The Most Adventurous Job
"They are the last of the American Heroes,” Jim Stone says very matter-of-factly over the phone. Executive Producer at Tytan Creates, a production company headquartered on Tybee Island, Stone is currently in Los Angeles promoting his latest film “Storm Soldiers”, a full length documentary about America’s Journeymen Linemen, the men and women who literally put their lives on the line to make sure we have electricity, every single day. Stone sat down with South magazine, to talk about his latest installment in the Storm Soldiers Journey, and how these first responders are, perhaps, the largest group of unsung heroes operating in America today.
Back in 2013 Tytan was approached by Hubbell Power Systems to create a safety film to help them train the incoming linemen. Stone remembers being shocked at how dangerous this line of work was, but he was even more shocked at the fact that most of the country, just like him, had no idea. Right then and there he decided to make a documentary about these men in order to raise awareness. “The statistics are astounding,” says Stone, “Linemen have twice the mortality rate as firemen and policemen and the same mortality rate as soldiers in Afghanistan.” At first it seems shocking that something so necessary in our society, could have such harsh consequences, but the reality is, we take electricity for granted. Stone and his co-producer, Jim Wacker, felt they owed it to these men to tell their story.
The first Storm Soldiers was released in 2013 and focused on the history of the industry, where these men came from and the intricate and delicate process of becoming a lineman in the electrical utility industry. “I wanted the first film to be more of an overview,” says Stone, “only in the second Storm Soldiers do we really delve into these guy’s personal lives, see their families and the immense peril the job creates on an almost daily basis.” Speaking with Stone you can hear it in his voice, the passion he has for this project, as if he knows he is speaking for an entire community.
Storm Soldiers II, set to be released in late 2016, walks us through not only a day in lives of the linemen, but also the lives of their families. “Most of the time when a lineman leaves his home, his family has no idea when he’ll be back or if he’ll even be back at all,” says Stone. For more information about this exciting and dangerous career and the documentary itself, pick up the April/May Adventure Issue of South magazine. Learn more about the release of Storm Soldiers II at stormsoldiersmovie.com.