Friday, May 04, 2007

May 4, 2007 Bonus Blog
Went home for lunch and whipped out the first "First Minnesota Charge" study. Had an old explosion board, that I was trying to develope for the Daltons raiding Coffeyville CG several years ago, but it never worked. Seems to work just fine, right here. Wanted to capture that exploding shell, screaming shrapnel moment, of the First Minnesota charging the center of the Confederate line:

Yes, I poached these flying dudes from Gettysburg which had some pretty spectacular stunts, although the charging scenes with the thousands of reenactors looked great in the long shots as the troops stretched from horizon to horizon, but the closeups were riddled with fat guys who were laughing and looking at the camera (the main problem with using reenactors). And speaking of the movie:

"I finished up on 'National Treasure 2:Book of Secrets' [Nicholas Cage] yesterday and I'm getting back into my routine...including spending time reading your blog. I read that you rented Gettysburg yesterday. I appear in that film more than all the others put together. I worked for the First AD doing the 'crosses' during the filming.....that is I would ride a horse on a predetermined path from left to right...right to left, maybe stop and talk to somebody....hand them a message...salute the officers as I rode by...all that kind of business.This normally occurs when actors are having dialog and balances out the guys on foot doing the same thing! ( I think we had 15 guys in total...North and South!) I do have one 'Hi mom' shot: When General Hancock first appears I play one of his Staff Officers. We rode up to the 'Irish Brigade' as Mass was being said and with out a word we all take off our hats. I'm on the far left riding a white horse. I borrowed it just before the scene off a guy from Illinois that owned a traveling Circus. He told me as I'm riding off...'Whatever you do, don't cue the horse as it is trained to fall down.' I was afraid I might accidently have an unpaid 'stunt' on the show....and I look preoccupied on film. I never rode that horse again."
—Jim Hatzell

Funny Jim should mention that. I was checking out random scenes last night (the film is over four hours long) and saw a pre-Pickett's Charge Confederate officers' conference and one of the horses, a white one, in the background takes a bullet and goes down. I wondered if that was a trick horse, or the horse just stumbled and they left it in. A circus horse, eh?

If I find the scene of Jim, I'll run it right here.

“The balls were whizzing so thick, that it looked like a man could hold out a hat and catch it full.”
—A Texas Confederate at Gettysburg

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