Showing posts with the label military

PRODUCTION TIPS: Lessons from 4 Veteran Filmmakers (Fuller, Altman, Eastwood and Stone)

One of the things that struck me from my time in the USMC was that if my platoon had somehow been tasked with making a movie, we would deliver an Academy Award-worthy production way under-budget and way ahead-of-schedule. That's just the the kind of motivation and morale that almost seems intrinsic to being in the armed forces.  I think about my time in the Marines whenever I am behind the camera and draw on those experiences on everything from how to motivate the cast and crew to staying focused on the aesthetic and logistical mission at hand even when the stresses build.   I wonder too how much four of my favorite American film directors,  Samuel Fuller (served in the US Army, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division during World War 2), Robert Altman (served in the US Army Air Forces, 307th Bomb Group during World War 2), Clint Eastwood (served in the US Army) and Oliver Stone (served in the US Army, 25th Infantry Division then with the 1st Cavalry Division duri


Lone Survivor | Peter Berg | 2013 | USA | Format: RED Code Raw (negative) 35mm (printed) | 121 min   US poster for Lone Survivor The action drama based on true events and the biography by Marcus Luttrell is gearing up to be a sleeper hit of critical acclaim and box-office strength.  Director Peter Berg secured the financing to make the film by agreeing to direct the big flop, Battleship . It was such a passion project of his that he went low-budget on the shoot, directing it for the DGA minimum, shooting with the RED camera in New Mexico (great production incentives there btw) and convincing his cast to lower their salaries too.  Despite the criticisms of jingoism and being crude propaganda or snuff porn akin to The Passion of the Christ , the movie is generally described by critics as expertly made and engaging. If Lone Survivor makes the $34 million it is projected to make during opening weekend plus gets nominated for and wins some Oscars then the Battleship flop will h