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5.1. my worst reenacting experience

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  • Michael Drouillard
    Hey Jim I remember that! oh man.... that was for the Canada A Peoples History I never did see the finished product but I remember more then once rolling
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 1, 2008
      Hey Jim I remember that! oh man.... that was for the "Canada A Peoples History" I never did see the finished product but I remember more then once rolling my eyes at what they wanted to happen. But hey, it more then paid for the gas and powder for the weekend.

      Michael Drouillard - Glens
      ________________________________________________________________________
      > 5.1. my worst reenacting experience
      > Posted by: "James Yaworsky" yawors1@... yawors1
      > Date: Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:57 am ((PDT))
      >

      > The can is opened. I think it is an important can for us to examine,
      > too. And here's my worst horror story.
      >
      > A number of years ago, filming was going on for a "Battle of the
      > Thames" sequence at the Stoney Creek event. 41st reenactors were
      > obviously in high demand, the ranks of the redcoats were filled out
      > with other regiments, who were made to wear greatcoats to hide the
      > fact their facings were the wrong colour (and it was a damnably hot
      > weekend - I felt sorry for the other lads!)
      >
      > The production had a script written by I don't know who. Scene one
      > had 41st spread out in a thin line along the tree line on the east
      > side of the normal battlefield. We were to fire a round, one guy was
      > to take a hit, then we were to break, run in to the woods, *and native
      > allies* would cover our retreat and continue the fight.
      >
      > Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of the Battle of the Thames
      > will know this sequence is pure fantasy.
      >
      > In the next scene, the retreating redcoats are heading upstream on the
      > bed of Stoney Creek itself. More fantasy.
      >
      > In the last scene, the redcoats run up a path on the back of the hill
      > the Battlefield Monument sits on. This is a big hill. There is no
      > location like it within many miles of the battlefield of the Thames.
      >
      > Since we were not allowed to wear glasses - even "period" glasses",
      > and since I didn't want to kill myself, I sat this scene out. The
      > scene called for a U.S. regular to shoot one of the running brits.
      > Michael Drouillard volunteered to take the hit.
      >
      > Needless to say, several takes were required before all the elements
      > were in place for hopefully "the" good take. Off the lads ran (and
      > given the heat, the greatcoats, and the multiple takes, it is a fine
      > testimony to the health of the lads involved: it's lucky nobody had a
      > heart attack). Michael takes the hit, the men behind him run past in
      > their blind panic.
      >
      > I turned to the guy next to me and said something to the effect of
      > "nice friends, just leave him lying there without checking to see if
      > he's wounded or anything". The Director heard me. For some reason,
      > this struck him as an interesting point. "Would they have checked
      > him?" he asked. I looked at the Historical Advisor - Peter Twist -
      > who just smiled back at me. We both knew that if I said "sure they
      > would have", Mr. Director would have had the lads run the whole scene
      > again. Since I wanted to live to see another day, I blurted out some
      > bullshit about how if the men were flying in a panic, they probably
      > wouldn't have, and I had just been kidding. The Director thought
      > about it briefly, and let it go.
      >
      > This scene too was, of course, pure fantasy. The 41st's line was
      > broken by mounted Kentucky riflemen, and what pursuit occurred (which
      > wasn't much) was conducted by them too.
      >
      > We were all paid a small stipend for our efforts. As I took my cash,
      > I felt like I had just prostituted myself. I had sold out the memory
      > of the Regiment I have chosen to portray. I made a vow on the spot
      > and I've never participated in something this inaccurate again.
      >
      > Peter Twist was the historical advisor, but obviously had limited
      > authority. He could suggest that period glasses not be allowed, that
      > men in coats with the wrong facings should wear greatcoats - minor
      > stuff like that.
      >
      > Meanwhile, the script writer had concocted a set of fantasy scenarios.
      > The Director was willing to make the lads run up the hill again to
      > get the scene "right" (again, a minor detail at best), but the whole
      > scene was fantasy and should never have been filmed in the first place.
      >
      > The whole "Battle of the Thames" sequence in the finished film was
      > largely inaccurate baloney. But we looked "right".
      >
      > Ya know, M&C is looking better and better to me when I remember stuff
      > like this.
      >
      > Jim Yaworsky
      > 41st
      >

      _________________________________________________________________



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • James Yaworsky
      ... Peoples History I never did see the finished product but I remember more then once rolling my eyes at what they wanted to happen. But hey, it more then
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 1, 2008
        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, Michael Drouillard
        <drouillard_summit@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hey Jim I remember that! oh man.... that was for the "Canada A
        Peoples History" I never did see the finished product but I
        remember more then once rolling my eyes at what they wanted to
        happen. But hey, it more then paid for the gas and powder for the
        weekend.
        >
        > Michael Drouillard - Glens
        >

        Michael, you deserved an Oscar or something for that hit!

        I've discovered that I just can't watch that episode without tears
        coming to my eyes. I like to think this reaction arises from
        contemplating your sad on-screen fate, and not from the sight of all
        the baloney that preceeds it... ;>)

        Jim Yaworsky
        41st

        p.s. drop by next time you're home and I'll run it for you...
        Bring either a hankerchief, or a barf-bag...
        On second thought, to be on the safe side, better bring both... ;>)
      • Mark Dickerson
        After getting back from Ft Louisbourg, I have to say WOW , and not in the greatest sense either. I must say it was not the worst experience, but it wasn t
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 5, 2008
          After getting back from Ft Louisbourg, I have to say "WOW", and not in the
          greatest sense either. I must say it was not the worst experience, but it
          wasn't the greatest, by far.



          I have always felt pretty positive about our own 1812 time period, but after
          experiencing the Seven Years War (F & I for others) time period, I must say
          1812 is far superior in my opinion.



          Positives: The fort and the surrounding village are both spectacular. I
          would go again just for the ambiance.

          Fresh bread

          The temperature

          Shuttles to the parking area



          Negatives: Dealing with Parks Canada at the Louisbourg site- Nobody was
          allowed to bring their own cartridges. So PC made everything and dispensed
          20 rounds per person after we got onto the battlefield. Then after each
          battle, we had to return them. I like not paying for powder, but standing
          there while 2 PC employees dispensed 20 rounds to hundreds of re-enactors
          took a while.

          Safety- There were times that I felt safety was severely lacking. At our
          first safety inspection the PC guy came along and asked our CO "you guys
          look safe. You're ok to go"...no inspection at all. Also the battle
          involved charging with fixed bayonets, uphill, at a run, while taking
          casualties.

          Command staff- Did not exactly instill much confidence in me. They
          frequently seemed so be confused as to how the maneuver numerous troops, and
          yelled at anybody for taking any intiative or following the overall
          commander's orders( which seemed odd to me).





          So in my opinion, we in 1812 have much to be proud of!



          Mark Dickerson





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Chris McKay
          You know it s been a head-bashing couple of weeks (Master and Commander and now authenticity debates) for Mark to try to steer the conversation towards safety.
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 6, 2008
            You know it's been a head-bashing couple of weeks (Master and
            Commander and now authenticity debates) for Mark to try to steer the
            conversation towards safety. (Five minute rule, anyone?)


            Chris McKay


            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Dickerson" <mdickerson1@...>
            wrote:

            >
            > Safety- There were times that I felt safety was severely lacking.
            At our
            > first safety inspection the PC guy came along and asked our CO "you
            guys
            > look safe. You're ok to go"...no inspection at all. Also the
            battle
            > involved charging with fixed bayonets, uphill, at a run, while
            taking
            > casualties.
            > So in my opinion, we in 1812 have much to be proud of!
            >
            >
            >
            > Mark Dickerson
            >
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