IT'S A WAR.. huh, WRAP!

November 9, 2012

LOCAL FIXERS ASIA wraps up THREE (!) episodes of Arrowhead Productions' ULTIMATE WARFARE, a new series for The Discovery Channel.


WAR IS HELL.

viet_congs.jpg

(unless you're working with LOCAL FIXERS ASIA)

LOCAL FIXERS ASIA got busy playing war in the final few months of 2012, having wrapped up 3 full episodes of Arrowhead Productions' new series "Ultimate Warfare" for The Discovery Channel.   The first two episodes, filming in September, took place during the Vietnam War, whilst the third was set on the Japanese island of Okinawa during WWII.

Although depicting the Vietnam war battles of Khe San and the Hue Tet Offensive, the decision to shoot in Thailand as opposed to the actual locations in Vietnam was due to budgetary and permit concerns.  Though Vietnam is quite open now in terms of reality-based content (ie shows about travel, adventure, etc), it's still somewhat difficult to base a dramatic project there, especially on a budget.

Speaking of budget:  LFA was tasked in putting together 1970s era sets and props, a cast of 8 soldiers (both American and NVA), perfect recreations of US Marine uniforms and a veritable arsenal of weapons (from M60s to AK47s to grenade launchers!), all on a pilot season's budget!

prepping_a_shot.jpgTo call the production a success is to put it mildly.  The UK crew were extremely impressed (as were we, to be honest) with the art department's perfect recreation of trenches, bunkers, a small hospital room and a class room.

Not to be outdone, the wardrobe department supplied perfect replicas of US Marine uniform.  After weeks of research, they were able to outdo most, if not all, foreign films, as veterans had warned us that the movies have always gotten the uniform details wrong.   Not on our watch!

Two main areas were used as location: Kanchanaburi, with its mountainous scenery and elephant grass fields, doubled mostly for Khe San,  while it's famed Brigde on the river Kwai stood in for Hue's own metal bridge.   Meanwhile, an old Bangkok juvenile prison compound slated for demolition became the perfect setting for the urban warfare that took place in Hue.

brothers_in_arm_-_and_the_DP.jpg

The 7-day shoot, spread over just under 2 weeks, was deemed a great success, with the clients pleasantly surprised at getting much higher production values than they had thought possible.

So of course, they had to come back!

Prep on the third episode, this time taking place on the Japanese island of Okinawa during WWII, began around mid-October, with the shoot taking place during the first weeks of November.  Once again, Kanchanaburi doubled for the hilltops and jungles found in the Pacific theater, whilst the different departments had to go back to the drawing board in order to duplicate perfect copies of WWII-era uniforms, weapons and props.

"Ultimate Warfare" is a new series debutting on Discovery Channel and its affiliates, hopefully in early 2013.  In the meantime, you can view several clips on their website HERE.  Footage include the battle of Hue and Khe San, with Okinawa sure to come.


GALLERY

dead_soldier.jpg realistic_Hue_scene.jpg
Easiest acting job ever. Shooting for a realistic look.

lighting_the_set.jpg
trench_and_bunker.jpg
Lighting the trenches. The amazing trench and bunker set.
applying_makeup_-_before.jpg applying_makeup_-_after.jpg
Applying a bullet wound: BEFORE... .. and AFTER.
filming_a_chaotic_scene.jpg Cast_on_break.jpg
Filming an intense medic scene. Cast and crew take a well-deserved break.