Included within Short Film Block

Veterans & The Arts

Fri. May 26, 2017 – 12:30 pm | The U.S. Navy Memorial Theater


Directed by Patrick Finnegan

Short Documentary
United States | 3 min | 2016

This spot is part of a 13 spot, ethical branding campaign for the US Navy ( designed to inspire honorable choice and leadership in the lives and military service of over 4000 future officers at the United States Naval Academy and beyond.

‘Freedom’ is inspired by the true life story of (retired) Captain Charlie Plumb, a Naval officer who was shot down over the skies of Vietnam, captured and repeatedly tortured as an American prisoner of war for 5 ½ years.

Upon gaining his freedom, Captain Plumb located a World War II training aircraft and spent 15 years meticulously restoring it with the dream of returning to the skies he loved.

‘Freedom’ uses the metaphor of this endeavor to inspire viewers to examine what it takes to make committed and character driven choices one can be proud of for a lifetime.


Freedom - Patrick FinneganPatrick Finnegan
Director and Creative Design

Using the tools of nuance, performance, visuals and light, I love to tell stories that encourage human beings to be the best versions of their selves, which uplift and inspire. The world seen through the lens is less like the world of our eyes than of our dreams. Like dreams, powerful stories are best told through suggestion and a framing that skews the world slightly and reaches into the unconscious.

“Freedom” is a perfect example of my narrative style. Based on the real life experience of Naval Academy graduate Captain Charlie Plumb who was shot down over the skies of North Vietnam and along with many other POW’s spent many years isolated and tortured, “Freedom” is a sketch of human courage, honor and perseverance.

Initially as a former actor in nearly 50 national commercials, I developed a deep appreciation and understanding of both casting and how to direct talent and elicit the best from those in front of the camera. Stepping behind the camera, I progressed through the crew ranks first as a construction coordinator, then a key grip and finally to an extensive run as a DGA 1st A.D., where I learned to comfortably lead, problem solve and facilitate a fluid film making process. By the time I made the move to directing, I had experienced a front row view to a landscape of approaches with directors and cinematographers of all stripes. This background, combined with considerable technical skills and craftsmanship, shaped me into a diverse partner in the exploration of brand voice and effective storytelling.

My directing career was launched with an unprecedented opportunity to work on an expansive, long-term, content campaign for the United States Navy. In partnership with the Navy’s Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, I developed an ethical branding concept, and then traveled the country to document quietly powerful stories of honor, valor and exceptional strength.

As a young man, I was a forest firefighter in the Rockies, built my own solar powered home in the New Mexico mountains and was a professional woodworker and furniture designer before moving to Los Angeles to pursue my passion for filmmaking. See more at

Film Information

Director: Patrick Finnegan
Country: United States
Year: 2016
Language: English
Runtime: 3 min


Producers: Kari Albert
Cinematography: Bill Bennet A.S.C.

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Principal Cast