21 BROTHERS

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    Battalion Colours
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    21 BROTHERS

    Post by Battalion Colours on Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:54 pm

    Has any forum member seen the movie 21 BROTHERS?

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    Locally produced film 21 Brothers is attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest film shot with a single camera. The 92-minute film tells the story of the Canadians 21st Battalion as they prepared for the battle of Courcelette during WWI. A formal screening will take place at the Grand Theatre July 6.

    A locally made feature film is attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest film shot with a single camera in one take.

    21 Brothers tells the story of the Canadians 21st Battalion as they prepared for the Battle of Courcelette during World War One.

    “I think it’s a good drama,” said Michael McGuire, director of the film. “It’s not an action film. It’s about telling the story of what these men went through and what they sacrificed. It’s important to realize that these men were living in trenches with very little time away from the trenches. It’s important for people to remember the sacrifices made by these men. Hopefully [audiences] will see a good film and be able to reconnect with some of that history.”

    The screenplay for the film is based on a fictional set of characters in Kingston’s 21st Battalion, but stays true to the actual events that occurred.

    The film takes place in real time, following Sgt. Mac Reid as he prepares his men for the impending battle and the dangers they face both inside the trench and over the bank.

    Throughout all of this, he must also deal with the day-to-day difficulties of life in the trenches, including injuries to his men, and an underage soldier sent to the front lines of battle.

    Shooting the 92-minute film in one take was a lofty task to undertake, but to Clayton Garrett, the film screenwriter who also played the character of Sgt. Reid, it made perfect sense.

    “The reason we were crazy enough to try the film in one take was because it sort of capitalized on the experience of the local actors in town,” said Garrett. “With theatre and stage experience, they were used to taking a piece and rehearsing it in its entirety, and then performing it. It seemed conducive to actually do a full take from start to finish.”

    Garrett said they chose to tell the story of Battle of Courcelette because it was a “practice run for greater things that came down the road.”

    It was during this battle that a tank was used in warfare for the first time.

    This battle was also the first time Canadians had ever used a creeping barrage. A creeping barrage is two or more curtains of fire, one behind the other.

    Producing the final film was a long process; writing the screenplay took nearly a year.

    Crews then spent last summer preparing the set in a farmer’s field in Elginburg. Over 1,000 sandbags were filled, and a 300-foot trench was dug with a backhoe.

    “We cheated a little,” said Garret with a laugh.

    Rehearsals took six weeks in a local gymnasium. Several dress rehearsals with a camera were also done before attempting to produce the final film.

    “We would have to do it with the camera, because with the one-take thing, you don’t get to stop the camera and fix lights, so we needed to make sure that each of our important scenes was choreographed,” said Garrett.

    Over 60 people (which includes both cast and crew) donated their time to be a part of this unique experience.

    “Which is an amazing thing,” said Garrett. “As far as I know, it’s only characteristic to Kingston that you would get such a talented group of people who would give up an entire long weekend and take a day off work. That’s pretty amazing.”

    Garret is encouraging everyone to see this one-of-a kind film.

    “It’s a good film about a job with working conditions that I don’t think any of us have ever had to work under and hopefully never do,” said Garrett. “It’s moving in the sense that these guys, the characters who are based on actual people, they are normal and they are average guys.”

    He added that he hopes the film captures what it was like to be one of the soldiers, even though it’s hard to imagine.

    “I hope that we give people that sense of the danger and the terrible sort of pressure that they were under,” said Garret. “It shouldn’t be forgotten. I know it sounds a little cliché when it comes to this kind of thing, but it’s true. If we as a society forget things like the events that took place [during the Battle of Courcelette], the next thing you know, we are doomed to repeat it. I think it’s important that we reflect on that.”

    On July 6, there will be a red carpet gala and movie screening of 21 Brothers.

    The formal screening will take place at the Grand Theatre in true Hollywood style, complete with a red carpet.

    Tickets are $20 (not including box office fees) and are available at the Grand Theatre Box Office or online at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to the Solider On program.

    “One of the reasons we did this was because we wanted to do it as a tribute to the military, both those serving now and back then as well,” said McGuire. “I can’t imagine going through what they went through back then. Even now, it’s quite a sacrifice that they make. It’s our tribute to them.”


    _________________
    Adam

    "Honneur et Fidélité"

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