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Re: Filming at re-enactments

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  • James Burrill
    Back during the 125th anniversary of the ACW, I wound up working as a videographer for Jack Foley of Classic Images. Many of you that also do ACW have probably
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 6, 1999
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      Back during the 125th anniversary of the ACW, I wound up working as a
      videographer for Jack Foley of Classic Images.

      Many of you that also do ACW have probably seen or even own some of
      the tapes we did. Altogether about 14.

      Jack worked in the AV department of a manufacturing company in
      Maryland and was able to borrow a 3/4 deck and camera to take to an
      event. Jack had been a reenactor in a Federal unit for a number of
      years and knew most everyone he would be taping.

      His initial work made the rounds of local units and was received well
      enough to warrant a gamble on his part to try to rent better equipment
      and pay for editing suite time and show up at 1st Manassas 125th.
      After negotiating the rights with the event organizers, he had the
      legal right to tape the event (and anyone who registered, btw..it was
      mentioned in the registration forms people signed)

      There was no way he could afford to pay each individual who was filmed
      at the event. If pay was required, he would never have been able to do
      the event at all. Hell, as a Videographer, I worked for spec. And for
      my end it payed off: I went to all the 125th events for free, had all
      my meals, hotel, travel paid and 200.00 a day. This while I was on
      leave from the Navy.

      So, yes, the crew was paid eventually, if not the re-enactors. Please
      keep in mind our budget for how many cameras and crew we could have
      depended on how well the previous tapes had sold. We didn't have any
      corporate backing and it really was a homegrown operation.

      Now, after clearing our game plan with the event promoters, we went at
      it in two ways:
      1) we asked for volunteers to be at a particular place at a particular
      time to shoot specific scenes. We provided powder, water, ice,
      Gatorade and all the special effects. We provided any uniforms or kit
      that was to be damaged during the shot, and if some one was asked to
      play "General So-and-So" we provided the uniforms (provided by various
      sutlers in exchange for mention in the credits)

      2) we played combat photo-journalists. all of us on the field wore
      wool uniforms just like the rest of the reenactors. We used tarred
      haversacks for the tapes and batteries and tin canteens and leather
      belts and headgear right out of sutler row. The cameras were covered
      in sacking and OD ducttape as well as the tripods. Since I was a ACW
      reenactor myself, I knew the drill and the way units were moved around
      on the field and could usually move when the unit did so we (my
      VTR/sound Man and myself) could blend in with the unit.

      We never tried to control the happenings during the reenactment. We
      shot what we could just like a news crew would do. The "B-roll" that
      was shot was done after asking if we could shoot. Keep in mind this
      was before "Glory" and "Gettysburg", most people were happy to
      volunteer to get their mugs on tape.

      Again, this was a shoestring operation and if we had to pay all the
      costs of a full-blown Hollywood movie, well, it would never have
      happened.

      Now, look at Civil War Journal on A&E. They pay for all their
      reenactors....all 5 of them. But close-ups of marching feet in slo-mo
      with the same feet from a different angle dissolved in, gets old real
      fast. But those feet are paid for!!

      Now maybe I am a bit sensitive after all the bad press Service men got
      during the 60s and 70s. Military magazines and books started
      disappearing from bookstores, you couldn't find toy guns and "Army
      stuff" for your kids to play with and the only war movies being made
      were the Alan Alda, anti-war s**t.

      When the chance comes along to participate in some historical
      production that has something good to say about the military, I would
      still volunteer to turn out for filming...and yes, even unpaid.
      Especially if it was a period or battle I was particularly interested
      in. Sometimes it would simply be the chance to "play" with some neat
      toys the company would provide or at a location that you usually
      didn't get to reenact in. (NPS will let you film in buildings and
      sites that you can't get to "reenact"in.

      I would say I would show up for a production that was low budget and
      be happy if they fed me. I WOULD expect to be paid if it was a big
      Hollywood production and healthy bodies were hired off the street as
      extras. (As in Glory) If they were paying extras, I damn sure would
      belly up to the trough and actually expect more because I came with
      full kit.

      I guess the long and short of it is that I would look on it as a case
      by case basis before I would categorically state I had to be paid.

      Professional actors, with a SAG card, Lord love em, they deserve to be
      paid as it is their chosen profession. Re-enacting is my hobby. I
      ENJOY doing it, and I ENJOY occasionally being filmed while I get a
      chance to play. I guess if A&E asked for unpaid volunteers to make an
      episode a success (rather than just 5 pair of marching feet), well, I
      guess I would go enjoy myself.

      'Lah! There it is.

      Jim Burrill
    • Bateman, Andrew
      When the chance comes along to participate in some historical production that has something good to say about the military, I would still volunteer to turn out
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 7, 1999
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        When the chance comes along to participate in some
        historical
        production that has something good to say about the
        military, I would
        still volunteer to turn out for filming...and yes, even
        unpaid.
        Especially if it was a period or battle I was
        particularly interested
        in. Sometimes it would simply be the chance to "play"
        with some neat
        toys the company would provide or at a location that
        you usually
        didn't get to reenact in. (NPS will let you film in
        buildings and
        sites that you can't get to "reenact"in.

        Right you are! I still remember the buzz in the Camp Chase
        Gazette at the time Gettysburg (or Killer Angels, as we knew it at the time)
        was filmed about how the reenacting community should react to being asked to
        participate in films without pay. Some people considered this exploitation
        and said that reenactors should insist on being paid, but there is no way
        the battle scenes in Gettysburg could have been filmed if the reenactors
        were paid. It all comes down to the question of whether your pride in your
        second career as an actor should take precedence over making a few
        sacrifices to make a cool film that you can enjoy later and that will help
        increase interest in the period from civilians. I will always remember
        being part of Pickett's Charge on the original site.

        TAKE THE VISITORS' CENTRE!!!!!!!

        Andrew Bateman
      • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
        Did I post this all before? Deja vu, man...freaky.... A Feature film, TV show, TV documentary , etc., is NOT a reenactment/living history event. It is a
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 7, 1999
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          Did I post this all before?
          Deja vu, man...freaky....

          A Feature film, TV show, "TV documentary" , etc., is NOT a reenactment/living
          history event. It is a product produced for consumption by the public. That
          product is a Television show or a film. The producers and the film crew are
          not doing it for "free" -- nor should you. It is NOT a hobby -- it is an
          industry.

          I am a professional, Screen Actors Guild card carrying actor - I work in
          front of a camera for a living. I don't go into real courtrooms and pretend
          to be lawyer, nor do I go to real factories and assemble automobiles as a
          "hobby" -- get the idea? Some people may study law as an interest, or work
          on cars and build hot rods as a hobby -- things they enjoy doing but do not
          do as a vocation. I know some guys who just love being plumbers -- but love
          of working on those pipes ain't gonna get them to crawl under your sink for
          free. And if Drano wants to hire one of them to be in a commercial, then
          Drano has to pay him.

          Some folks play golf as a "hobby", and these are the majority of those who
          play the game. Then there are some who make a living off it -- they give golf
          lessons, or manufacture golfing equipment or clothing, or own golf courses.
          They don't give away all their goods or services "for the love of golf" now
          do they? And then there are those who are pro golfers and play for the big
          bucks --- anyone expect them to give up those Masters' Open winner's checks?
          Not likely!

          In Living History/Reenactment the majority of folks do it for fun and
          enjoyment. Some are paid to do it at historic sites. Some decided to also
          make their living at it and manufacture clothing or gear for sale to other
          reenactors. Some write books or publish magazines about the hobby or history.
          Should those folks like James Townsend, GG Godwin or Jarnigan give away their
          goods "for the good of the hobby" or "out of love of history"? Should "Civil
          War Times" or "Age of Napoleon" or "Smoke and Fire News" give away their
          publications for free? -- Sure, we'd all LIKE that -- and then they would go
          out of business in short order and there would be NO sutlers or publications.

          Allow me to inject some hard facts about the industry at this point. Here is
          what SAG members (and non-SAG people working on a SAG contracted project) are
          paid for appearing as "background" or "extras" (which is what most reenactors
          actually are in a film):

          For Film/TV:
          Standard rate
          8 hour day: $90.00
          9 hour $106.875

          Special ability rate (which is what most reenactors are -- special with an
          ability)
          8 hour day: $100
          9 hour $114.00
          10 hr $132.00
          11 hr $150.00
          12 hr $168.00
          Overtime hours add:
          1 1/2 = $28.125
          2 = $37.50
          2 1/2 = $46.875
          3 = $56.25
          3 1/2 = $65.265
          4 = $75.00
          All overtime is computed in 1/10th hour increments -- each 6 minute period.

          Standard Hourly rate at
          1X = $11.25/hr
          1 1/2 x = $16.37/hr
          2 x = #22.50

          Misc. Additional Rates:
          Wardrobe (bringing and using one's own normal clothing) = #1 at $9.00, each
          additional at $6.25.
          Tux/Formal/UNIFORM $18.00
          Smoke/Wet (you work where there is SMOKE or you get WET) $14.00
          Body Makeup/Hair Goods (as in wigs - take note 18th century types) $18.00

          TV Commercial Rates are entirely different.
          For instance: 8 hr day = $259.00.
          Additional for wardrobe (Formal/Uniform) $27.00

          These rates are for work which is "local". Out of town requires a per diem
          and transportation fees to be paid in addition. Mileage is usually at .30
          cents/mile. Then there are accommodations to be provided. You also get fed
          once every 5 hours.

          Even films or shows that can use non-union extras pay at least $40 to $50 per
          day, and this is to people in ordinary modern clothes with no expertise in
          any sort of skill (such as military drill, use of weapons, riding a horse,
          etc.).

          Anyone working on a project should be getting at least something equal to the
          above rates. If not, then I have a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you....

          If you live in a "right to work" state, that does not mean anyone has a right
          to work you without compensation!

          Hey - I want great, accurate programs about historical events to be made just
          as much as anyone else!

          BUT!!! --- I will say again -- Films/TV shows/etc are NOT history events,
          they are NOT reenactments. These are manufactured products being sold for a
          profit. The people who produce, direct, run the cameras, edit the film or
          tape, etc., etc., are all being paid. So should you. Period.

          Now, having said all that, this does not always include a project which is
          solely to be shown at and for the sole benefit of an historic site. That's
          why it is a "benefit". (Even then, I have done such and still been paid.)

          I know it's cool and neat to get to be on TV or in a movie -- that's why I do
          it for living! However, you must think realistically. Remember; it is an
          industry. A business. Do it for free -- and you are only lining someone
          else's pockets.

          Here's looking *out for you*, kid...
          Most sincerely,
          Benton Jennings
          93rd Highlanders
          Actor
        • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
          In a message dated 4/7/99 9:41:39 AM Central Daylight Time, abateman@giffels-usa.com writes:
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 7, 1999
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            In a message dated 4/7/99 9:41:39 AM Central Daylight Time,
            abateman@... writes:

            << Some people considered this exploitation
            and said that reenactors should insist on being paid, but there is no way
            the battle scenes in Gettysburg could have been filmed if the reenactors
            were paid. It all comes down to the question of whether your pride in your
            second career as an actor should take precedence over making a few
            sacrifices to make a cool film that you can enjoy later and that will help
            increase interest in the period from civilians. >>

            Excuse Me??!! No way to film that scene without re-enactors? Well, I suppose
            there was no way of raising cotton in the anti Bellum south without slaves!

            Seriously have you seen the films that have been made over the years? Do you
            think Dino de Laurentis got the Russian army free when he did Waterloo? Or
            the Chinese army free when he did Tai-Pan? Do you think the Irish did
            Braveheart for 'the love of history'? What about Lawrence of Arabia, The Wind
            and the Lion, El Cid, The Adventures of Baron Munchousen, Barry Lyndon No
            re-enactors working for free in those productions I can assure you!

            Sorry to have to say it but none have "second careers" as actors, if acting
            isn't ones first career one is a wannabe. Because of the "let me do it for
            free" attitude a lot of re-enactors have many people (not all) in the film
            industry thing that re-enactors are pathetic looses there to be used. Sorry
            but as I say I work in the business and I know. On occasion I have done deals
            for people only to have them cave in at the first suggestion that the money
            might not be there.

            This is an industry which counts success and quality (for the most part) in
            money. "If you don't want to charge for your services you can't be worth
            anything" is the attitude. So please don't fool yourself.

            Take a careful look at Benton's post. He IS an actor and he knows.

            Cheers

            Tim
          • James Burrill
            ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Filming at re-enactments Author: BritcomHMP@aol.com
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 7, 1999
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              ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
              Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Filming at re-enactments
              Author: BritcomHMP@... at Internet-USA
              Date: 4/7/99 6:22 PM


              Snip from Tim

              Seriously have you seen the films that have been made over the years? Do you
              think Dino de Laurentis got the Russian army free when he did Waterloo? Or the
              Chinese army free when he did Tai-Pan? Do you think the Irish did Braveheart
              for 'the love of history'? What about Lawrence of Arabia, The Wind and the
              Lion, El Cid, The Adventures of Baron Munchousen, Barry Lyndon No re-enactors
              working for free in those productions I can assure you!
              UN-Snip


              If someone like de Laurentis comes in to do something, I thing he is so far up
              the food chain that no one who flinch at expecting pay to be used in his film.

              I think the issue is more on making the call if the production budget is a
              shoestring. Again, I come back to the 5 pairs of feet in the A&E productions.
              If I was doing one of the episodes, I think I would have donated my
              "reenactor" budget to a museum in exchange for reenactors who are willing to
              trade their time to "come play" knowing the museum would benefit.

              Again, there are a lot of small fish in the same sea where Speilberg and de
              Laurentis are the whales.

              So, I agree I would want pay if it's Lucas Films but I wouldn't kick if it was
              a local PBS station or small production house.

              Let's look at some reality....most of us don't live in Hollywood and the
              chance to be an extra in ANY type of production is pretty damn slim. Most of
              us HAVE day jobs so we can't try for "bit parts" or commit to being available
              for a certain shot until it is final....we have to be at work Monday morning.
              So for the most part it is truly a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to be in
              some big battle scene with our mates.

              How many reenactors that have been on film can honestly say they are
              Professional Actors? And for how many reenactors was that the one and only
              time?


              Actually, I think the best option for the reenactment units is to be
              fed, watered and see the production company make a decent donation to
              a mutually agreed upon charity or museum.

              Please, Please, PLEASE understand that this applies to the
              one-time-shot calls for units of HOBBYISTS! NOT SAG professional
              actors who just happen to also reenact on their off time.

              And I still say that Speilberg and his ilk are billable by all hands
              whereas a small time production company needn't be,

              TTFN
              Jim Burrill
            • NINETY3RD@aol.com
              ... Ummm...that is why something is called a hobby I believe, no matter what one does for a living or what the hobby is.... ... Speilberg and his ilk started
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 7, 1999
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                In a message dated 07/4/1999 8:12:32 PM, jburrill@... writes:

                >Please, Please, PLEASE understand that this applies to the
                > one-time-shot calls for units of HOBBYISTS! NOT SAG professional
                > actors who just happen to also reenact on their off time.


                Ummm...that is why something is called a hobby I believe, no matter what one
                does for a living or what the hobby is....

                > And I still say that Speilberg and his ilk are billable by all hands
                > whereas a small time production company needn't be,


                "Speilberg and his ilk" started out as small time production companies.
                Reenactors as extras should not expect to be paid salaries comparable to
                Bruce Willis ( I wish I had one tenth of his salary for any part...) but they
                should expect a fair pay just as much as the guy holding the camera or
                cutting the film....

                How many times ....it is an INDUSTRY, just like GM, Dupont, Ford, IBM......
              • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
                In a message dated 4/7/99 10:12:33 PM Central Daylight Time, jburrill@dttus.com writes:
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 8, 1999
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                  In a message dated 4/7/99 10:12:33 PM Central Daylight Time,
                  jburrill@... writes:

                  << I think the issue is more on making the call if the production budget is a
                  shoestring. Again, I come back to the 5 pairs of feet in the A&E
                  productions.
                  If I was doing one of the episodes, I think I would have donated my
                  "reenactor" budget to a museum in exchange for reenactors who are willing to
                  trade their time to "come play" knowing the museum would benefit.>>

                  Fine Jim, but remember no one will pay for what has been given away free, a
                  deal where a museum or something benefits is not exactly giving it away BUT
                  if you are referring to Gettisburg here I think your analogy is wrong.


                  << Again, there are a lot of small fish in the same sea where Speilberg and
                  de
                  Laurentis are the whales. >>

                  Yes, but I am not inclined to see Ted Turner as one of them! He wanted to
                  make a big budget movie but could not afford to do so he asked people to work
                  for nothing and they accepted.
                  Perhaps next time I want a new car I will write to the workers Roll Royce and
                  say that I REALLY want one of their cars but I can only afford to pay $10,000
                  for their labour but will they make it for me anyway..... Perhaps if I signed
                  the letter Ted Turner?

                  Cheers

                  Tim
                • Bateman, Andrew
                  ... From: BritcomHMP@aol.com [mailto:BritcomHMP@aol.com] Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 7:23 PM To: WarOf1812@onelist.com Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Filming at
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 8, 1999
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                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: BritcomHMP@... [mailto:BritcomHMP@...]
                    Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 7:23 PM
                    To: WarOf1812@onelist.com
                    Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Filming at re-enactments

                    Tim wrote:

                    Excuse Me??!! No way to film that scene without re-enactors?
                    Well, I suppose
                    there was no way of raising cotton in the anti Bellum south
                    without slaves!

                    Seriously have you seen the films that have been made over
                    the years? Do you
                    think Dino de Laurentis got the Russian army free when he
                    did Waterloo? Or
                    the Chinese army free when he did Tai-Pan? Do you think the
                    Irish did
                    Braveheart for 'the love of history'? What about Lawrence of
                    Arabia, The Wind
                    and the Lion, El Cid, The Adventures of Baron Munchousen,
                    Barry Lyndon No
                    re-enactors working for free in those productions I can
                    assure you!

                    Andrew writes:

                    I think when I said that the battle scenes in Gettysburg
                    could not have been filmed if the reenactors were paid the going rate, I was
                    thinking of an interview of Charlton Heston I saw where he was asked about
                    the feasibility of making another film on the scale of The Ten Commandments.
                    He replied that epic films of that type were not "do-able" under today's
                    conditions because of the need to pay the thousands of extras. Some of the
                    films on your list above are 20 years old and none of the more recent ones
                    match the scale of the largest scenes in Gettysburg. Certainly the general
                    consensus amongst the reenactors I knew at the time of the Gettysburg
                    filming was that Turner could not have afforded to pay the 3000+ who
                    participated in the Pickett's Charge scene. (Of course this was several
                    years before he publicly pissed away $1 billion on the UN....)

                    Seriously, lest you form the impression that because I was
                    in Gettysburg I make a habit of following film crews around in my uniform
                    hoping to see my face on screen for free, I have done a bit of paid extra
                    work. The same summer ('92) I was in a couple of TV productions as a Union
                    soldier. I was a hospital attendant in a flashback scene of CTV's vampire
                    drama Forever Knight and a Federal sentry in occupied Charlston, SC in
                    CBC/Sullivan Films' By Way of the Stars. In both I was paid scale as a
                    skilled extra for having a uniform and equipment and provided with meals, in
                    the latter production I paid dues to ACTRA and got paid as an actor for
                    speaking a few words on screen and got hotel accommodations in downtown
                    Toronto. The difference is that in these productions only a handful of
                    extras were involved, and though I certainly feel that reenactors should get
                    the same compensation as anyone else in the film industry whenever
                    practicable, it is sometimes worth making a few sacrifices to make a scene
                    such as the Pickett's Charge in Gettysburg possible.

                    I hope this clears up my position and that none of this will
                    be taken as demeaning the "real" participants in the film industry out
                    there.

                    KYPD,

                    Andrew Bateman
                  • Christopher Franke
                    ... THOUSANDS of square m Salut, Let me give you an experience I had with one of the productions. I was asked to supply a saddle and tack for use by a British
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 8, 1999
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                      BritcomHMP@... wrote:
                      >
                      > From: BritcomHMP@...
                      >
                      > In a message dated 4/7/99 10:12:33 PM Central Daylight Time,
                      > jburrill@... writes:
                      >
                      > << I think the issue is more on making the call if the production budget is a
                      > shoestring. Again, I come back to the 5 pairs of feet in the A&E
                      > productions.
                      > If I was doing one of the episodes, I think I would have donated my
                      > "reenactor" budget to a museum in exchange for reenactors who are willing to
                      > trade their time to "come play" knowing the museum would benefit.>>
                      >
                      > Fine Jim, but remember no one will pay for what has been given away free, a
                      > deal where a museum or something benefits is not exactly giving it away BUT
                      > if you are referring to Gettisburg here I think your analogy is wrong.
                      >
                      >
                      > << Again, there are a lot of small fish in the same sea where Speilberg and
                      > de
                      > Laurentis are the whales. >>
                      >
                      > Yes, but I am not inclined to see Ted Turner as one of them! He wanted to
                      > make a big budget movie but could not afford to do so he asked people to work
                      > for nothing and they accepted.
                      > Perhaps next time I want a new car I will write to the workers Roll Royce and
                      > say that I REALLY want one of their cars but I can only afford to pay $10,000
                      > for their labour but will they make it for me anyway..... Perhaps if I signed
                      > the letter Ted Turner?
                      >
                      > Cheers
                      >
                      > Tim
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------> Tired of empty chat rooms and out of date bulletin boards?
                      > http://www.ONElist.com
                      > ONElist: Making the Internet Intimate
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------> The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of
                      THOUSANDS of square m

                      Salut,
                      Let me give you an experience I had with one of the productions.
                      I was asked to supply a saddle and tack for use by a British general,
                      when arranging the contract with the production for rental of same I was
                      told the did not have a lot of money so they expected a lesser rental
                      fee. One if the production did not have the necessary funds why do the
                      shooting,. I for one would not want to do a shoot that could not produce
                      professional quality. Two when a member of our re-enactment org took over
                      as consultant I am led to believe he did everything possible to
                      recompense the re-enactors, so that it had the professional flavour it
                      required. If Productions know they can get for free they will endeavour
                      to do so.
                      Chris
                    • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
                      In a message dated 4/8/99 10:08:55 AM Central Daylight Time, abateman@giffels-usa.com writes:
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 8, 1999
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                        In a message dated 4/8/99 10:08:55 AM Central Daylight Time,
                        abateman@... writes:

                        << Certainly the general
                        consensus amongst the reenactors I knew at the time of the Gettysburg
                        filming was that Turner could not have afforded to pay the 3000+ who
                        participated in the Pickett's Charge scene. (Of course this was several
                        years before he publicly pissed away $1 billion on the UN....)
                        >>

                        Well Andrew there you have it! 10 times the budget of 'Titanic' given away by
                        the man who could not afford to pay his extras! That is why he is a
                        billionaire and we are not!
                        I am not saying that we should not go the extra mile for a production we care
                        about (and obviously you do) but NEVER for free. Now I understand that for
                        'G'burg' there was talk of a 'donation' to the park. Most of which I
                        understand went on landscaping, hiding telephone lines, etc., that might well
                        have been done by the production company anyway. I myself am developing some
                        projects down here and have not the budget to pay lots of people outright so
                        what am I doing? I am putting aside a portion of the profits so that anyone
                        who takes part will have a 10 year 'points' deal. There's always a way if you
                        look for it.

                        Cheers

                        Tim
                      • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
                        ... Well let s just add it up using some fair and standard numbers. Let s even use 4000 reenactors for 5 days. Each reenactor gets paid $150.00 per day. 4000
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 8, 1999
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                          In a message dated 08/4/1999 10:08:31 AM, BritcomHMP@... writes:

                          > Certainly the general
                          > consensus amongst the reenactors I knew at the time of the Gettysburg
                          > filming was that Turner could not have afforded to pay the 3000+ who
                          > participated in the Pickett's Charge scene. (Of course this was several
                          > years before he publicly pissed away $1 billion on the UN....)

                          Well let's just add it up using some fair and standard numbers.
                          Let's even use 4000 reenactors for 5 days.
                          Each reenactor gets paid $150.00 per day.
                          4000 times $150.00 equals $600,000.
                          $600,000 times 5 days equals $3 million.
                          $3 million in today's feature movie making standards, especially for an
                          "epic", is nothing.
                          Yes, I said "nothing". A film made for less than $15 mil these days is
                          called "low budget". $3 mil does not even cover half the salaries of big
                          feature stars like Bruce Willis, Jim Carrey, etc. Shoot - Tim Allen gets
                          paid $2 mil an episode for the TV show "Home Improvement".
                          So the unpleasant sum of the above numerology equates to 4000 reenactors on
                          "Gettysburg" being simply ripped off, exploited, manipulated and the
                          proverbial bent over. Sorry folks -- but that is reality.
                          How many of the film crew worked during the filming of that scene for
                          nothing? How many of the caterers, car drivers, and craft service "donated"
                          their time and equipment? How many local gas stations gave away their gas
                          for free during the shooting? How many hotels gave everyone free rooms?
                          The "worth" of a scene like Pickett's Charge? Well, I know several veteran Am
                          CW reenactors who groan at some of the ludicrous drill maneuvers made during
                          the scene, so there's one historic fly in the ointment. The worth? The
                          bottom line worth is how that scene as part of the whole helped sell the
                          product. Bottom line -- the two words which fuel and drive the film industry.
                          Not art, not history. Money. Sometimes art or history are used to make that
                          money, just as long as there is the chance for that money to be made.
                          Show BUSINESS.
                          Not Show ART.
                          Not Show History.
                          Show BUSINESS.
                        • James Burrill
                          So the unpleasant sum of the above numerology equates to 4000 reenactors on Gettysburg being simply ripped off, exploited, manipulated and
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 8, 1999
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                            <Snip from Benton>

                            So the unpleasant sum of the above numerology equates to 4000 reenactors on
                            "Gettysburg" being simply ripped off, exploited, manipulated and the
                            proverbial bent over. Sorry folks -- but that is reality.

                            <Un-snip>

                            The reality is that the Rebs who charged up that hill had a woody as long as
                            their Enfields to get to be apart of "Pickett's Charge". Of the thousands
                            who did it, how many were thinking of the paycheck as they dressed their
                            lines for the charge...
                          • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
                            In a message dated 4/8/99 11:55:13 PM Central Daylight Time, jburrill@dttus.com writes:
                            Message 13 of 18 , Apr 9, 1999
                            • 0 Attachment
                              In a message dated 4/8/99 11:55:13 PM Central Daylight Time,
                              jburrill@... writes:

                              << The reality is that the Rebs who charged up that hill had a woody as long
                              as
                              their Enfields to get to be apart of "Pickett's Charge". Of the thousands
                              who did it, how many were thinking of the paycheck as they dressed their
                              lines for the charge...
                              >>

                              And that Jim is the difference between an amateur and a professional. I am
                              sorry to have to repeat this, the INDUSTRY only respects professionalism.

                              Cheers

                              Tim
                            • James Burrill
                              A professional Extra? Gee, now THAT is a career to aspire to! I guess I made a grave mistake being a professional military careerists and made the same mistake
                              Message 14 of 18 , Apr 9, 1999
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                                A professional Extra?

                                Gee, now THAT is a career to aspire to! I guess I made a grave mistake
                                being a professional military careerists and made the same mistake yet
                                again when I became a educator.

                                Do you really want to tell the rest of this list of reenactors that
                                their pursuits are not judged as good as off-the-street-corner day
                                hires as "Extras"?

                                There was a sying in the photography business that the only difference
                                between an "Amature" and a "Professional" photography was whether one
                                sold his pictures or not. Not the "Professional Ability" or artistic
                                eye of the photographer.

                                Let me say again: If it is a big budget production and the crowd that
                                hangs out at the unemployment office (or local bar) is being payed
                                scale and given a uniform, then damn right I want to be paid.

                                But except for maybe 7 reenactors who called themselves "Professional
                                Actors" I have met since 1980, the rest of us take time off from work,
                                use up some weekends, or otherwise go out of our way to participate in
                                a historic themed production BECAUSE IT IS AN EXTENSION OF OUR HOBBY
                                AND HISTORIC INTERESTS!

                                We don't really care about quibbling over pay with an obviously shoe
                                string production. AND DOGGONE IT!!! I am NOT talking about a Bruce
                                Willis starring, big-budget, Theatrical release, Speilburg directed
                                production either!!!

                                They might look at your unit as "a bunch of extras w/uniform" but I am
                                trying to make the point that there are low budget productions that
                                support our historical interests that marvel when when the reenactors
                                show up, set up camp, put on their kit and form up. Instant Army!

                                Rather than adopting a policy of all or nothing, I am pleading with
                                the readers of the list to be adaptible to the situation! Consider the
                                trade between your time and efforts to participate, against the topic
                                of the production. If you can later say, "Yep! That was the best film
                                about the battle of ........ that has ever been done and look at that
                                column into line! That's the Umpty-third Regt. from CT ! Damn! those
                                guys are good!

                                Then maybe it was fair value exchanged.

                                I think, Tim, that I can portray a Soldier more "professionally" than
                                a day-hire Extra. Whether I choose to charge for my time or donate it
                                is my choice and speaks nothing of"professional ability".

                                So when you say <SNIP "And that Jim is the difference between an
                                amateur and a professional. I am sorry to have to repeat this, the
                                INDUSTRY only respects professionalism."UNSNIP> That the "Chronically
                                un-employed" and street corner hang-abouts (like they hired to fill
                                the ranks in GLORY) are "respected" more by the whole film industry
                                than teachers, craftsmen, soldiers, carpenters, accountants, CEOs, or
                                doctors whose hobby is living history and we are not concerned about
                                an extra's pay??

                                I just had a thought! Why don't we get the Screen Actors Guild to let
                                all us reenactors join their union! Gee! How can I apply for a Union
                                Card???
                                Oh! wait! I remember now, you are either born with one, inherit one,
                                be hired by the production first and sent over to get one, ( of
                                course, you can't apply for any parts unless you already have a card!)
                                or like I learned in film school: form a production company,then hire
                                the entire company as "cast", get your cards and then fold up the
                                company, And Voila! Now you are a SAG Union Professional!






                                ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
                                Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Filming at re-enactments
                                Author: BritcomHMP@... at Internet-USA
                                Date: 4/9/99 8:00 AM


                                From: BritcomHMP@...

                                In a message dated 4/8/99 11:55:13 PM Central Daylight Time,
                                jburrill@... writes:

                                << The reality is that the Rebs who charged up that hill had a woody as long
                                as
                                their Enfields to get to be apart of "Pickett's Charge". Of the thousands
                                who did it, how many were thinking of the paycheck as they dressed their
                                lines for the charge...
                                >>

                                And that Jim is the difference between an amateur and a professional. I am
                                sorry to have to repeat this, the INDUSTRY only respects professionalism.

                                Cheers

                                Tim

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                                The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of square
                                miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of square
                                miles...
                              • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
                                ... Actually, there is (or was - I believe it has merged somewhat) an Extras Union. And there are indeed professional extras making all the amounts I
                                Message 15 of 18 , Apr 9, 1999
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                                  In a message dated 09/4/1999 7:27:00 AM, jburrill@... writes:

                                  >A professional Extra?

                                  Actually, there is (or was - I believe it has merged somewhat) an Extras
                                  Union. And there are indeed "professional extras" making all the amounts I
                                  previously listed, many of whom out here in LALA land work more than most
                                  "real" actors.

                                  >> Gee, now THAT is a career to aspire to! I guess I made a grave mistake
                                  >
                                  > being a professional military careerists and made the same mistake
                                  >yet
                                  > again when I became a educator.

                                  Now we are taking it personally which there is no need to do. Let's skip that
                                  part...

                                  > Do you really want to tell the rest of this list of reenactors that
                                  > their pursuits are not judged as good as off-the-street-corner day
                                  > hires as "Extras"?

                                  That is exactly what Tim is saying. And he is exactly right. We (reenactors)
                                  are first judged by how much we cost, which has little to do with how much we
                                  know, what e have, etc. Not a feel-good-feeling. But that is the way it is.
                                  The truth hurts, and all that.

                                  <snip>

                                  > Let me say again: If it is a big budget production and the crowd that
                                  > hangs out at the unemployment office (or local bar) is being payed
                                  > scale and given a uniform, then damn right I want to be paid.

                                  So what is the difference between a "pro" on a big budget and a "pro" on a
                                  small budget? The minimum pay scale for each -- for whatever the job (camera,
                                  actor, grip, extra, ...) is still the same.

                                  > But except for maybe 7 reenactors who called themselves "Professional
                                  Actors" I have met since 1980, the rest of us take time off from work,
                                  > use up some weekends, or otherwise go out of our way to participate
                                  >in a historic themed production BECAUSE IT IS AN EXTENSION OF OUR HOBBY
                                  > AND HISTORIC INTERESTS!

                                  So? ANY hobbits (stamp collector, hotrodder, golfer, photographer, hiker,
                                  etc., etc.) does the same thing -- takes time off to enjoy their hobby. Again
                                  -- so?
                                  A film or TV show IS NOT an extension of the hobby! A TV show on stamp
                                  collecting is, sure. It is speaking to stamp collectors and showing them
                                  helpful things to do. Even still, all the crew on the cameras, lights,
                                  editing machines and even the host are getting PAID. This is apples to
                                  oranges comparison however to films which are depicting either in story form
                                  or documentary form incidents from history. They are not made as "extensions"
                                  to anyone's hobby. They are made for PROFIT.
                                  No matter what good intentions the docu maker had when telling the unknown
                                  story of "X Battalion", there is still the BOTTOM LINE. For anyone to ever
                                  see the story of "X Battalion" the film has to be sold (Money). To first make
                                  the film, the film material itself has to be manufactured and bought (Money).
                                  The camera has to manufactured and bought or rented (Money). The film has to
                                  be developed (Money). Edited on machine which was made then sold or rented
                                  (Money). , Etc. (Money) , Etc. (Money) , Etc. (Money). Even should most of
                                  the basic film making material be "donated" as a charity to help, say, a PBS
                                  station make the product, whoever did the donating gets a nice tax deduction
                                  (Money).

                                  > We don't really care about quibbling over pay with an obviously shoe
                                  > string production. AND DOGGONE IT!!! I am NOT talking about a Bruce
                                  > Willis starring, big-budget, Theatrical release, Speilburg directed
                                  > production either!!!

                                  You should. I covered this above and earlier as well.
                                  My use earlier in a post of "Bruce Willis" was merely as a frame of reference
                                  to the amount that should/could have been paid to the Gettysburg "extras" and
                                  how the amount could/should have been paid. (I knew even then it would be
                                  taken out of context...)

                                  > They might look at your unit as "a bunch of extras w/uniform" but
                                  >I am trying to make the point that there are low budget productions that
                                  support our historical interests that marvel when when the reenactors
                                  > show up, set up camp, put on their kit and form up. Instant Army!
                                  > Rather than adopting a policy of all or nothing, I am pleading with
                                  > the readers of the list to be adaptible to the situation!

                                  I stated in an earlier post that if there was a project made specifically for
                                  and for the benefit of am historic site (for instance) -- to be shown only at
                                  that site, or all proceeds to benefit it, then that is something else and
                                  indeed does not always fall into this category.

                                  >Consider
                                  >the trade between your time and efforts to participate, against the topic
                                  > of the production. If you can later say, "Yep! That was the best
                                  >film about the battle of ........ that has ever been done and look at
                                  that
                                  > column into line! That's the Umpty-third Regt. from CT ! Damn! those
                                  > guys are good!
                                  > Then maybe it was fair value exchanged.

                                  For what? I can go play golf (I don't, but this is an example) and get
                                  someone to video me and later watch it and say "Wow! Look at that swing!
                                  Wasn't that great!" Very nice, and I feel all good all over! The video tape
                                  company made money, the camera company made money and maybe the guy I got to
                                  tape me made money. Did they care about how "good" I feel? Sure -- as long as
                                  I bought and buy their product!

                                  > I think, Tim, that I can portray a Soldier more "professionally" than
                                  > a day-hire Extra. Whether I choose to charge for my time or donate
                                  >it is my choice and speaks nothing of"professional ability".
                                  > So when you say <SNIP "And that Jim is the difference between an
                                  > amateur and a professional. I am sorry to have to repeat this, the
                                  > INDUSTRY only respects professionalism."UNSNIP> That the "Chronically
                                  > un-employed" and street corner hang-abouts (like they hired to fill
                                  > the ranks in GLORY) are "respected" more by the whole film industry
                                  > than teachers, craftsmen, soldiers, carpenters, accountants, CEOs,or
                                  > doctors whose hobby is living history and we are not concerned about
                                  > an extra's pay??

                                  You got it. They couldn't care less what one does in real life unless they
                                  can use it somehow -- and if they don't have to pay one for that as well, so
                                  much the better. The fact one can portray a soldier better than an off the
                                  street extra makes *them* feel good in that they got one so cheap thus not
                                  only increasing the quality of their product but at so low cost! You bet
                                  they'll have big smiles and lots of "atta boys" to hand out! Smiles and attas
                                  don't cost a thing.
                                  You are right, its your choice. Your choice to be exploited and cheated. Your
                                  choice to make it possible for more film makers to exploit your fellow
                                  reenactors in later productions. Your choice to set up your fellow hobbyists
                                  for the next producer who heard about all the free labor he can get. Your
                                  choice to put in place the precedents which take fair pay away from your
                                  living history comrades, pay which could buy a new uniform or musket. Your
                                  choice to hinder and hurt than rather than protect your friends.
                                  Yep, your choice.

                                  > I just had a thought! Why don't we get the Screen Actors Guild to
                                  >let all us reenactors join their union! Gee! How can I apply for a Union
                                  Card???
                                  > Oh! wait! I remember now, you are either born with one, inherit one,
                                  > be hired by the production first and sent over to get one, ( of
                                  > course, you can't apply for any parts unless you already have a card!)
                                  > or like I learned in film school: form a production company,then hire
                                  > the entire company as "cast", get your cards and then fold up the
                                  > company, And Voila! Now you are a SAG Union Professional!

                                  Amazing ain't it? Part of all the silly process is to try to keep down the
                                  number of those with no acting talent whatsoever who think they can be
                                  "moveee starrz".
                                  But this is not about everyone in reenacting getting to be "pro" and union
                                  actors.
                                  This discussion is about reenactors getting cheated and exploited.
                                  There are a couple of us who have taken the time and effort to try and help
                                  our fellow "hobbyists" with information on the industry, how it works and
                                  what fair pay should be.
                                  Then there are a couple of folks who for some reason are all steamed about it
                                  and seem more to be taking the side of those who would cheat and rip off our
                                  hobbyists rather than help to protect and inform them. Or perhaps they are
                                  only in denial over the fact they themselves have been exploited.
                                  And while one is getting all hot and defensive and ranting on about how to
                                  acquire SAG cards and the like, just remember that one might be indirectly
                                  insulting someone else on this list....

                                  Again -- here's **looking out for you**, kid...
                                  Cheers!
                                  Benton
                                • Bateman, Andrew
                                  Benton wrote: This discussion is about reenactors getting cheated and exploited. There are a couple of us who have taken the time and effort to try and help
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Apr 9, 1999
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                                    Benton wrote:

                                    This discussion is about reenactors getting cheated and
                                    exploited.
                                    There are a couple of us who have taken the time and effort
                                    to try and help
                                    our fellow "hobbyists" with information on the industry, how
                                    it works and
                                    what fair pay should be.

                                    Andrew writes:

                                    I, for one, appreciate the heads up. I admit I didn't know
                                    much about the movie business when "Gettysburg" was filmed but I had fun
                                    making the film and could not have been paid anyway since I did not have a
                                    work visa for the purpose. Your math about the $3 million for 4000 extras
                                    for 5 days and how such a sum fits into the grand scheme of making a film
                                    was enlightening, and perhaps if more reenactors realized this they would be
                                    less inclined to show up for free. It will be interesting to see how the
                                    reenacting community reacts when TNT starts filming Jeff Shaara's "Gods and
                                    Generals", as I have heard they are going to do in the near future.

                                    KYPD,

                                    Pte. Bateman, 41st ROF
                                    (also immortalized on celluloid as a member of Garnett's
                                    Brigade, Pickett's Division; the 20th Maine @ Little Round Top; Buford's
                                    Federal Cavalry @ the Seminary; Hancock's Corps at Cemetery Ridge; the Irish
                                    Brigade; etc.)
                                  • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
                                    ... Let me just make fun of myself before anyone else does. Yes, I typed hobbits . Maybe I was thinking of the feature live action film they are planning on
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Apr 9, 1999
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                                      In a message dated 09/4/1999 8:48:35 AM, NINETY3RD@... writes:

                                      >So? ANY hobbits (


                                      Let me just make fun of myself before anyone else does.
                                      Yes, I typed "hobbits".
                                      Maybe I was thinking of the feature live action film they are planning on
                                      "Lord Of The Rings"...
                                      It should have read "hobbies" of course....

                                      hee hee
                                      B
                                    • mmathews@xxxx.xxxxxx.xxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
                                      ... Really? I LOVED that series as a kid. Must have reread it a dozen times over the years. Enduring quality fantasy. Hugggsssesss and kissssesss,
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Apr 9, 1999
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                                        >From: NINETY3RD@...
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >In a message dated 09/4/1999 8:48:35 AM, NINETY3RD@... writes:
                                        >
                                        >>So? ANY hobbits (
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >Let me just make fun of myself before anyone else does.
                                        >Yes, I typed "hobbits".
                                        >Maybe I was thinking of the feature live action film they are planning on
                                        >"Lord Of The Rings"...
                                        >It should have read "hobbies" of course....

                                        Really? I LOVED that series as a kid. Must have reread it a dozen times
                                        over the years. Enduring quality fantasy.

                                        Hugggsssesss and kissssesss,
                                        Bagginssssss

                                        Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
                                        Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
                                        ------------------------------
                                        "Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
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