View Full Version : War Film

01-07-2005, 01:50 PM
alright here goes, for english class, i am gonna make a movie based on the book the things they carried. so my question (s) is (are) what setting do you think could give me the "war feel" or should I do it in post? also, where are some good places to get supplies for it (props, etc)? and, to do the fast shutter speed like in saving private ryan etc, should i just set it to 500, then what?

J.R. Hudson
01-07-2005, 02:41 PM

I confess, if I was setting out to do a WAR film I'd defintely use the current trend and technicque found in SPR, Band OF Brother, BHD, etc...

I'd watch and study the shit out of these films and mimic them.

My .02

01-07-2005, 02:47 PM
I assume the name of the book is "The Things They Carried?" I can't quite tell from your post. If so, what time period is this set in and where? What details can you give?

Some people like to use a high shutter speed for these sorts of things for the Saving Private Ryan look (as you mention). 250-500 should be fine for such a look. Bleach bypass is also popular. Now if you want to get creative you should probably come up with some different technique.

01-07-2005, 05:33 PM
Your project sounds interesting. I was just looking up that book "The Things they carried" and it seems like a very good subject. I haven't read the book but it sounds like a Documentary I'm shooting. One thing that needs to be done before the film is made is research. Don't just go by the book, look up the subject, find veterans groups, talk to the veterans. Books can be filled with a lot of false info and to make a good movie you need the correct info. My film is on the Bataan Death March during WWII and the Veterans that I've talked to and met are extremely open. They don't mind telling you their stories because they want their story to live on. "IF" I were in your shoes, I'd spend my time researching, watching war films, Apocalypse Now, being my favorite!

One thing that will be hard and that I think about when making a movie, is actors. To make a decent film you need to find really good actors.

Here are some links to prop houses in your area.


War Films are hard but with good Pre-Production and a good team everything should work out. Don't listen to the people that say it can't be done, I've come across many of those, just go out there and prove them wrong! Good Luck on your film!

Erik Olson
01-08-2005, 08:40 AM
On the props end, do a web search for "WWII reenactor" in your state. *I worked with a fellow who was big into this stuff and he had restored a Jeep, had a buddy with an accurate bren carrier and there was a couple of Sherman tanks rolling around as well.

These guys are into it. *Several had done conversions on their machine guns to fire on gas, and all have period uniforms from surplus. All of the Brits and US enactors own Enfields, Sten grease-guns et-cetera, depending on what part or theater of the war they're reenacting.

The best part about working with these people is that they will likely let you film them with loose direction for free (if they're already planning a get-together) and their uniforms are properly sized - almost negates the need for a wardrobe person for your atmosphere players.


The guys I knew went out three times a year - in California - and there are groups like this all over the US. They bring their own blank rounds along (provided by a single licensed master armourer), so you'll have good opportunity to get accurate firing footage as well. About the only thing missing will be artillery hits - they almost never place debris mortars on the field. You will likely find that they have people that play French Resistance and even Japanese roles - it's crazy.

Good luck!


01-08-2005, 11:27 AM
Here's something Speilberg & Tom Hanks put together:


01-08-2005, 02:01 PM
thanks, and yeah its The Things They Carried and its during the vietnam war, also how do i bleach or what that was?

01-08-2005, 03:41 PM
Bleach bypass; It's the look that most war films are doing these days. A super high contrast bleached look. How you emulate this depends on several factors:

Do you have a DVX?
Do you have Magic bullet? MB has a bleach bypass preset that's pretty good.
What editing software do you have? Do you have SFX software?

A movie about the vietnam war sounds great. I've been wanting to do something about vietnam for some time now but I don't have any terrain that is appropriate nor do I have the cash to go shoot in California or Florida. It's too bad really.

01-08-2005, 11:13 PM
yeah, got a dvx last month, got magic bullet and i figured out the bleach, using premiere pro 1.5 and after effects 6, i use premiere for my sfx and i have a vast collection of war sounds.

now, the question here is, how do i make realistic looking bullet impacts wounds, and shots to the ground etc.

edit: i realise that squibs would be the ultimate idea, but they aren't really that legal...

01-09-2005, 10:43 AM
You can do all these effects in post if you know how to. CG blood is hard to do and look real though. CG gun hits were used in the Bourne Identity. Can't help much with wounds. See if there is a makeup specialist around your area.

David Jimerson
01-09-2005, 01:04 PM
Wow. I'm just kind of curious as to how you're planning to make a film version of "The Things They Carried."

01-09-2005, 05:38 PM
well, im taking select scens (or stories) and making them into a movie, and how to i do cgi hits, is that like a major task, cause its easy if the camera doesn't move, but the camera WILL move.

David Jimerson
01-10-2005, 11:16 AM
Well, what I mean is, the story is about the "things" the soldiers "carry" and why . . . the events external to that are somewhat secondary.

But maybe that's not the point of the exercise and I'll just shut up . . . :-X

01-10-2005, 11:24 AM
Well, what I mean is, the story is about the "things" the soldiers "carry" and why . . . the events external to that are somewhat secondary.

Woody Allen did Everything. . .Sex from the book which had no stories, right?

Actually, something like that might be very good for getting the creative juices flowing.


01-10-2005, 02:59 PM
cool, but how do i make realisitic looking impacts from bullets in post?

i have maya 5

01-12-2005, 10:37 AM
*You will likely find that they have people that play French Resistance and even Japanese roles - it's crazy.

A couple friends and I used to play French Resistance fighters with a group in Southern California...the guys who played German soldiers were definitely the most hardcore...although a lot of them were in 'support' roles, since the terms of their probations barred them from handling even blank-firing weapons...

Accurate period clothing for civilians is actually a lot harder to pull off, than accurate period military uniforms, a fact that was lost on the grumpy British players (the Krauts could care less; they had more targets to shoot at, and were therefore happy as could be...)