we’re making a documentary
Over twenty U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. It’s a dark, ironic fact that the transition for military personnel into civilian life can be more deadly than combat itself. Hell or High Seas is a feature-length documentary film that will spread awareness about this epidemic through the compelling narrative of one veteran’s odyssey sailing around Cape Horn.
HELL OR HIGH SEAS
Upon his release from the military, Taylor Grieger set out to conquer his childhood dream of sailing the harshest waters known to man. He exhausted his life savings on a dilapidated, 36-foot Watkins sailboat and spent the next nine months reinforcing the hull, refurbishing the interior, and replacing the sails and rigging. Then he set sail for South America with nothing more than wits and his First Mate, Stephen O’Shea.
Using top-of-the-line DSLR cameras, multiple GoPros, and a MavicPro drone, Taylor and Stephen have captured and documented this expedition on a scale that has never before been done. This documentary features footage of seas that have yet to be captured with 4K, in remote corners of the world that are only accessible by sailboat. However, it’s also an intimate study of one man’s transition from life as a rescue swimmer to his vocation as a civilian entrepreneur.
Taylor was diagnosed with complex PTSD several months after his release from the Navy. He was given little to no guidance on how to cope with his condition, and simultaneously had to confront the stigmas attached to veterans with PTSD. He was able to overcome both only by risking everything – including his own life.
Hell or High Seas aims to expose the shortcomings of military out-processing procedures: shortcomings that result in over twenty veteran suicides a day. Through the transition stories of Taylor and several other veterans, we will not only highlight the problems veterans face upon returning home, but open a dialogue about how we can end the epidemic of veteran suicides by bringing civilians and veterans together, encouraging empathy, and building a community that demands change.
CAPTAIN TAYLOR GRIEGER
Taylor is a former United States Navy Rescue Swimmer with tours in Guam, Japan, Brunei, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea and many of the outlying islands sitting on the Marianas Trench. His sailing experience consists of round trips out of San Diego, California; Sydney Harbor, Australia; Hong Kong, China; and Iwakuni, Japan. His destination sailing journeys have consisted of trips from Guam to Siapan, and from Tampa across the Gulf of Mexico to Corpus Christi. He is a licensed United States Coast Guard Captain and holds Coastal Navigation certificates from the American Sailing Association. From years of first hand experience responding to disasters on the Pacific ocean to sailing tourists around the Gulf of Mexico, Captain Taylor Grieger is one of very few mariners competent enough to navigate Cape Horn.
First Mate Stephen J O'shea
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University, Stephen took a yearlong trek around the United States utilizing only a compass and topographic map for navigation. Stephen then went on to receive a studentship at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland to study a PhD in creative writing. He lived for three years in Glasgow writing a collection of short stories while teaching creative writing to undergraduates. Since leaving Scotland, Stephen has completed his first book, From the Land of Genesis: a short story cycle based on interviews with combat veterans about their experiences reassimilating to civilian life. Stephen's sailing experience includes navigating the fjords and bays of western Scotland, as well as trips in the Gulf of Mexico.
You can find Stephen's website HERE