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Williamsport High grads create 'Explorer: 24 Hours After Hiroshima'

Film chronicles the dropping of the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945

August 13, 2010|By DAN DEARTH
  • Chris Carrier, left, and Patrick Hare, 2001 graduates of Williamsport, filled separate but critical roles in the making of "Explorer: 24 Hours After Hiroshima."
Submitted photo,

A World War II documentary featuring the talents of two Williamsport High School alumni is set to air next week on the National Geographic Channel.

Chris Carrier and Patrick Hare, 2001 graduates of Williamsport, filled separate but critical roles in the making of "Explorer: 24 Hours After Hiroshima."

The film is an hourlong documentary that chronicles the dropping of the atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, through the eyes of American and Japanese witnesses.

Hare said he served as the project's associate producer, while Carrier portrayed Lt. Morris Jeppson, who armed the bomb on the plane as it approached Hiroshima.

"Patrick recruited me because he saw the picture of Morris Jeppson standing next to the Enola Gay and thought that I resembled him pretty close," Carrier said. "He took my picture to his team, who agreed. I then received a call that they wanted me to clear my schedule."

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Hare said the film is a survivors' story. It includes interviews with several Japanese who lived in Hiroshima at the time of the attack and the last known interview with Jeppson before his death March 30.

As associate producer, Hare primarily was responsible for logistics, which involved making travel and lodging arrangements for National Geographic film crews. He said the documentary was filmed in Japan and the United States, where Carrier shot his daylong scene at Bella Faccia studios in Washington, D.C.

Carrier, who said he never acted before, spent most of the shoot in a replicated bomb bay.

"I was pretty nervous, but the crew at National Geographic was very good to me," Carrier said. "They coached me through every step of the way. I'm excited to see the final cut."

Carrier said the project helped him learn a lot about the events that led to the end of World War II.

"Patrick had actually put together a bunch of documents for me to review," Carrier said. "I knew about the atomic bomb, but I wasn't familiar with the Enola Gay and that story."

The Enola Gay was the name of the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Hare said he and Carrier have known each other since their days at Williamsport Elementary School. After they graduated from Williamsport High School, they were roommates at James Madison University and now live near each other in Washington, D.C.

Carrier said he works for the National Committee of Quality Assurance, a health care oversight organization.

Hare started working at National Geographic two years ago, after holding an administrative role at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. He said "Explorer: 24 Hours After Hiroshima" was his first "gig as an associate producer." His next project will be a documentary about the BP oil spill.

"It's basically about the anatomy of the spill," he said.

Hare said National Geographic's "Explorer" series has been on the air for 25 years, making it the longest-running documentary series in cable television history.

'Explorer: 24 Hours After Hiroshima'



"Explorer: 24 Hours After Hiroshima" will air Tuesday at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. Other airings are scheduled for Wednesday at 1 a.m. and Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.

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