Presenting his World War One battlefield movie "1917" as a single shot had pros and cons for Oscar winning director Sam Mendes. Mistakes meant lengthy retakes but "accidents" also gave an authenticity of life in the trenches.
Creating a realistic battle scene — whether it's from World War II or the Napoleonic Wars — demands technical know-how and precise attention to detail.
Paul Biddiss, the military technical adviser on the upcoming World War I movie 1917, taught the actors everything they needed to know, from proper foot care to how to hold a weapon, "which allows the actor to concentrate on his primary task. Acting!" Biddis told Insider.
Biddiss has worked on projects from a variety of time periods — "large Napoleonic battles through to World War I, World War II, right up to modern-day battles with Special Forces," Biddiss said.
Read on to learn about how Biddiss prepared 1917 performers for the gruesome, grueling warfare of World War I.
The upcoming drama 1917 intends to drop viewers directly into the trenches of World War I.
To do that, director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins, intend to drag the audience through a single battle in a war that claimed millions of lives more than 100 years ago not as an idle spectator, but as an infantryman on a desperate mission to deliver a message that might save 1,600 British soldiers from a deadly trap — or doom them all, should he fail.
Gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, firing 37mm gun during an advance against German/Wikimedia Commons
The filmmakers who gave the world Saving Private Ryan, and Jarhead are shipping out to recreate World War I in the upcoming drama 1917.
The film will be produced by Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan) and directed by Sam Mendes (Jarhead, Skyfall, Spectre, Road to Perdition) — and the two are going to work on it as soon as next month.