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Thread: If only we had this sort of nit pickery for sword work in the movies.

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    Gav
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    If only we had this sort of nit pickery for sword work in the movies.

    Check this out.

    http://io9.com/5893693/is-hawkeye-fr...s-worst-archer

    It's a great article and well worth reading.

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    I used to comment on movies like this, especially with regard to guns and swords (I've been shooting for many many years with a huge variety of firearms) - and I realized that if the point of the movie was to make it realistic, then there'd be no point to making it a movie - at the very best it would be a documentary and doesn't really need actors at all, much less a plot.

    "ordinary real-life elements accurate"

    This phrase did bug me, as if everyone is an archer who shoots like a world-class competitor, or even that everyone does any kind of archery at all. Expecting your audience to care about details like that is hopeless - you'll spend so much time perfecting the shooting stance of your actors that you'll never make a movie. You're really just making a bunch of scenes of someone shooting *accurately* and then trying to connect them with plot spackle - all to pander to a hilariously small demographic who would probably just rather be out doing it themselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav View Post
    Check this out.

    http://io9.com/5893693/is-hawkeye-fr...s-worst-archer

    It's a great article and well worth reading.
    Great pointer, thanks.

    I think you could have that kind of nit pickery for sword work, especially scenes that are supposed to be fencing with fencing weapons. I don't see why they wouldn't print that too, if it were as accessible as the archery article was. You could do some stuff with stills, but if they could embed some short video clips, say the awful fencing stuff in the Bond movie, then a few clips of Tagliariol vs Abajo in Beijing, both sets slowed down to 30% speed or something, I could see that working.

    But it's not all about content. That article was nicely written, it had a light, funny tone, it didn't delve into weird topics no one cares about, although I'm sure archery has them. A fencing article would have to be as well done to get published.

    K O'N

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    Senior Member oosnoopy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubSevn View Post
    I used to comment on movies like this, especially with regard to guns and swords (I've been shooting for many many years with a huge variety of firearms) - and I realized that if the point of the movie was to make it realistic, then there'd be no point to making it a movie - at the very best it would be a documentary and doesn't really need actors at all, much less a plot.

    "ordinary real-life elements accurate"

    This phrase did bug me, as if everyone is an archer who shoots like a world-class competitor, or even that everyone does any kind of archery at all. Expecting your audience to care about details like that is hopeless - you'll spend so much time perfecting the shooting stance of your actors that you'll never make a movie. You're really just making a bunch of scenes of someone shooting *accurately* and then trying to connect them with plot spackle - all to pander to a hilariously small demographic who would probably just rather be out doing it themselves.
    Oh god bad trigger technique in TV really grinds my gears.

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    Senior Member swordwench's Avatar
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    Gav, I really got a kick out of the article. I used to do a fair amount of archery (there's still a 25-yd range in my back yard and a rack of unstrung bows in my living room), and all I had to do was look at the stills in the article to pick out details, before I even started reading. Why's his wrist rolled out? No wonder he needs a wrist guard, the idiot! Why's his elbow up so high? What's he doing with that arm sticking out? Why isn't he looking where he's shooting? (I can be pretty nit-picky. I also never, EVER wear an arm guard. If I get stung with the string, I want it to bruise to remind me of what I did wrong.)

    I think we all play armchair critic every time we see a commercial that features anything fencing-related in it. And every movie and TV show ever made that features fencing. I STILL find myself yelling at the screen every time I see the iCarly episode "iFence", where Freddie and Spencer learn to fence... oh wait, that was supposed to be a secret...

    Anyway. Maybe YOU should write an article like this!

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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    Sword work on film isn't about the blade technique...it's about using the fight to help tell the story. I've worked and sold gear for enough shoots to understand that Hollywood doesn't give a rat's a** about accuracy....they want what looks good.

    Let it go, guys...
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    Gav
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    Quote Originally Posted by swordwench View Post
    Anyway. Maybe YOU should write an article like this!
    Hmmm.

    <strokes chin>

    Hmmm.

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    Senior Member Lady Quindecim's Avatar
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    Gav, I can hear the gears turning from half a world away. Keep thinking that hard and you are going to pull a muscle. =^_^=

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    What, and diss the Great Bob?

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    Senior Member edew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    Sword work on film isn't about the blade technique...it's about using the fight to help tell the story. I've worked and sold gear for enough shoots to understand that Hollywood doesn't give a rat's a** about accuracy....they want what looks good.

    Let it go, guys...
    Gotta agree. There's no rhyme or reason for most of the fencing/swordfighting scenes in movies. Absolutely none. Completely opposite of what any reasonable sword wielder would do in real life, if they want to live past that episode.

    Some pet-peeves:

    1) turning around while sparring.

    2) non-weapon side facing the opponent (without a shield... with a shield, I can see the rationale)

    3) flailing away with the weapon

    4) attacking the opponent's weapon instead of the body (well, even beginning fencers do that)

    5) hitting with the edge of a tip-based sword (like rapiers)

    6) hitting like the sword is a club
    =)=///

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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edew View Post
    Gotta agree.
    You agreeing with ME? 1st sign of the Apocalypse!

    There's no rhyme or reason for most of the fencing/swordfighting scenes in movies. Absolutely none. Completely opposite of what any reasonable sword wielder would do in real life, if they want to live past that episode.
    Well....when you're paying a star's wages....why ELSE do you think that Kirk went on landing parties?? (Aside from the knowledge that, because he didn't wear a red shirt, he was safe...)
    Some pet-peeves:

    1) turning around while sparring.
    Heh...we call those "Unnecessary Jedi spins" at SwordPlay

    2) non-weapon side facing the opponent (without a shield... with a shield, I can see the rationale)
    Yeah....but it LOOKS great -- especially when the hero lays out a baleful "you die now" stare.....which kinda back up what I said about it looking good more than accurate.
    3) flailing away with the weapon

    4) attacking the opponent's weapon instead of the body (well, even beginning fencers do that)
    Flail, counter-flail, remise of the flail....

    5) hitting with the edge of a tip-based sword (like rapiers)

    6) hitting like the sword is a club
    Those are moire likely to the choreographed nature of stage combat....you cut to the a parry rather than parrying the cut.
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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    Since I mentioned SwordPlay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBCU4LwB_0g

    OROD (left) and me at 1:35 (keep in mind this was 15 years ago)

    I'd forgotten how many interior changes there were at the club since then....

    And an example of awful stage combat?? The Scaramouche clip.....YUK!
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    Senior Member oosnoopy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edew View Post
    5) hitting with the edge of a tip-based sword (like rapiers)
    Most rapiers had edges, but I think I know what you're talking about, when they start using a primarily thrusting weapon like a sabre.

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    Senior Member edew's Avatar
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    Attacking into the parry is the most stupid thing to show. Yeah, I understand the safety aspect of it. But you know what? Teach them a bit of how to do it right and it won't be that hard to parry a real looking attack.

    Another peeve (especially in the Banderas Zorro from 12 years ago): 15 minutes of sword fighting and no one gets even a nick. It's like two people shooting at point blank range and neither hitting anything.
    =)=///

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    Senior Member erik_blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edew View Post
    It's like two people shooting at point blank range and neither hitting anything.
    Hummm... A-Team anyone? :P
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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edew View Post
    Attacking into the parry is the most stupid thing to show. Yeah, I understand the safety aspect of it. But you know what? Teach them a bit of how to do it right and it won't be that hard to parry a real looking attack.
    Doing it "right" for REAL combat where you're actually trying to kill the other guy isn't ever going to happen.

    It's like drum corps people demanding a drum line in a commercial play the same insanely difficult stuff put on the field, and yet seeing something in commercial that's WAY WAY beneath their skill set.

    Here's a recently released commercial http://bdentertain.com/videos/?assetID=25820

    The playing is beyond basic....I could play it, and I'm a horn guy!

    Out on the field, however, the fans get something more like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej3QFr9lEFo
    Another peeve (especially in the Banderas Zorro from 12 years ago): 15 minutes of sword fighting and no one gets even a nick. It's like two people shooting at point blank range and neither hitting anything.
    Again....these are not real fights in any sense....you can't think of them as such.

    Here's Weske's thoughts on stage combat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COMg52z_AC0
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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik_blank View Post
    Hummm... A-Team anyone? :P
    Or GI Joke....both the Joes and Cobra send enough energy downrange to light a small city and all they hit is air...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Fencer View Post
    Or GI Joke....both the Joes and Cobra send enough energy downrange to light a small city and all they hit is air...
    Come on, those walls and buildings really had it coming...
    "Rub her feet!" - Lazarus Long, Time enough for Love, Robert A. Heinlein

    "Never moon a werewolf."
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    Posting Hound Purple Fencer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erik_blank View Post
    Come on, those walls and buildings really had it coming...

    If either side could HIT them....
    Need fencing equipment? See me at H.O.M. Fencing Supply

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    Senior Member Allen Evans's Avatar
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    This is what I keep saying! Man, movies are totally made up!
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