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Woodinville Man Makes WWII Movie with Positive Message

Brad Vancour

Courtesy Photo. Producer and actor Brad Cullen (left) and Brad Vancour, executive producer.

There are plenty of gory, glorified war movies, but those types of films don’t appeal to Brad Vancour.

Vancour, a Woodinville real estate broker, is the executive producer for "The Last Rescue," a movie that focuses on the psychological and moral complexities of war rather than gratuitous violence.

The film is set in France during World War II.

"This war film is not your typical blood-and-guts, D-Day-type movie where everyone is getting blown up," Vancour wrote in an email from Alabama, where he’s supervising the production of the movie. "We wrote this film to show more of the humanity side of what war does to soldiers and what goes through [the] minds of soldiers when they have to kill and after they have killed."

Although he doesn’t want to give away the ending of the movie, he said the film has a "positive message." For example, the characters have to decide whether it’s right to kill someone, even though that person is their enemy.

Vancour got involved  in "The Last Rescue" when Hallie Shepherd, the co-writer of the film and an actor and producer, and Eric Colley, the director and producer, gave him a copy of the script at an event for investors.

"When I read it, it was pretty much exactly what I had in mind doing over the years, and [I] really liked their business model of writing scripts that don’t cost a fortune to film and have a good message," Vancour recalled.

The film’s cast and producers have strong ties to Washington. Shepherd and Colley (who are engaged) live in Tacoma. Seattle actor Tony Doupe plays the highest-ranking German officer in the movie.

"The Last Rescue" isn’t Vancour’s first foray into the film industry. In the 1980s and 1990s, he traveled the world as a lead skier for Warren Miller films. Since the crews were usually small, he helped with production — filming, sound and setting up shots — as well as skiing in the movies.

"Each year there were ski associates of mine in the extreme ski world that would have a bad accident and die and I knew it was just a matter of time before that would happen to me also," Vancour wrote of his decision to stop skiing. "But mostly, I was just burnt out of people telling me I was a good skier and I wanted to accomplish other things in business since I had a degree in economics, but I knew I would eventually get back in films but on the executive production side which really excited me. I found creating films more exciting than being in front of the camera, which doesn’t come natural to me."

Real estate has been his main income for the past 25 years, Vancour said. After working in commercial real estate, real estate development and residential real estate, he will now be one of the founding brokers of a new Kirkland office of Sotheby’s International Realty.

"The Last Rescue" will be released in mid-2014, and it’s already scheduled for international distribution. Vancour also hopes to show it at independent film festivals like the Sundance Film Festival.

"There’s very few films out of Washington that make the limelight, and I think this one will," Vancour said.

This article originally appeared on The Woodinville Weekly.