Share This Page

East Franklin retiree lands bit part in TV mini-series

| Saturday, June 28, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A retired Army sergeant and East Franklin resident landed a bit part driving an antique military car in a television mini-series that recently aired on the History Channel.

Steve Woodside appears within the first 10 minutes of episode 1 of “The World Wars” series — which aired on Memorial Day.

“It was a wonderful experience,” Woodside said.

He said he got the part because his friend — Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Ounan of Gettysburg — owns the World War I Dodge Army car, which he is seen driving in the episode titled, “Trial by Fire.”

In October, the two friends brought the car on a trailer to a large field in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., for filming.

“They put us in World War I uniforms — we must have driven that same field close to 100 times,” Woodside said.

During a scene called “Patton Revolutionizes Warfare,” Woodside checks under the car's hood and Ounan works a wrench as Matt Dearman — a professional actor depicting a young George Patton — attaches a machine gun to the car.

Norman Altizer of Roanoke, Va., whose company finds classic cars for movie productions, wrote in an email on Friday about complications that arose before and during filming.

“About two weeks before the filming in Harper's Ferry, the motor on the 1918 Dodge caught fire and burned the wiring under the hood,” Altizer said. “Ounan had to repaint the hood and hotwire the engine in order to make everything run properly. He cranked the car by hand in order to start it because the starter and generator burnt in the fire.

“All-in-all, Mark performed the minor miracle of getting the car to the set and keeping it running.”

He also noted that Dearman had to be tied in the car to keep him from bouncing out during a chase scene involving horses.

“Steve Woodside was an incredible driver. He managed to make it all look so easy and authentic when it was extremely difficult,” Altizer said.

But for Woodside, some of the most memorable moments happened during chow time with a few actors who depicted war-time leaders.

“I had dinner with Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt,” Woodside said. “I can say I dined with some of the world powers of the '40s.”

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.