POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - After four years as a Marine that included two tours overseas, Tyler Mendelson has a healthy respect for - and a first-hand understanding of - the sacrifices soldiers make to protect our country.
For the past two years, Mendelson has been developing an idea for a short film about World War I, and now he's trying to make it a reality - with the help of a Kickstarter campaign.
Mendelson is a Poughkeepsie resident, a 2010 Arlington High graduate, and a member of the Admirals' 2009 Section 1 championship football team. He was stationed in Afghanistan in 2012, and in the Mid East in 2014. He's now a member of the reserves while he attends Emerson College in Boston to study film production.
A history buff who has done much research on the subject, Mendelson is hoping to make his film 'The Hun,' this August (he needs one weekend to complete filming), and already has cast and crew in place for the short (15 minutes), which will be filmed at a location in Poughkeepsie.
He created a Kickstarter campaign on March 20, and has 30 days to raise his target goal of $23,000.
Five days in, the campaign had raised just over $6,200 - a strong start. But Mendelson explained that these campaigns usually start strong and end strong. And it's all or nothing - either the goal is met, or all donations are returned.
"It will be great if we raise the money," Mendelson said. "It's a little stressful - all or nothing - but if we get the money I'll be thrilled."
'The Hun' is 'a haunting tale set during the late stages of World War I, revealing the harsh realities of war through urban legends and myth,' Mendelson's page states.
"I want to show a gritty experience," Mendelson said. "A character story about the people who fought, and what they went through.
"I've long wanted to make a war film," he added. "You don't see much on World War I, and I think it's a story worth telling, and that a lot of people don't know about."
Once made, he hopes to get the short into film festivals, and get his story out.
"A lot of friends and family and people are excited about the idea," he said. "It's been crazy... very exciting. It's the biggest thing I've worked on so far. I'll be overwhelmed if we get the money."
Mendelson's Kickstarter page can be viewed here .