OFFBEAT: Valpo film firm now attacking The Alamo based on archive letter

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2012-12-13T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Valpo film firm now attacking The Alamo based on archive letterPhilip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

A Valparaiso film company earned praise earlier this year for an Emmy-nominated project called "First Invasion: The War of 1812" that is now featured in Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery Exhibit until Jan. 27, 2013.

The program was created by Valparaiso's own Native Sun Productions and their San Antonio, Texas, production partner, 1080, inc.

Up next, it's the epic journey of Col. William B. Travis' "Victory or Death" letter and its historic international impact as the subject of a new HD documentary, just announced by Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

"The significance of this iconic document for Texas and America, both in 1836 and 2012, is a story that is long overdue," Patterson said.

Native Sun Productions, an award-winning multi-media company is headed up by longtime Alamo supporter Gary L. Foreman, of Valparaiso, president and CEO of Native Sun Productions.

Foreman told me his company plans to focus on exploring how the 1836 letter, and its patriotic call of "Victory or Death," still inspires people today. He said a vital message of the film will be the ever-present need for preservation of historic documents and unique places like the Alamo.

"The famous Travis letter from the Alamo is the 'holy grail' of Texas," Foreman said.

"And the story that surrounds it needs to be presented in a way that truly engages people of all ages. It is a timeless message about duty and sacrifice, and that's something all cultures admire."

He said the HD format documentary will be produced in Texas for national broadcast, with expected completion in summer 2013.

I'm told the "Travis Letter Returns" exhibit will be at the Alamo from Feb. 22 to March 7 to honor the 177th anniversary of the siege and fall of the Alamo.

This is the first time the letter has been at the Alamo since it was penned by Travis as Santa Anna's troops arrived outside the walls. His letter, which Foreman calls "the crown jewel of Texas history," drew the nation's attention to the plight the Texans heroic last stand at the Alamo.

Swinging high

The holidays just became a little brighter for a Schererville woman who has Tarzan to thank for a recent windfall and coming to her rescue.

Aristocrat's Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle's slot machine jackpot of $334,298.78 was won at Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich. by Marjorie M., of Schererville, who I'm told was visiting Four Winds New Buffalo on vacation.

"I'm stunned and plan to buy a new car with part of the winnings," she said.

The Tarzan Lord Of The Jungle top jackpot has been hit 19 times since the game swung onto casino floors last year and has paid out more than $6.4 million in top jackpots.

The Tarzan line of gaming and slot machines are are registered trademarks of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and the family estate. An author claim-to-fame from Chicago, Burroughs is the man who created and wrote the series of books about Tarzan. Though he died at age 74 in 1950, his creation is still earning big money for his family.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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