The True Origin Behind the HASHBURNER Story

At the age of ten, one of the co-writers of HASHBURNER was told the following by a close relative who was a World War II war veteran.

“I was a young Private who cooked for the American Army. A few weeks after D-Day, on my first night in France, I got into a fight and was transferred as punishment to drive young officers into the Normandy Hedgerows in order to scout enemy locations. During the next 11 days, I brought back 7 dead officers who were killed by sniper fire.”

After this veteran died, our screenwriter asked his wife and children if they were aware of his horrific experience. They had never heard his story. He had never told his family.

Possibly being the only person this veteran had ever told, our screenwriter carried this story with him for many years. Eventually, he went on to become a published author of several successful books. But he never forgot this incredible war story about this young army cook. He believed it would make a great film someday.

Aerial photo of the Normandy hedgerow country, or what the French called, ‘Le Bocage’.
Aerial photo of the Normandy hedgerow country, or what the French called, ‘Le Bocage’.

HASHBURNER – The Screenplay

Logline - HASHBURNER:(Download Below)

Days after the D-Day landing, an incredibly smart army cook with a distrust for authority is reassigned as punishment to a dogmatic Major, ordering him to drive officers on near-suicidal scouting missions into the deadly Normandy hedgerows. (Inspired by a true story.)

90 Second Pitch - HASHBURNER:(Download Below)

On his first day in Normandy, a Private who  cooks for the army and always does the right thing, steps up to protect a friend, who’s getting picked on by another soldier. With his wrestling skills, our Hero easily takes care of the bully. But his Sergeant punishes him for getting into the fight. The next day, our Hero is transferred to Battalion Headquarters and is ordered to drive officers out to the most dangerous part of the battlefield. The spear tip, well beyond the American army, to locate the enemy.

After his second scout is brutally shot by sniper fire, sitting in the seat next to him, a sense of unfair rage impels him to confront the Major responsible for these orders. A tough Battalion Commander who has zero tolerance for insubordination.

To quiet our Hero, the Major responds by ordering a firing squad. While waiting for it to arrive, the Major compels our Cook to start following orders with a dummy hand grenade stunt. In spite of how deadly the Major’s missions are, our Hero commits to following orders and continues driving scouts.

Over the coming days, our Hero watches his Sergeant die (a combat mentor), gains the confidence of a nurse serving in a nearby field hospital, and develops a friendship with a Black spotter-plane pilot serving with an African American artillery unit. With each day of survival, our Hero becomes more proactive and combat-savvy.

Eventually, the stress of combat leads our Hero to believe that his luck is running out. The many life-threatening obstacles that he has faced ignite an over-powering dread of helplessness. His personal battle between following orders and fighting authority comes to a climax with his Major when both are cornered by the enemy during their own scouting mission.

(Inspired by a true story.)

Our Hero’s Dilemma: He has a deep distrust of bad leadership but prefers to remain a lowly Private to avoid being responsible for the lives of other soldiers.

Hero’s External Want: To do his duty and survive scouting missions.

Hero’s Internal Need: To challenge his commanding officers who give orders that are killing his scouts, and he could be next.

Additional Story Notes for HASHBURNER: (Download Below)

‘Hashburner’ is slang for ‘army cook’ during World War II.

Historical significance of HASHBURNER’S story in World War II:

Most people do not know that during the six weeks that followed D-day, the Nazi Army was determined to keep the 500,000 American soldiers from moving off the French beaches. During this stall in the invasion, U.S. forces suffered ten times more casualties fighting in the Normandy hedgerows, than what occurred on D-day.

At every turn, American soldiers were surrounded by walls of trees and small fields.
At every turn, American soldiers were surrounded by walls of trees and small fields.

A World War II combat story that is representative of America:

In addition to having plenty of action, unlike most WW2 combat films, HASHBURNER’s story contain characters more representative of the diverse America who served in the American military.

Unique aspects of HASBURNER compared to most WW2 combat stories:

a). HASHBURNER is a WW2 combat story from the perspective of a proactive Private trying to survive very dangerous scouting missions. Most WW2 films tell a big picture story of a particular battle and from the point of view of the officers in charge. This is a story from the perspective of a lowly Private, who begins as a cook and is forced to become a combat soldier.

b). HASHBURNER has strong secondary characters including a black artillery spotter plane pilot, serving with the only all black field artillery unit stationed in Normandy, as well as a female nurse who served in one of several field hospitals that were operational near the front within days after the D-Day landing.

c). HASHBURNER also reveals the dilemma associated with higher ranking officers having to give difficult orders to the soldiers they command.

Box Office Potential for HASHBURNER

HASBURNER is a World War II combat story that would fall in the film categories of war, true story, action, period and drama.

More books have been published about World War II than about any other time in history. It was the last American war where the consequences for losing was a clear battle between good and evil for everyone involved. A dire time in American history, where an Allied victory shaped world politics for generations.

World Box Office Figures For all World War II American-released Combat Films
From 1998 thru 2023 With Budgets Greater than 10 Million US Dollars

World Box Office Figures for all World War II American-released Combat Films From 1998 thru 2023 With Budgets Greater than 10 Million US Dollars

Box Office Comparables -

World Box Office - WW2 - US Combat Films From 1998 thru 2023

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Audiences who are interested in World War II are more familiar with Northern France  over any other location. GSN believes the familiarity with Northern France by both American and International film audiences actually matters a great deal, compared to other WW2 stories that take place in lessor known parts of the world. Productions such as “Saving Private Ryan”, “Band of Brothers” and “Dunkirk” all took place in Northern France. The story of HASHBURNER takes place in this famous location as well.

The cast of HASHBURNER will be played mostly by actors between the age of 18 and 40 and approximately 40% of the film industry’s audience is between these ages. This makes the film more relatable to this demographic. Further, GSN is aware that most films produced over the last several years have ignored movie viewers over the age of 50. Older audiences will be inclined to appreciate the HASHBURNER story because of their own familiarity with the period as well as their parent’s participation in WW2. Active and retired military personnel is a key target audience as well.

HASHBURNER is not a political film. It is a story about American citizen soldiers coming together to alter the course of history during the 1940’s. A story from a collection of perspectives of the men, women and soldiers of color who served at an important time in history, that should never be forgotten.


HASHBURNER - The Full Screenplay

The Complete 116 page Screen Play: (Download Below)

GSN has gone to the expense of paying an experienced Line Producer to prepare a complete pre-shooting thru post-production budget, along with a shooting schedule.

Please note the following about the attached budget

A). The completed production budget for HASHBURNER came in for $14,524,003 without the expense for Marquee Actors.

B). The funds allotted for the lead actor in the attached film budget (calculated as an unknown actor) are shown to be $1,000,000. GSN has an actor in mind that we believe to be the perfect actor for the role of Private Eddie Powers. If this particular actor were to be used in the production, it would further reduce the estimated budget to $13,524,003.

C). Costs associated with writing the screenplay are shown in the budget to be $267,108. However, this cost to GSN could potentially be substantially reduced, which would bring down the estimated budget to $13,256,895. (Discussions with GSN will reveal how this can be done.)

D). GSN is fully aware that distributors would prefer to market a film that has Marquee acting names associated with the production. The Antagonist of the film is a Commanding Officer in his late 40s that would require 10 to 17 shooting days. GSN is approaching several known male actors in this age range who would adequately fulfill this requirement to enhance marketing expectations.

E). It should be noted that some scenes were modified with minor rewrites since the budget was prepared. GSN does not believe the budget would be materially altered by these rewrites.

G). The budget shown is the top page information for above and below-line expenses. The entire budget package includes a complete shooting schedule, location list schedule, one-line schedule, one-liner script order, script order strip board schedule, shooting schedule, strip board schedule, and cast schedule days out of days for pre- and post-filming expenses.


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