, 2006
'Shooters': An interview with James O'Regan “Two weeks before Christmas 2005, Ottawa filmmaker James O’Regan presented Canadian veterans and their families with a gift – his film about the Canadian Army Film Unit, entitled Shooters." - Peter Dudley, www.canadianfilm.com, March 8, 2006
“Shooters: A New Documentary... It tells a remarkable story of the Second World War adventures and worldbeating accomplishments of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit. Little has been seen or heard before of this group of dedicated photographers...." - THE PHSC E-MAIL, Vol. 6-1 May 2006, p. 5
Canadian Battlefields » A Brief Note on the Photos Above : May 21, 2009: "Incidentally, we recently saw an interesting documentary on the the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit (The CFPU was established in September 1941), called Shooters . According to the film, Canadian cameramen like Bell captured a number of scoops during the war, including the first iconic footage of Allied soldiers going ashore on D-Day (Canadian soldiers, no less) shot by Sgt. Bill Grant of the CFPU. This was the first footage of the landings to be shown around the world, thanks in part to Brian O’Regan, the father of Shooters director James O’Regan."
canadiansoldiers.com Discussion Forum includes reactions to the film: March 13, 2006, "Last December, I had the opportunity to see the film Shooters at the new Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. I also interviewed the film's producer – James O'Regan – about the film and his reasons for making it. What a fascinating story it turned out to be. "