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Vietnam Movie...

Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 3:20am

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JasonX1024

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Hi whats up, working on a vietnam war era movie...takes place after the Tet Offensive and the soldiers all come from New York...homeland... and it revolves around one soldier who remembers boot camp and his homelife in flashbacks...LOST STYLE!. it takes place on the Ho Chi Minh Trail where after a crash, a squad tries to relocate and meet-up with there main Platoon. I wont reveal the ending but lets say, things get uneasy between the squad members/
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 3:41am

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D3L3T10N

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Sounds pretty formulaic, but it also has some potential, if you do it right. Good luck, and keep us updated.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 6:31am

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JasonX1024

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Thanks I WILL!
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 5:28pm

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cdolsen

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The trail is in cambodia/laos and there was no out of theater excursions in 68 (the tet was 1/6cool. set it in the Nam in a firebase instead.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 7:21pm

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JasonX1024

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yeah, i figured... Im going to research on the setting before this to make sure everything checks out Thanks!
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 7:43pm

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ben3308

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Rating: +1

-Make it as authentic as you can. If this means making it, literally, a story with only one or two actors, so be it. It's more important to have a solid story that looks like it'll make sense (as in, proper costuming, etc) than a larger-scale epic with 100 kids dressed in half-hearted ski masks.

-Make it age-appropriate. Find people the right age, or at least use 18 year olds. Please.

It shouldn't matter if you're good at making movies, because I'll respect you if you get these first two right. If you can't get them, but are good at making movies: don't bother, nobody cares about a mock Vietname movie with amazing plot if suspension of disbelief is so thick it has braces-laden fourteen-year-olds running in Nikes with orange-capped guns.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 8:00pm

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Serpent

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I'm going to second what ben said.

Also, depending on rank, 18-year-olds would be age appropriate. My friend is in the army at 19, not much different. And Vietnam, there were plenty of 18-year-olds.

Also, watch some Vietnam era films to get some ideas. I personally love "Born on the Fourth of July." Also check out some Tim O'Brien novels, particularly "The Things They Carried." I guarantee your film will be more accurate if you read that novel, it will help you a LOT with the writing.
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 8:14pm

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Bolbi

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ben3308 wrote:

- it has braces-laden fourteen-year-olds running in Nikes with orange-capped guns.
wow. did you hack into my computer and watch all my movies?
Posted: Sat, 28th Jun 2008, 10:39pm

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FreshMentos

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Serpent had some great advice there. You NEED to read The Things They Carried if they have not already. It gives you such a clear idea of what Vietnam was like for the soldiers and how it ruined them.
Posted: Sun, 29th Jun 2008, 1:54am

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EvilDonut

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FreshMentos wrote:

Serpent had some great advice there. You NEED to read The Things They Carried if they have not already. It gives you such a clear idea of what Vietnam was like for the soldiers and how it ruined them.
I assume this is a student, short, no budget film. lol @ making a no budget film 'historically accurate'. You don't have money to hire Vietnam vet historians on your staff anyways.

Remember that million dollar saying "Don't let others tell you what to make, make a movie YOU want to make". Don't dwell too much on this - honestly just do the best you can. Leave the historical accuracy for the $50m flicks. Concentrate on making something interesting and unique to watch.

d

Last edited Sun, 29th Jun 2008, 11:05am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 29th Jun 2008, 2:24am

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D3L3T10N

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EvilDonut wrote:


Remember that million dollar saying "Don't let others tell you what to make, make a movie YOU want to make". Don't dwell too much on this - do the best you can.
Sigged.


+1
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 1:06am

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cdolsen

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consider this -

your platoon is in country mid November 68, and stationed on the coast in a small fishing village. it's both a supply drop and small r&r hamlet. The navy and CG drop supplies off here and they're shipped further in country. There's not much of a ground force because help is only 10 klicks off shore in the form of a small armada. cruisers, tenders, river boats, and the like. Because of the time of year and r&r going on, most time is spent in a relaxed atmosphere. Nov-thanksgiving, Dec-Christmas, Jan-new year. uniforms optional if your off duty. this is when your reminising\flash backs occur. Late Feb you and your platoon are on night guard duty on the perimeter of the village. All foliage stripped for 100 meters around, that surrounded with wire. late at night all hell breaks loose. off tune bugles, flares, 80mm morters, rpg's, grenades, and so many 7.62's that you think you're in a bee's nest. Something goes off near you, and throws you into a perimeter bunker. when you wake, it's to the sound of birds, and a stench you'll never forget. MR.CHARLES celebrated TET, but was beaten back by the off shore fire. you never find what happened to your platoon, since you're sent to a hospital ship.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 1:32am

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Serpent

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Rating: +1

EvilDonut wrote:

Leave the historical accuracy for the $50m flicks.
Like Troy. *sarcasm*

It really depends on what you are going for. If you want to make a historically accurate film, it isn't hard at all to make it so with a little bit of effort. All you have to do is read a little bit. Hell, you could probably find a Vietnam Vet who would LOVE to help you guys make your film. If you are going for more of a fictional take, then don't bother, those can be good too.

However, don't discourage him from reading a book. "The Things They Carried" is all about storytelling, specifically in Vietnam. It will just... help. I see where you are coming from, but I don't think that attitude covers everything.

What you said just bothered me. It's a lazy attitude (if you apply it to everything). Again, research isn't for some films, but if your film needs research it really isn't much extra effort.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 2:05am

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JasonX1024

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THANKS EVERYONE FOR ADVICE! and yeah I get quite annoyed at kids with cap guns running around to 60s music thinking theyr making a vietnam epic...BUT i am just 17 yrs old and i look like im idk 15...i can thicken the plot to say i lied about my age! I dont need historians or vets I HAVE ONE! my uncle served soo yeah and he lied about his age and he was i think 14 1/2!!! so yes i will try my best to make it authentic. AND I DONT OWN NIKES OR CAP GUNS!...i will check out that book but my uncle has shared a story that inspired me and scared me...it was about him and his squad and one of them stepped on a mine and they had to carry him back for 3 days hiding in villages and fighting off NVA,,.,real crazy he got shot twice...BUT THANKS GUYS!
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 6:41am

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Atom

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EvilDonut wrote:

You don't have money to hire Vietnam vet historians on your staff anyways.
Money to hire a Vietnam historian? Hell, half the Vietnam vets are homeless these days, you can get an authentic story for pennies!

It's a sad shame on the country, but it's true.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 8:41am

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JasonX1024

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i dont need money when i can just talk to my uncle or theres a big platoon reunion or something i can meet people there....so
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 9:21am

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Bryce007

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JasonX1024 wrote:

Jumbled mass of incoherence
Come on, man. At least attempt a response that we don't have to read 6+ times to decipher.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 5:57pm

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JasonX1024

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ummm ok: I Do Not Need Money When I Can Just Talk To My Uncle, OR Theres A Big Platoon Reunion Coming Up For Him, I Can Just GO There. sorry for my puncuation, you see like many other children now I am done with school, so I can care less about spelling and puncuation.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 6:41pm

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ben3308

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School teaches you spelling and punctuation out of necessity for their use in the real world, not merely for virtue of their usage in school itself. So it's rather ignorant to just say "I'm not accountable for my grammar anymore, so I don't care", because now you've effectively rendered all that education utterly useless.

But I digress....

We all want you to make an awesome movie. But unfortunately, truth can be stranger than fiction and the stretches of believability you seen in real life can't always be translated to cinema. As in, while your uncle may have been 14, this doesn't mean that an all 14-year-old cast (or equivalent) will ever, at all look good or even believable on screen. Yes, it may have been how things actually went, but there needs to be a delicate balance between events properly portrayed and events adequately augmented. And as far as ages go, the older the better.

Am I saying that your uncle wasn't in the war, or that 14-year-olds weren't? No, I'm certainly not. Just that while you should stick with accuracy in most parts, it's important to fit your movie's accuracy to what the American public considers 'accurate' in a general sense. This means 19 and 20 year olds in gear, not mid-teens in wifebeaters.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 9:49pm

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JasonX1024

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ben3308 wrote:

Am I saying that your uncle wasn't in the war, or that 14-year-olds weren't? No, I'm certainly not. Just that while you should stick with accuracy in most parts, it's important to fit your movie's accuracy to what the American public considers 'accurate' in a general sense. This means 19 and 20 year olds in gear, not mid-teens in wifebeaters.
yes thank you...BUT my uncle went into boot camp at 13 and a half (i asked him) with his best friend who was a year older. NOW this is what I am doing! and i dont know any 18-9 year olds who would participate and its kindof weird to ask them. but how about two 17 year olds in gear with authenticity, not 12 year olds in paintball camo and jeans....yes i know ive been there.
Posted: Mon, 30th Jun 2008, 10:40pm

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SilverDragon7

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Alright, but you'll still need to balence it out like Ben said... Meaning that if you're gonna have 14 year-olds in boot camp you'll need three things...

  • Strong Teenage actors
  • Strong Adult actors
  • Belivable props and costumes


Another word of advice, if I may?


Start small.

Ben3308 and Atom didn't get to be where they are now without starting small, then moved gradually up, and now have their own (to-be successful) feature film project. Same goes with Sollthar and many, MANY other successful FXHome members.
Posted: Tue, 1st Jul 2008, 1:09am

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Merrick

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JasonX1024 wrote:

my uncle served soo yeah and he lied about his age and he was i think 14 1/2!!!
Sounds like on of my grandparents. He has some great stories. He was in the air force and delivered supplies to the troops. Just the other day, he told me about dropping cows from planes when a battle was going on below.
Posted: Tue, 1st Jul 2008, 1:58am

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ben3308

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My grandfather was a noncombatant in WWII. He ran around in the war, the same as everyone else, except he was given a Bible instead of a gun. Imagine how scary that would be.
Posted: Tue, 1st Jul 2008, 5:29am

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Thrawn

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ben3308 wrote:

My grandfather was a noncombatant in WWII. He ran around in the war, the same as everyone else, except he was given a Bible instead of a gun. Imagine how scary that would be.
As in a chaplain? I agree that a chaplain is on of the most frightening job, simply because your not allowed to pick up a rifle and shoot it, even at the cost of your life.

SilverDragon7 wrote:


Start small.

Ben3308 and Atom didn't get to be where they are now without starting small, then moved gradually up, and now have their own (to-be successful) feature film project. Same goes with Sollthar and many, MANY other successful FXHome members.
Though it's good to start small, I would also have to add that do not be afraid to grow. Taking large steps isn't always bad. For example, Robert Rodriguez made videos in the most crude fashion, but after constantly making videos, he made the jump from an eight minute video called "Bedhead" to a feature length video called "El Mariachi", which was later picked up by Columbia, making thousand upon thousands of dollars. I'm just pointing out that if you feel you can accomplish something in the film industry, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Take advice, of course, but don't drop the idea simply because of the opinion of others.
Posted: Tue, 1st Jul 2008, 6:44am

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ben3308

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As far as ages go, Jason, I am only speaking from experience. I made a Splinter Cell movie with teenagers- and even then, they looked older than they were- and people criticized it. Luckily, Splinter Cell is fictional and therefore less apt to be scrutinized.

With a war picture- or anything that retells history, for that matter- the ways things can be shown changes completely. You have to fit within the realms of suspension of disbelief, or forget about it being a Vietnam movie altogether. Simply put, 13/14/15-year-olds will not look the part for this type of movie, bar none.

Even with good actors who actually look older, it's still wiser to cast an actor as someone the same age or younger than themselves, not older. Such is the case in Hollywood all the time! For instance, though my friend Brian is twenty years old and pretty much looks his age, in Marathon or even The Mist he plays someone who is supposed to be anywhere from 16-18, not 20.

Regrettably, we can suspend our disbelief to see someone as younger than they are, but not often vice-versa.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jul 2008, 2:18am

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JasonX1024

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but thats the thing I AM RETELLING HISTORY!!! my uncle has his dog tags and listed his age at 18 to join up. pretty stupid move if you ask me , BUT he has an incredible story, they used him to make a history channel documentary for like a resource. BUT YEAH him and his friend, (friend is dead) both were in vietnam and i want his story to be heard....!
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jul 2008, 3:25am

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ben3308

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Fine. But keep the story small, then. Two person script, that's it. You can stretch suspension of disbelief is that is the story you're intent on telling, just be sure that if you have any other cast members, they're old enough. Deal? biggrin
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jul 2008, 4:39am

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Thrawn

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Jason, while still holding on to what I said in my last post, listen to Ben. He makes a good point about how truth can be stranger then fiction. Your grandfather very well may have served at the age of 14, but the young age makes it less believable for the audience. By all means, make the movie the way you want to make it, but keep that in mind. Maybe a "Based on a True Story" may be a good opener or closer.
Posted: Wed, 2nd Jul 2008, 6:24pm

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JasonX1024

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yes no doubt, thanks! and yes i will keep it a two person script. um whats funny is I wont be playing my uncle, because strangley my other actor looks more like him. Yeah, but would be a great flick once i make it.