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Old 22nd August 2012, 14:48
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seaford, DE, U.S.A.
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Re: In General, What is Everyone Doing?

Dear Bronc,

I, too, have an interest somewhat afield from the mainstream of this site. Who shot down whom is not of particular interest to me. My focus over the last 55+ years has been on the twin-jet Me 262, with a slight branching out to other advanced Luftwaffe types. I have an interest in the development history, production, and the physical construction of the aircraft. Of these, production was affected by the air and land wars, so I have nudged a bit into the circumstances under which Germany found itself. WW II is a particularly fascinating period and there was an extreme amount of drama packed into a very few years.

You mention that you are tasked with writing a screenplay for a major motion picture company, the subject to be the transition year of 1943. I would hope that you have obtained a selection of good histories of the period to get as good an overview as possible. This is essential to be sure that what you write carries the correct message.

I can cite 2 movies, 1 excellent and 1 incredibly bad, for you to review. The good movie is Command Decision, a fictional, but well written and well acted account of attempts to knock out a specific factory producing the Focke-Schmidt, a mythical name for the Me 262. The incredibly bad movie, Red Tails, is of much more recent vintage. My lady friend wanted to watch this and so we rented it. It was very painful to watch. The acting, writing, and completely messed up history represent a classic case of how not to do a WW II era movie. Most of the aerial scenes showing aircraft, if not all, were computer generated, and here, too, these images were third rate. I would recommend viewing both to steer you away from schlock toward quality.

While there is a large warbirds community restoring WW II aircraft, there are still a limited number of aircraft available to possibly be used in a WW II movie. There are a fair number of P-51's available, but most of these are the D model. There are a few BF 109's available, as well as Spanish built versions called Buchons, although these are distinctly different from the German Bf 109's and I cringe when I see them used in WW II movies. There are now a number of new build Fw 190's and 3 new build Me 262's, although the latter wouldn't be of any interest for a 1943 era movie. There are some B-17's and B-24's, although I'm not sure of how many. However, for massed aircraft, I think you'll be stuck using computer graphics. CG can produce really excellent results if time and care is taken in generating them.

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