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 Post subject: Combat Cinematography
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 15:24 pm 
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Location: Hanging off the back of a Sherman, somewhere in France...
This is a new sticky thread for the discussion of combat cinematography and cinematographers/cameramen, their documentary work, films and newsreels, equipment and techniques - period and re-enacted.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 22:16 pm 
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Location: Hanging off the back of a Sherman, somewhere in France...
Who was the best cinematographer director or producer of WW2? And what are the best films made during the war?

There's a number of genres of movies made during the period, of course, the straight-forward fictional fillms, those with a propaganda angle and of course the documentaries, instructional, propaganda, and those designed to cheer up the folks back home - or persuade the Yanks to come and fight the common enemy :D

On the British side, the Boulting Brothers stand out in particular.

Documentary film-maker Roy Boulting produced a number of important films during the Second World War covering key battles and military campaigns.

'Desert Victory' is arguably the finest example of combat documentary film-making of WW2. The men of the AFPU provided the remarkable combat footage included in this superb film.

This film provides an account of the military operations in North Africa in 1942, climaxing in the Battle of El Alamein. The battle was a decisive turning point for the British Army’s participation in the Second World War, marking the end of a string of reverses at Dunkirk, in Greece and Crete, and at Singapore, and this expertly made documentary film captured the importance of the battle and helped to build the impact the victory had on British and allied perceptions of how the war was going.

‘Desert Victory’ received the Oscar for best documentary in 1943. The success of this film led to attempts to emulate it for other campaigns – the Imperial War Museum Film and Video Archive also holds ‘Africa Freed’ (1943), a British film about the remainder of the North African campaign which was never released, its place being taken by the Capra/Boulting co-production ‘Tunisian Victory’ (1944), and ‘Burma Victory’ (1945).

Also held, though not a Boulting film, is ‘The True Glory’ (1945 – another Anglo-American co-production, and another Oscar-winner). These Second World War productions continued the tradition of feature-length “Battle” documentaries established in the First World War by such films as ‘The Battle of the Somme’ (1916) and ‘The Battle of the Ancre and the Advance of the Tanks’ (1917), which had established the genre conventions to which German films like ‘Feuertaufe’ (1940) and ‘Sieg im Westen’ (1941) also conformed. (All these titles are also held by the Imperial War Museum.)

More on the Boutling Brothers and their later work here:

http://www.dggb.co.uk/publications/article9_80.html

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:21 am 
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A wartime film but not really a combat film, I reckon 'The Way Ahead' is one of the finest pieces of film work of the first half of the last century. The message behind it, the acting and even the combat sequences are fantastic!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 16:01 pm 
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Without a doubt the best has to be John Ford's "The Battle for San Pietro".
When first shown it was so graphic and shocking it was banned. We see guys interviewed before the battle, explaining their hopes for the future. After the battle we see the same guys being put into mattress covers ready for burial. Very powerful stuff.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 14:42 pm 
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Does anyone have any tricks for filming battles? I assume that you can't really expect to participate (i.e., shoot back) if you're filming. I've wanted to make a documentary-style film for my Paras unit. I've got a little DV hand-cam, and I've got software on my computer to edit the video and turn it into a movie file or DVD, but I don't want it to look like some kid's high-school video project. I know I can't expect Band of Brothers-quality filming with it, but I still want my projects to look good.

As far as frame-rates, isn't 30fps sort of the standard for film-industry cameras? When they shoot the combat scenes in Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, it looks like they drop the frame-rate. Does anyone know what they drop it to? Or how to get that look in your film (you know that "look" I'm talking about?)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 15:38 pm 
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Hia,
I would describe the style of shooting on SPR as more of a filmic effect rather than a realistic WW2 style.
24fps is what Cine film runs at, but the effect achived on SPR is not by the frame rate, but by shutter angles.
Shutter angles will give you a blurry to a very sharp image depending on its angle at 24fps.... I can go on, but it realy is techno-bore..

Basically, no WW2 period camera or film stock would allow you the fine tuned camera effects achived in SPR.

Hope this helps. :D

BTW..If you drop film rates.. the motion gets quicker, increase it, the motion becomes slower.

The fastest film rate I've personaly shot at was 40.000pps 20degree shutter. :D :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:40 am 
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Guys, spotted this on the E-Bay, any good?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ORIGINAL-WAR-CORR ... dZViewItem

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 Post subject: Camera
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:42 am 
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Camera

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:46 am 
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Hi,
Thanks for that...
It is what it says it is... but not the camera seen in Pearl Harbour.... that was it's bigger brother, the 35mm Eyemo. Very little was shot by the military on this model in the ETO, as the official format was 35mm.

Cheers...
S.

Ps..... should have the all-important key!?!?

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Last edited by Olive Drab on Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:48 am 
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Cheers O.D, i know nothing bout these but thought someone on here might!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Rughey wrote:
Does anyone have any tricks for filming battles? I assume that you can't really expect to participate (i.e., shoot back) if you're filming. I've wanted to make a documentary-style film for my Paras unit. I've got a little DV hand-cam, and I've got software on my computer to edit the video and turn it into a movie file or DVD, but I don't want it to look like some kid's high-school video project. I know I can't expect Band of Brothers-quality filming with it, but I still want my projects to look good.

As far as frame-rates, isn't 30fps sort of the standard for film-industry cameras? When they shoot the combat scenes in Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, it looks like they drop the frame-rate. Does anyone know what they drop it to? Or how to get that look in your film (you know that "look" I'm talking about?)


1.KEEP SAVE
With other words, if it would be a real battle bullets would be flying all over the place so keep low, take cover, film only if you think you wont get shot at.
This gives the most realistic angles.
2.Camouflage your camera, make it look like a vintage camera.
Nothing ruins the atmos like someone walking about the place with a modern camera.
3.DO NOT use the zoom button, most (if not all) cameras DIDNT have a zoom function.
At the most they had interchangeable lenses.
4.when aging the movie, ignore the sepia function, go for black and white.

Its not battle footage, but heres some of my material anyway;
http://youtube.com/results?search_query=nederland4045

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 13:28 pm 
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marloes wrote:
Its not battle footage, but heres some of my material anyway;
http://youtube.com/results?search_query=nederland4045


Very impressive! Love 'em...

Thats given me a few ideas...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 16:26 pm 
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Hello guys, try this one: http://film.kvalitne.cz/Video/Kursk-trailer.wmv
It was taken on 8mm camera during one Czech "ostfront" reenactment event in August.
I must say that you really cant reach this "old feeling" of filmstrip with camcorder even with special filters applied during postproduction. The "oldstyle" filming is simply the best :) but much more harder compare to ordinary video shooting. And much more expensive too :( of course...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 20:42 pm 
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ill be trying out my 1930s filmcamera with 8mm film later this month... not at a battlefield though, just a nice day out with some people in old fashioned clothes ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 21:15 pm 
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Looking forward for results - good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 21:54 pm 
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marloes wrote:
ill be trying out my 1930s filmcamera with 8mm film later this month... not at a battlefield though, just a nice day out with some people in old fashioned clothes ;)


Go on Joeri.... Go 16mm, or Even 35mm!!! :wink: :D :D :D

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