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Author Topic: Building models for filming  (Read 13462 times)

BFSMP

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2017, 08:26:25 PM »


I take your point Jim but this is where internet forums, and indeed social media come a cropper.

Somebody states that Bismarck was a wonder ship with magic armour and people just believe it without checking and repeat the claim which then becomes an accepted 'fact'.

Never believe what you read on the internet without at least doing some checking before you perpetuate the inaccuracy!

Colin


I have to say, that all that is said about the Hood, I despair of sometimes....she was after all not launched until 1918, and by the time of her commissioning in 1920 was a grand old lady by the time she came to take part in WW2 action, and the notion that she was a top class modern fighting ship as the majority of less knowledgeable people think her as, is a misconception, in my mind. to be honest, she was out of date and out gunned because of her design before she ever got to go to war, and sadly for her crew, that was very short lived indeed.


Jim.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2017, 08:35:10 PM »

Quite right, Hood was essentially a pre WW1 design with additional armour worked in. She was recognised as not being up to scratch from the start which is why her sister ships were not proceeded with. The post war G3 design was a quantum leap forward although not built.

Colin
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2017, 10:23:08 PM »

We're just in the process of agreeing a group of additional models to be made for our project, and I'm pleased to say that it includes ships from the infamous Mediterranean 'Pedestal' convoy, which memorably culminated in the tanker 'Ohio' limping into Valetta Harbour in Malta with her decks almost awash and her back broken, kept afloat only by having an RN Destroyer lashed to each flank. We're going to have to make at least four versions of Ohio, each showing escalating amounts of damage and distortion to her hull. It's another fascinating - and almost unbelievable - story of the Second World War that I'm glad we're going to be working on.


Among the other new commissions is the 'USS West Point', a troopship that was originally built (and briefly operated) as the Transatlantic liner 'SS America'. This was the forerunner of the famous 'SS United States', which is still afloat beside a wharf in Philadelphia. The 'America' and 'United States' were among the fastest liners ever built, and are notorious because their underwater shape was secret for many years as it was claimed to be more efficient than most naval architects thought possible.


And among postwar commissions, we're also going to be making the beautiful Italian liner 'Andrea Doria' and her nemesis, the smaller and more businesslike liner 'Stockholm'. These two ships collided in the North Atlantic, probably due to mistakes in the interpretation of radar returns, exacerbated by the not uncommon human error of excessive speed in poor visibility. Built in the late 1940's, 'Stockholm' was repaired and remarkably she is still in business, and reportedly the oldest operating cruise liner in the world. Now renamed 'Asteria', she may be going to the scrappers this year. I've been aboard her (she sails out of Tilbury, downriver from London) and was quite surprised to find full details displayed of the 'Andrea Doria', which sank after they collided.


It's also been agreed that there will be at least one episode about the 'Battle of the Atlantic', including a sequence where a Flower Class Corvette and a Tribal Class Destroyer hunt down a U-Boat, force it to the surface with depth charges, and then sink it with gunfire. There will be columns of merchant vessels in the background, and these will probably be built to a smaller scale and each be about 6' long. We'll be making three or four basic shapes, with superstructures that can be switched around to give a variety of silhouettes. The 'convoy' will then be built up by compositing around 40 ships together and adding CGI  smoke effects. Inspiration comes from the terrific book 'The Cruel Sea'.


Moving over to the Pacific, the mammoth Japanese battleship 'Yamato' is on the list, and we will also be making one of the weird Japanese cruisers with its vertiginous 'Pagoda' bridge structure. All four of the carriers that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor will be needed, and we're going to look into whether we will need to make them all individually, or if they can be represented with less hulls by swapping different parts around. No news yet on what USN warships will be required, but I'm anticipating at least one example of all of the capital ship classes. There's a possibility that the 'USS Indianapolis' will be needed because of it's tragic demise, which occurred on its return voyage to the USA after delivering the atomic bombs to Tinian Island.


Meanwhile, HMS Hood is ready for her closeup, which is being filmed late tomorrow evening in the gymnasium of a nearby boarding school which we're borrowing for the occasion. The ship has had all her superstructure and funnels added, and we found time to 3D print all four main gun turrets. Sprayed grey overall, it's quite a sight at 1:72 scale. Whatever her technical pros and cons, it's easy to see why the public adored 'The Mighty Hood'.
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Liverbudgie

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2017, 11:11:18 PM »


Among the other new commissions is the 'USS West Point', a troopship that was originally built (and briefly operated) as the Transatlantic liner 'SS America'. This was the forerunner of the famous 'SS United States', which is still afloat beside a wharf in Philadelphia. The 'America' and 'United States' were among the fastest liners ever built, and are notorious because their underwater shape was secret for many years as it was claimed to be more efficient than most naval architects thought possible.

The America/West Point had a long post war career as a running mate for the United States and later as an emigrant/cruise ship for Chandris. She was wrecked on the Canary Islands while under tow to the breakers.

LB
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Jonty

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2017, 11:32:26 PM »

  Don't overdo the smoke from the convoy! Great efforts were made to educate skippers and engineers in keeping it to a minimum. Admiralty Brief by Terrell covers the subject, as well as the development of plastic armour and the Royal Navy's rocket bombs (but used by the USAAF).
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unbuiltnautilus

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #55 on: January 11, 2017, 11:33:44 PM »

Would like to comment about SS Ohio and her time in the British Merchant Marine, but been too busy model making parts for her tonight to pick up one of my many books on the subject :P
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2017, 07:36:18 AM »

The Royal Navy and Merchant Navy people who served in the 'Battle of the Atlantic' convoys certainly tried their best to keep smoke levels to the minimum, but many of the cargo vessels were steaming at Full Ahead for days on end and were desperate not to fall behind the Escort, since then they would be easy pickings for any shadowing U-Boat. Participants told me that the most common Aldis or Semaphore signal sent by the Commodore was "Make Less Smoke!". I'm sure the merchantmen were doing their best, but many photographs of actual convoys do show considerable clouds of dark-coloured pollution from quite a few of the ships. In the end, experience taught the sailors that 'speed was life' and, as with everything in wartime, it was a case of risk management. Once the 'Air Gap' had been closed and Allied air support became available right across the Atlantic, the balance of power began to shift and priorities for concealment changed. One of the secrets of winning a war is to be able to evolve strategies and tactics quickly and effectively, and the Alllies got it right, albeit at huge cost in men and materiel.
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2017, 08:33:57 AM »

The 'USS West Point' had an extraordinary war record, carrying over 7,000 troops on each voyage and sailing all over the world. In 1946 she resumed her original identity of 'SS America' and was refitted as a transatlantic liner. Although somewhat upstaged by her bigger sister 'SS United States', she was a working ship for over 40 years, adopting a number of later identities, including 'Italis', 'Noga', 'Australis'. Alferdoss' and finally 'American Star'. Like many ships of her type, she steadily moved downmarket and in 1994 was sold to a Far Eastern shipping line, ostensibly for renovation and conversion as a 'floating hotel' in Thailand but more likely to be scrapped. By now unable to use her own engines, the ship was taken under tow. The towlines parted in the Atlantic north of the Canary Islands and, while the shipowners and tug operators were arguing with their insurers about salvage rights, a big Atlantic storm blew up and the liner drifted uncontrollably onto a rocky ledge on the northwest shore of Fuerteventura. With the bow stuck fast, the torsional, hogging and racking loads on the stern broke the back of the ship in two days. The aft half of the ship sank in 1996, and most observers thought the bow would follow soon thereafter. But the 56 year old vessel was tougher than anybody expected, and lay in the surf for another two decades, slowly succumbing to the winter storms. There are some remarkable photographs of her steady decline on the Internet. The hull finally disappeared below the waves in 2015, but if you go there today you will still find pieces of identifiable wreckage which have drifted onto the beach.


'SS United States', the 'big sister', is still afloat and it is possible that she will be refurbished to rejoin the booming US cruise market. I visited her in Philadelphia in 2007, in company with a group of Naval Architects. Much of the interior of the ship has been stripped out, so it's possible to examine the structure closely. It's in remarkably good condition. The designer, William Francis Gibbs, remains one of the most highly regarded men of his profession. His liners were fast, light and safe. Very few combustible materials were used. He was a prolific Naval Architect in the Second World War, designing the Fletcher Class Destroyers and developing plans for LST's and Liberty Ships. He was also one of the first exponents of what we today call 'Ethical Engineering', where profit is not the main factor in design. I asked the assembled experts how his 'SS United States' compared in safety terms with the cruise ships we are building today. They looked me in the eye and said:


"This ship is better"
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2017, 09:47:31 AM »

Yes, United States is indeed a beautiful ship and perfectly proportioned, a real thoroughbred although never a commercial success. I saw her several times at Southampton in her heyday. The latest scheme to resurrect her recently fell through I believe. I think the ship is simply too small by today's standards to be viable commercially. The recent scheme envisaged building additional decks to increase passenger capacity. (and of course customers insist on having balconies now....)

The USA didn't build very many ocean liners but those that were constructed were very strong and many had very long lives. I can well believe that the United States is better built than today's cruise ships. She was designed to cross the North Atlantic at around 30 knots year round. Modern cruise ships rarely cross the North Atlantic these days, if they need to make a transit they opt for the southerly 'fair weather' route. The only true liner today is Queen Mary 2 which was built to take North Atlantic conditions. Cruise ships dodge the weather rather than push through it which is fair enough as they are of course in the cruise rather than the liner trade.

Colin
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2017, 10:42:27 AM »

There have been a number of plans to put 'SS United States' back into service, but many have not had a realistic grasp of the detailed realities of the growing and changing cruise market, or a full understanding of the unique possibilities that this special ship offers. Cruise ships today come in all sizes, some with 100 cabins or less, to suit different categories of passengers. Now that the average 'Baby Boomer' is 64, there is a significant upswing in the number of more adventurous people who want something more than a gigantic anonymous cruise ship, which to put it kindly is usually little more than a rather cheesy hotel wrapped around a shopping mall. The current preferred plan for 'SS United States' is to restore the ship much as she was, making no external changes, with modern technology available but hidden away, and to present her as a unique 'Heritage' experience for a discriminating niche market. The size of the vessel makes her ideal for docking at smaller and more exclusive ports where the huge new ships cannot squeeze in. Her dimensions also make it possible that she can tie up alongside piers which can't serve larger ships, making it much easier for less mobile passengers to disembark using a brow, rather than a tender. The busiest area in the world for cruises is the Caribbean, and a reborn 'SS United States' would obviously be a patriotic choice for the large retired US community who live in southern Florida around Miami and Fort Lauderdale - the largest cruise port in the world. Many of the smaller Caribbean ports are interested in the concept and it is to be hoped that sufficiently perceptive investors will 'come on board'. Could she break her own Blue Riband record for the Atlantic? Amazingly, she still holds that...
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2017, 11:01:21 AM »

I think that it is the draught of the ship that would be the main problem when getting into smaller ports as was also the case with the Norway (ex France). United States draws significantly more than today's cruise ships which limits the ports where she could go alongside.

The ship has been completely gutted of her interiors which would need to be rebuilt along with all the ancillary services such as installing plumbing etc. and the propulsion plant would need to be replaced. Although the ship might well appeal to a section of the cruising community I do think it would be extremely difficult to come up with a viable commercial proposition as indeed the latest in depth study has concluded: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/business/ss-united-states-ocean-liner.html?_r=0

There are already a good number of smaller cruise ships which cater for the more upmarket end of the sector.

I have heard it stated that it would be cheaper to build a replica!

Colin
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2017, 02:05:48 PM »

Thanks to the lightweight design principles adopted by William Francis Gibbs, 'SS United States' actually has a relatively shallow draught compared to the cruise liners of today. The 'Costa' ships draw about 46 feet when afloat, whereas the 'United States' draws only 33 feet. A detailed local hydrographic survey carried out in summer 2016 in the Caribbean ports to which I was referring shows a minimum dockside and harbour water depth which would be sufficient for the 'United States' to safely navigate the approaches and to berth alongside the dock. These charted figures have been checked by sonar and lead lines.


Looking at the statistics, 'United States' has one less deck than a 'Costa' (12 against 13) and is about 15% slimmer on the beam (101' compared with 116'). So the usable volume within the hull and superstructure is about 20% less on the American ship. She's certainly big enough for the job, without the addition of more decks. In any case, this is all about quality, not quantity. When you drive through the suburbs of south Florida, checking out the houses and cars will show that these potential passengers aren't looking for budget deals. Offer them a berth on the fastest liner in the world, tell them it's American, and watch them fight for tickets!



My main work as an architect involves buildings on terra firma, including large hotels. It is normal practice in that sector to completely gut and refit guest rooms and public areas every 4 to 6 years, usually a floor at a time. The work usually includes taking out the wall, floor and ceiling linings, removing all electrical and plumbing services and fittings, fitting updated wiring, pipework and electronics, installing an entirely new bathroom, and total redecoration, refitting and refurnishing. We are currently preparing to do this in a 600-room 5 star hotel in Cyprus in February, in a fast-track programme lasting just 25 days, with three teams working in shifts 24/7. It's an expensive process, but necessary if hotel operators want guests to provide repeat business and recommend the hotel to new guests. The cabins of cruise ships, and their public spaces, have to be regularly refurbished in the same manner. So the fact that the 'United States' would require a complete interior refit is not a dealbreaker. Whichever way it is calculated, putting the ship back into the cruise business is going to cost close a billion US dollars before any income is generated. Most potential 'investors' for the 'United States' have fallen by the wayside because they could not pass Due Diligence tests. They couldn't really provide the cashflow and/or security that the deal requires. Of course, they'll never admit that, but will externalise the blame with diplomatic PR language.


'SS United States' needs to be looked at as a unique venture, not just as another potential cruise ship among many. There certainly is a place for her in the expanding market, for the reasons I described in my previous post. The new concept for the ship has to be inspiring, well-informed and viable. None of the schemes I have seen so far are good enough. I'm hoping that a respectable shipping line will see fit to say: "No, we're not going use a billion Dollars to commission another just another anonymous white box, we're going to do something imaginative, intelligent, historically significant and, by the way, profitable!". Fingers crossed, people...
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2017, 02:36:53 PM »

Sorry John but you have your stats wrong! The Costa ships, like most cruise ships today have a draught of about 8 metres or 24 feet and cruise berths tend to be dredged to this depth. The 46ft refers to the hull moulded depth I think, including the bit above the waterline.

I know that cruise ships are regularly refurbished but something like the United States poses additional problems. These graceful traditional ships with their elegant sheerlines meant that every cabin had to be effectively hand built as they were all slightly different shapes. That is why modern cruise ships are indeed constructed like buildings with little in the way of structural curves. That way the cabins and associated services can be mass produced and prefabricated and slotted into place.

I did read somewhere that the stair towers in the United States were also a problem as the ship was originally designed as a three class vessel which I assume means that not all the stair towers serve all the decks. Extending them can pose structural problems.

Obviously these issues are not insuperable but together they do really push up the cost, not to mention removing the old engines and boilers without distorting the ship's structure and inserting presumably a diesel electric plant as they did with the QE2.

I would really love to see it happen but somehow I don't think it will.

Colin
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2017, 04:20:07 PM »

As we get ready  to do the Camera Test on the 1:72 HMS Hood this evening, we've been trying some painting techniques on the hull. Colours can change significantly depending on the ambient lighting, so on one side of the hull we marked out ten squares and tried different approaches for each. It's always daylight in our studio, either because of the rooflights or, after sunset, courtesy of the 'Daylight Colour Temperature' LED lighting we installed. This makes sure that there are no nasty surprises matching shots taken indoors and outdoors.


Our approach to paint finishes is "Don't overthink it, just do it". Sometimes this leads to great results from what looks a very dubious beginning. Sometimes the reverse. But you never know unless you try. We have a rule that no negative thinking is allowed. A few years ago we were doing some paint samples late at night and one of the office cleaners stopped to look. After  a while he spontaneously picked up a paintbrush and started 'wet-mixing' three different colours on the model surface, giving a swirly effect which looked pretty gross. We humoured him, and gave his effort Code Number '7'. When we did the film tests, guess which sample was the best? The guy is now one of our full time paint weathering experts, and has just done a great job on part of 'Hood'. You just never know...



Our painting inspiration comes from some of the great modelmakers out there, whose work is often illustrated in the various military modelling magazines. Some of these people are incredibly talented. We try not to use over-complcated techniques, because models can get scratched and scraped while being filmed, and its crucial that quick repairs can be made. To this end, we keep a careful record of the paint colours and mixes used for each part of a model, and we make sure that we take all the necessary materials to the shoot. Even a 'simple' test like today's involves at least a dozen people, several vehicles and loads of equipment, so checklists are essential. We also go through a planning session a couple of hours before to decide how we'll use our time in the test, and to make sure that everybody knows their responsibilities. We'll start setting up at 8pm and we'll be lucky to 'wrap' before 1am, I think. There are no clock watchers in our firm!


But sometimes we need a tea break...


We just put the kettle on and were discussing what the most challenging 20th century warship battle would be to model and film. Everybody voted for Jutland, because of the scale, complexity and confusion that characterised the conflict. It's interesting that there was little attempt to commemorate last year's centenary with any major TV reconstructions. From a story point of view, it would be very difficult to make Jutland accessible to an uninformed viewer, except in a very basic 'animated map' style. Trying to choose which characters to feature in a 'dramatised documentary' would be a challenge. The communications and signalling errors, misidentifications and coding mistakes are well known to those who have read the books, but how would you show them to a new audience without causing them to be confused? Perhaps Jutland is best explored as a wargame on a large map board, and simply can't be brought to the screen in any workable way.


Or can it? One idea we played with was to try a 'hybrid real/alternative history' approach. It's known that Sir John Jellicoe and Reinhard Scheer never met in real life, but there's evidence that they corresponded in later years, and planned to meet. They never managed it. But what if they did? How would their conversation have developed? How would they have regarded each other's arguments? Would they have tried to agree who won Jutland? There are some fascinating possibilities here. So the idea was that the movie would begin with the two men meeting for dinner, then follow their conversation through the courses of the meal, dipping in and out of key events in the battle, until finally... Well, we'll need another tea break before we can address that! It's certainly an intriguing idea to work on, and one that requires not only a thorough understanding of the history - and the characters of the two men - but also the use of original thought. Somehow, I think the story may be just too much for the 'small screen', and I can see myself anticipating the premiere at a big cinema in London's West End. What do Forum members think of this idea?
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Arrow5

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2017, 05:27:59 PM »

The incident with the cleaner reminds me of the late great David Boddington, model aircraft designer, who was commissioned to build a fleet of WW1 aircraft for a film (or maybe it was a TV production).  I happened to be on location to watch the fun and had admired the aircraft up close, they were up to "Boddy`s" usual high standard and admired by all present.  After the briefings and meticulous flight plan co-ordination with pilots , cameramen, pyro-techno people etc etc  and just as the aircraft were about to have engines started a person ran along the flightline and sprayed streaks of dark hairspray on all the models in a most unprofessional way. Boddington was furious as were the other pilots  but  "action" was called so they had to take off on cue.   We all agreed that the clown with the spray can ruined what was going to be the best WW1 aircraft film so far. When the film hit the screen the aircraft looked so authentic, the spray artist knew his job !   I`m waiting for a film of the later Falklands war to be made  O0
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2017, 05:52:58 PM »

John,

I would tend to agree that Jutland is a bit too much of a mouthful for the average viewer. Even enthusiasts can find it heavy going when you include the whole process from the lead up to the morning after. There was just so much going on over a large area of sea. There was one TV attempt last year but it was grossly simplified to make it understandable and to fit into the obligatory 1 hour slot. Lots of vital stuff was left out completely.

Re an alternate history, Would Jellicoe and Scheer have actually had an honest discussion though? Scheer never did admit to his mistakes leading to the battle turnaways when his T was crossed while Jellicoe might have been considered lucky in his choice of which wing to deploy the Grand Fleet. Beatty of course actually tried to have the official record altered in his favour.

In WW2 Leyte Gulf was another big sprawling battle which it is hard to condense for the general viewer.

I think it would be better to concentrate on more clearly defined encounters where the presentation could be much clearer. In WW1 Coronel for example but not Falklands which was basically just a long drawn out chase with an inevitable ending.

In WW2 the Battle of the River Plate still resonates with its human dimensions ending with Langsdorff's suicide. Hood and Bismarck is another straightforward but emotional example as you have already identified. If Admiral Holland had been able to engage on the bearing he originally intended and Prince of Wales been in possession of a proper working set of guns the outcome could have been very different indeed. Hood's deck armour was weak but her main belt was around the same thickness as Bismarck and inclined to make it more effective. At close range this could have been decisive.

History is full of what ifs.

Colin
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bluebird

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2017, 06:39:19 PM »

hi there

I can appreciate stories regarding famous Royal Naval battles; but I honestly think there is one part of the sea that is seriously under-publicised and that is the role of the Merchant Navy in the First and Second World Wars.

I have been doing some further research on the history of my relations; as I knew my Uncle Bill was the youngest prisoner of Ward on the Graf Spee  - if we were lucky enough to see him drunk :-) and hear him talk about his time aboard the Graf Spee and meeting Captain Langsdorff - my Uncle used to say - the Captain was a true gent.   When I was researching stories I came across a lot of other heroic adventures by the Merchant Navy personnel who in some respects, in my eyes, equal some of the Battles the Navies of the World ever had.

So lets see if anyone can come up with a decent film about the Merchant Navy.

John
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BFSMP

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2017, 06:47:24 PM »


and meeting Captain Longstaff -
John


errr............Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff, please :-))


Jim.
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bluebird

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #68 on: January 12, 2017, 06:54:49 PM »


errr............Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff, please :-))
Must be nice to be perfect :-))
john


Jim.
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BFSMP

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2017, 06:58:19 PM »


Should have listened to your uncles recollections a little more intently, John. O0 :-))


Jim.
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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2017, 08:27:51 PM »

Or can it? One idea we played with was to try a 'hybrid real/alternative history' approach. It's known that Sir John Jellicoe and Reinhard Scheer never met in real life, but there's evidence that they corresponded in later years, and planned to meet. They never managed it. But what if they did? How would their conversation have developed? How would they have regarded each other's arguments? Would they have tried to agree who won Jutland? There are some fascinating possibilities here. So the idea was that the movie would begin with the two men meeting for dinner, then follow their conversation through the courses of the meal, dipping in and out of key events in the battle, until finally... Well, we'll need another tea break before we can address that! It's certainly an intriguing idea to work on, and one that requires not only a thorough understanding of the history - and the characters of the two men - but also the use of original thought. Somehow, I think the story may be just too much for the 'small screen', and I can see myself anticipating the premiere at a big cinema in London's West End. What do Forum members think of this idea?

If you seriously want to pursue this idea then I suggest that you contact Nick Jellicoe, who is the Grandson of Sir John Jellicoe.

As for future subjects, I think the Battle of Tsushima would fit the bill. For it was this battle which influenced ship design and tactics until the end of the last war and possibly into the modern day.

I would also suggest that rather than concentrate on the "big picture" so to speak, why not include the smaller but, just as influential  incidents such as HMS Cossack releasing Graff Spee prisoners from the Altmark in a Norwegian fiord on a cold winters night such as this. Alternatively, HMS bulldog retrieving the Enigma machine and the FAA raid on Taranto which lead the raid on Pearl Harbor?

LB
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #71 on: January 12, 2017, 08:38:58 PM »

It's possible that the device of bringing Sir John Jellicoe and Reinhard Scheer together at the end of their lives would be a way into the 'Battle of Jutland' story that would resonate with the non-expert viewer, but it would certainly be a challenge. And a challenge is what we're looking for. Their meeting was being arranged twenty years after the battle, when both men knew they were not long for this world, so it's possible, perhaps even probable, that their perspectives had matured significantly with hindsight and reflection, coupled with the reality of having lost their powers of command. The mood could be dynamic for both characters, perhaps shifting between emotions of contrition, confession, confrontation and even remorse in a disturbing and possibly irrational way. These were not ordinary people. If the story is set up so that we know that this is their first chance - and perhaps more importantly their last chance - to speak face-to-face, it could be very powerful. With two accomplished actors, and an intelligent approach to how their dialogue is woven between the action sequences, it could grab the audience so that they are then prepared to make the effort to comprehend the overall nature of the events at Jutland. I'm confident that we could handle the battle scenes in a convincing manner, using similar techniques to those we're using on the current project. But a two-hour movie would give a taste of the events, it couldn't and wouldn't try to cover all the detail. So perhaps the film should be partnered with a new book that gave an opportunity for a deeper understanding to those who were motivated to discover the full story. And there would certainly need to be a complementary website related to the events before, during and after the battle. This 'layering' of different media could be the way to make the Jutland story work for a wide audience.
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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #72 on: January 12, 2017, 09:02:34 PM »

There's no doubt that the Merchant Navy deserves a seat at the table. Apart from the Atlantic and Mediterranean convoys which are already on the agenda, we are also looking at including the Murmansk runs. Another potentially engaging subject is the Second World War 'Q Ships', which were used to lure the enemy and then engage with concealed weapons. Whether their crews were Royal or Merchant Navy I've never been sure. There was understandably a great deal of secrecy about the Q's, but does anybody know of a good reference for them?
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Capt Podge

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #73 on: January 12, 2017, 09:14:31 PM »

So perhaps the film should be partnered with a new book that gave an opportunity for a deeper understanding to those who were motivated to discover the full story.

Well, what a strange coincidence - that very thought occurred to me while I was reading your reply no.63 (last paragraph) :o

From my point of view, I think this is an excellent idea. O0 :-))

Regards,

Ray.

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John Stedman

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Re: Building models for filming
« Reply #74 on: January 12, 2017, 10:20:24 PM »

Books are certainly here to stay! Whenever a project is being considered these days, the marketing and finance people are always looking for 'complementary media deals' such as I described above for a feature film and/or TV versions, printed paper and website about the Jutland idea. This kind of diversification gives a boost to viability and delivers a more rounded product. The next generation of videogame consoles, due on the market in 2019, will give fully fledged photorealistic images with enhanced sound, and will deserve to be taken very seriously too. But the key thing is always the same: the quality of the story is what really counts. All the professional expertise, movie or TV technology in the world will be wasted if the human angle doesn't emotionally connect with the audience. A good example is 'Mayday' (called 'Aircrash Investigation' in some countries), a very successful long-running Canadian TV series which re-enacts air disasters (mostly using excellent CGI), and then shows us how the evidence is analysed with the noble aim of making flying safer. The success of Mayday is in the way it uses good writers and then good actors to portray key people (typically the flight deck crew, one or two passengers, an Air Traffic Controller and a handful of Investigators) to give the audience an empathy with those who faced different aspects of the tragic events. That's the only way to tell a story for the screen. Movies and TV address an audience mainly with images, and to a lesser extent with sound. Books, websites and videogames each have their own different way of interacting with our senses. So when using 'complementary media' we use these different characteristics to our advantage to complement each other. Done well, it means the audience never had it so good.
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