Post 9/11 US Special Operations Veteran goes after Hollywood's Mission Impossible

Share Article Crowdfunding Project: Veteran US Army Ranger seeks investors at grassroots level for 'Old Yeller' meets 'Marley and Me' feature film project entitled 'Skidboot'

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"Without hope and inspiration, man is doomed" JC

For most military veterans re-acclimation to the private sector can be a real challenge; veteran US Army Ranger, Joel Carpenter should know, he’s been doing it since April 2006. In September 2001, Joel walked away from a lifelong ambition to be part of the Hollywood film business when he enlisted at a Hollywood Army Recruiting station and within less than a year became a US Special Operations Army Ranger in the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. He was 26 years old. Ten years later he’s at it again as the writer/producer of a feature film project entitled 'Skidboot'. Joel decided to launch the ‘Skidboot Film Project’ on a crowdfunding website The concept being if you can get enough support behind your idea, the 'project backers' will make a financial pledge to assist with funding.

Q: Can you tell us about Skidboot?
A: ‘Skidboot’ is a heartwarming true story based out of Quinlan, Texas about an ex-rodeo cowboy and his amazing dog named Skidboot. Skidboot pretty much was the real life version of ‘Lassie’ or ‘Old Yeller’. He was on Late Night with David Letterman. Jay Leno called him the smartest dog he has ever known. After being on the Oprah Winfrey Show, he received more fan mail than most of her celebrity guests; so she invited him back. It’s a story about Loyalty, Discipline, Love and Companionship. It’s about the amazing friendship David Hartwig developed with his K9 companion and how the two of them have literally touched millions of people throughout the world with their story. Our goal is to raise enough money to attach a famous actor or director."

Q: How did you find the story?
A: “Over the years I had been sent the youtube link entitled ‘Skidboot the Amazing Dog’. Every time I viewed it I thought 'Wow! What an amazing story. This would make a great movie'. Years later I started wondering why I hadn't seen a movie trailer from Disney Studios or other. I did some research and was able to contact David Hartwig (Skidboot's owner). When I asked if there was any creative activity with the story, he told me that at one time there was a producer who was interested, but that the interest had died shortly after and so here we are today.”

Q: You named your company ‘Naretev Productions’; why?
A: “One day I was looking at the word ‘Veteran’ and suddenly I realized it was naretev (narrative) spelled backwards. This made so much since because a narrative is a retelling of a story and all of us have stories; we don’t have to be famous for that. Narratives have a beginning, middle and an end and it is important for all of us to understand that even when we feel like life is dragging us backwards, we are merely forming our narratives and that the end isn’t written until we leave this earth. So conceptually, Naretev is the mirror reflection of who a veteran can become on the outside.”

Q: So if you could offer any suggestion to the public on assisting a veteran, what would it be?
A: “Empower your veterans, don’t feel sorry for them. They are natural leaders and can really stand out in the community. One of the greatest gifts the private sector can offer a transitioning service member is opportunity. Our goal is to achieve that opportunity and then share it with others by paying it forward.”

Q: How has your transition been?
A: “Exhausting at times. It’s like a giant chess game. There are all these obstacles and road blocks. Some of them are human and some are just circumstantial, but all of them can take your steam. Probably the worst moment was learning that one of my best friends was killed in Afghanistan.”

Q: Why do you want to make this movie?
A: “This isn’t just a movie. This story will serve as a life lesson for us all. This will be a film you can take your entire family to and walk out feeling inspired with a belief that there is still goodness within us all. Not a lot of movies do that these days and I believe audiences are thirsty for stories like this one. Think about all the films that were initially rejected: films like Star Wars, Rocky and others. If we can’t get someone to help us make it, we will make it ourselves. I don’t care if it’s with my ‘Cisco Flip’ camcorder, this movie is going to get made.”

Q: How can people get involved?
A: They can go to and search for Skidboot or email us at skidbootmovie(at)aol(dot)com

‘Skidboot Kickstarter Feature Film Project’

Skidboot The Amazing Dog


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