Experiencing Interruptions?

Places Like This

Places Like This is the story of a group of veterans embarking on a six day winter expedition into the Colorado wilderness hoping to use nature to nurture old wounds. Through the Outward Bound program for veterans, eleven strangers come from all over the country seeking peace, answers and direction by using the wilderness as a vessel to carry them both spiritually and physically to reach a peak of more than 13,000 feet. Each veteran will take the same path to a different destination in this visually stunning and emotionally charged documentary short.

  • Nicholas McNaughton
    Earned My Spot, Love Them Well
  • Nicholas McNaughton
  • Chris Stagner
  • Nicholas McNaughton
  • Nicholas McNaughton
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Adventure
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 20, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    9,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • San Diego International Film Festival
    San Diego
    United States
    October 2, 2016
    World Premiere
  • UK Veterans Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    November 27, 2016
    International Premiere
  • Southern Colorado Film Festival
    United States
    October 14, 2016
  • GI Film Festival
    Washington DC
    United States
  • GI Film Festival San Diego
    San Diego
    United States
  • Rainier Independent Film Festival
Director Biography - Nicholas McNaughton

Nicholas McNaughton began his unlikely journey to becoming a filmmaker by enlisting as a combat videographer in the United States Air Force. For over a decade he traveled the world telling the stories of the people he met along the way. From California to Afghanistan, over to Europe, down to Africa and back to Afghanistan; always in search of adventure and inspiring stories.

Nick is forever grateful for his time in the Air Force and will never forget the friends and mentors that helped mold him into the director he is today. He was selected by senior Air Force leaders to attend film school at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2011 and credits this time in his life as the moment he fell in love with filmmaking. Following an amazing year at Syracuse Nick knew that his time in the Air Force was coming to an end and he began to pursue inspirational documentary work on his own.

Nick's first documentary, Love Them Well, is the story of a former drug addict and born again Christian traveling across Atlanta to make a difference in the lives of those most have given up on. Love Them Well was showcased at the Clarksdale Film Festival in 2015. His second documentary, Earned My Spot, told the amazing and heart-breaking story of NFL Pro Bowl Safety Mike Adams' long and often tumultuous road from the streets of Paterson, New Jersey to a successful thirteen year career in the NFL. Earned My Spot was selected for the Impact Docs Awards in early 2016.

Originally from Carmel, Indiana, Nick now lives in Colorado Springs. He continues his pursuit of stories that push him to evolve not only as a storyteller, but also as a human being.

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Director Statement

The idea for Places Like This came at a very critical time in my life. Over the course of a few months, a rare moment of self doubt had manifested itself into a series of questions about what the hell am I doing with my life. My time as a combat videographer in the Air Force was over. I had passed up on two job opportunities that I had once considered dream jobs in favor of the safe option for my family and I. Misery ensued and it reflected in every aspect of my life. I had to find a story to tell; not for personal glory or money, but one that was close to the vest, physically challenging and mentally exhausting. I had to put it all on the line, find the story, and give it everything I had to do it justice.

I found the Outward Bound program for veterans, asked them if I could bring my camera on this adventure and the wheels were set in motion. But how do I tell this story? I didn't want to make it about me, and I had a feeling that other veterans out there were probably wrestling with similar demons after leaving the military.

I met an amazing group of people in the mountains that week. Each of us dealing with issues of their own, but unified by their service. For six days we lived together in the wilderness, shared stories we hadn't told anyone else, cried together and hiked a 13,000 foot peak as we traversed in and out of a snow storm on the way up. We started as strangers; we left as family.

Veterans today face many challenges unique to their generation. While support for the troops is at an all time high, most of the time it ends with a "Thank you for your service". While much appreciated, many vets require further assistance as they transition back into life after service. Programs like Outward Bound's provide a therapy much different from many traditional solutions to the problems veterans currently battle.

Being apart of this expedition has touched me on many levels, and I have never told a story that hit so close to home. With each frame that I filmed and edit that I made, I slowly began to process what I had been trying to suppress for months. It was okay that I didn't know what the future held; it was okay to be confused about where I am in my life right now; it was okay to talk to other people about my problems.

For six days I lived in the moment. And after my time in the wilderness with a group of amazing, new friends I came to the following conclusion:

I don't know what my future holds. I don't know where I'll be in twenty years. I do know that I will use my passion for filmmaking to help me evolve and pursue a life worth living.