PRACTICAL makes films and videos that are the culmination of cameras, research, travel, sketchbooks, sleep, screen time, and running wild. Based out of Traverse City and Grand Rapids Michigan, we love sharing our work and process with those around the world.

Armor Express, David Wagoner Reenactment


David Wagoner's Story

Working with Armor Express is always an honor. Their products have saved the lives of many officers and we had the privilege of creating a reenactment of Officer David Wagoner's story.  On April 16, 2011, David was shot by a 9mm handgun during a traffic stop. The HaloIIIA armor saved his life.

The traffic stop occurred around midnight so filming in the complete darkness of northern Michigan had it's difficulties. Throw in some snow and temperatures in the teens and you have a recipe for an incredible night of freezing. I mean filming.

We filmed at a parking lot between a main road and the East Grand Traverse Bay. This was a producing dream because we weren't slowing traffic, or trying to film in the middle of a busy road. This was also a producing nightmare because we had no protection from the wind and snow slapping us in the face. I understand the term "Lake Effect Snow" now more than I ever wanted to.

I'm not too proud to say I may have shed a few tears because I was so incredibly miserable. We had our permits, everyone was on set, the icicles forming on the camera were minimal, the schedule was running smoothly- my job was pretty much done. So I watched and offered hot coffee and hand warmers and huddled for warmth with any body that was close. But despite the frozen fingers and toes, I was honored to be there. We were telling the story of a man who kissed his children goodnight, went to his job, and was shot point blank in the abdomen. He was able to return home to his family because of Armor Express. I'd brave insane weather anytime to tell a story like this. 

Written by KATIE FOX-WEBB // Producer