Posted by Captain Everett on July 10, 1998 at 08:51:29:
In response to Ditto (-:, written by Ken on July 07, 1998 at 13:49:53
] [snip] But I really get bugged by battle scenes. Uniforms aren't going to make an impression on me one way or the other. Carrying out the umpteen steps of the Prussian drill manual is going to be lost in the shuffle. But darn it, why does every cannonball have to explode? Haven't these dweebs ever heard of shot, as opposed to shell? O, I know--it's more lively & it's easier to fake. But it isn't even close to accurate....
I'm one of those few who does notice errors in uniforms and drill. I won't object if they don't use the exact regiment for a particular scene. And I can give a few years leeway in uniform styles (eg "Waterloo" style caps, issued in 1812, appearing in say, 1809). On the other hand, I've seen Revolutionary War uniforms used to represent soldiers from the Napoleonic period (not in recent productions at least, or maybe I've missed them). Or they use some red 20th Century tunics.
As for drill, I'll grant few would notice small errors in drill. It's common to see different renactment groups from the 1812/Napoleonic period having slight variations in their interpretation of the same drill manual. (They aren't very explicit in a lot of details.) What does drive me to distraction is the habit of grabbing some extra, stuffing him into a costume, and turning on the camera. They might represent the Napoleon's personal guard, but they can't even walk in step, let alone march like a soldier of the time. On top of which they carry their musket like it's a 2x4. Shudder Slightly better is using modern soldiers. At least they can march in step, and show a degree of military "smartness." At experienced can, however, pick them out. Their drill is a little too modern (watch for swinging arms on the march).
I know a lot of this might be minor, but with the kind of money that can be spent on film and TV it wouldn't take that much more to get it right. There have been cases where movie makers could easily have tapped into the reenactment community, but didn't even bother to ask around. Even when they do, they usually don't have a clue how to use them. I have some personal experience, and have spoken with many others about this. One of the most common cries around a set is, "But, they didn't do it that way!" Or they try to heard us around like cattle. Some are better, than others. This is especially true where they get a good advisor, or as I call it, an "interpreter." That's someone who can restrain the directors intellectual contortions, and can take a five minute verbal painting of a sceen and turn around to the "Commanding Officer" and say something like, "March toward the camera in open column and form line."
And after all that, you never know how it will be edited.
Apologies for a rather protracted rant.
I remain, etc.
- Battle scenes Earlene 04:01:40 7/12/98 (1)
- "No vegitation was harmed in the making of this movie." (NFM) Captain Everett 19:51:54 7/13/98 (0)
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