Submariners Feature Documentary Theatrical Premiere

| April 22, 2016 | 4 Comments

The feature documentary movie “Submariners: The Men Of The Silent Service” had its theatrical premiere not long ago. It had been a long labor for me to make the feature and quite a relief to see it run without a hitch on the big screen. We also beat two Hollywood movies for attendance that week in the theater.

As the feature begins its journey to theaters across the country, I am reminded why the term “release” is used in the movie business. It is no longer “my” movie – it is the audience’s movie now.

Submariners at Premiere 6 Theaters world theatrical premiere

Submariners submarine documentary Barco projectorIt was quite an experience for me to observe people reacting during the few showings I attended. The theater personnel assured me that the audiences stood and applauded at the end of each showing. It was quite an experience seeing total strangers enjoying something that I had labored on and was so intimately involved with for such a long time. We had received some limited press attendance and articles as well as mention on the radio during the premiere week. The County Historian attended one night along with radio hosts and some politicians.

To my delight and surprise, some audience members had driven from miles away to attend. Some returned later that week from as far away as Knoxville. I selected Murfreesboro, Tennessee for the premiere to honor the submarine veterans who were in the cast. I was proud to have Premiere 6 Theaters offer to host the showings. The owner and General Manager, Bill Brooks, is a veteran of the theater business. He shared a lot of movie theater history and inside business workings with me during the premiere week.

Submariners coming soon movie poster theater lobby submarine documentary

Submariners submarine documentary theater wall Deadpool Gods Of EgyptIt was an amazing feeling to have the movie poster go up in the lobby with the other “coming soon” Hollywood movies. That was only surpassed by puling up to the theater on opening night to see the poster on the outside of the Theater next to Deadpool, Gods Of Egypt, Star Wars and the rest!

The support from the media and radio was deeply appreciated. The Submarine Veteran group helped by getting the word out to the community and social media. From that we had quite an upswing on and American Family Mall for those who heard about it and were far away. We then received requests for the movie to come to cities across the nation and even as far away as Sydney Australia. Hopefully proper distribution will come to serve those desires soon.

Submariners movie poster Sams  Club JeremiahWe are also very thankful to Sam’s Club for allowing a display of the movie premiere just inside the entrance of the local store. Everyone entering could see it. The management team, especially Jeremiah and Brandon were most gracious and we can never thank them enough. Also to the Submarine Veteran community and especially to Jim Sandman, a nuclear submarine veteran who went above and beyond assisting the premiere’s success.

It is said that film is a collaborative effort. That saying is also true once a movie is made available to the public. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie take on a life of its own as it finds more and more cities to be presented in and then on to other media outlets. There is an amazing amount of logistics involved in the distribution phase and we are making sure the movie has quality involvement all along the way.

The real task was preparing the movie for the new digital projection method that has become the standard in just the last few years. I had a very short few weeks to convert the master due to the coming busy season where studios release the big budget movies. Just as with any industry, there a peak times. I ended up studying the process and doing the technical conversion myself. It was quite harrowing, but the end results worked perfectly. Those Barco digital projectors ate it up and made the image strong and clear!

The theater allowed me to come the week before to do a test before the regular showing schedule. The image was perfect but the surround sound needed a bit of work. That gave me the opportunity to hear the sound in the real world and make the adjustments in time for the opening night. Without that gracious permission by the theater, I would have needed a 10.1 surround studio to make the proper master. And even with that – there is nothing like the real world to reveal the scars and bumps that need to be worked out and healed.

Submarine documentary loading Barco projector

Actually witnessing the upload to the digital server and projectors was quite nerve racking as technology is a wonderful thing – when it works! It did work. At least I can create the DCP files (the standard for digital theaters) and play just as the Hollywood movies processed by the film labs.

Be sure to visit for more on the theatrical version of the movie. For those Submarine Veterans interested in the special two DVD set veteran version, you can find it directly by CLICKING HERE: AMAZON.COM link to DVD Set –


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Category: Featured, Tony Rollo Blog, Tony Rollo Productions

Comments (4)

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  1. Jim Sandman says:

    Tony – you and your team have created a submarine masterpiece documentary that will be enjoyed by all who see it! May the local success be multiplied around the country, and world.

    • Tony Rollo says:

      Jim – Just a short time ago you allowed us to use your home in Tennessee to film some of the interviews for the feature. As we traveled far and wide gathering interviews and content, that day was especially fun and memorable. That day, we did not have any idea this feature would be so widely accepted and enjoyed as we know now. At the time, we were on a mission of pure excellence. It was because of good people such as yourself we were able to capture the quality we were after and the feature film turned out so well.

  2. nancy yockey bonar says:

    Tony: What happened with the submarine documentary movie-wise? Still available in DVD set?

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