MENUS!
PATHFINDING || GATHERINGS || MUSINGS || SCRIPT || HISTORY || SOUNDTRACK || STOREFRONT || COURIER || LINKS
MOHICANS MESSAGE BOARD

STOREFRONTS!
MOHICAN PRESS COLLECTIBLES || EARLY AMERICAN HISTORICAL SIMULATIONS

AMAZON.COM/LOTM STOREFRONT

I received your book and it is a delight. It's so meticulous. Thank you for this memento ... Madeleine Stowe

Guide book STILL Available - Order Now! 

 
 

Tattoo Tantalizers! ... Part 4

... the most asked for gallery in our existence!
... lake george & fort william henry ...

Photos & text courtesy of Rick Martinko ... Tattoo Department, LOTM

After a few weeks of shooting at the Cameron's Cabin set, we started to break things down and jump to alternate locations. One of the days, before noon, first unit wrapped up some footage with Daniel, Eric and Russell, then loaded them into a helicopter to fly them to the Rapids location (where the three of them end up after jumping out of the waterfall). The scene was shot in Tennessee and only lasted for a half a day, but it cost quite a bit considering the helicopter and transportation for a split crew. Meanwhile, we'd been hearing a lot about our next location (the Fort) and we were pretty eager to see it.
For those of you who haven't seen pictures of the set, it's VERY impressive. Several people have told me over the years that during the battle scene, the fort appears to be a scale model. I can tell you it's not. It's a full size recreation of Fort William-Henry, built from the trees that were cut down when the battlefield was cleared. Walking around it, you feel like you're visiting a historic landmark rather than a movie set. Onlya few of the interior rooms were finished, but the overall impression is of a very accurate British fort.

The interior of the fort, late in August 2001

The whole crew was relocated to Morganton, which is about 45 minutes east of Asheville on I-40. Forward Pass Productions set us up in hotels and motels at a discounted rate, and we had to pick roommates. I ended up with Dwaine Trimble, who was also promoted to Principle Tattoo (we would each paint one of the actors arms to cut the time in half). By having most of the people I worked with staying near-by, I got to know them a lot better and the weird shooting hours led to several late-night pool parties.
The fort itself was built near Lake James, and one of the firstthings we shot was the battle scene. The whole thing was carefully choreographed, and when the shooting started with all of the pyrotechnics going off, it has to rank as one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because it was shot at night, but the footage in the movie really captures the scale of that scene. Keep in mind that there were several film crews shooting at one time, and they only did a few takes so what you're seeing in the movie isn't pieced together from multiple sets. It's pretty much what I saw as it happened. Granted, the interior scenes of the battle shot from in the interior of the fort were shot at a later date, but almost all of the footage from the French lines was shot during those first nights.

Most of August was spent at the fort, and eventually weeds started to grow over the battlefield. Also, because the fort was built from untreated lumber, there were tons of wood-boring insects eating their way through the logs. At night, when it was really quiet on the set, you could hear the grubs chewing through the wood. By early September, sections of the fort has already started to collapse no one was allowed to go up onto the cannon platform.

Yes, the ground is really that color in North Carolina. The red clay got all over everything.

Some of these guys were from NFL Films and were trying to film a cannonball being shot over the wall of the fort. The "cannonballs" were really basketballs painted black, and if they survived the initial blast from the cannon, they tended to track off in all directions instead of going straightat the fort. They spent a lot of time setting up this shot, and it never made it in the final movie. In fact, I don't remember them even getting a good shot to use...

A British cannon.

A view from the cannon platform. This is approximately where "The Kiss" between Daniel and Madeleine was shot.

A British soldier getting sprayed down with water.

The ornate French cannons. These things looked like they weighed a ton, but I was told that they were made of fiberglass and foam insulation, and two guys could easily move one.

Fort William-Henry from the French lines.

The cannonballs were Styrofoam balls covered with black paint. Later on, a lot of them ended up as souvenirs for crew members (I have one sitting on my bookshelf).

One of the Mohawk crew. This guy was a tremendous artist, and made a bunch of t-shirts with war-painted Indians on them to sell to the crew members. Behind him, to the left is the 2nd 2nd Assistant Director (that's not a typo) Carl Goldstein and head Special-effects Make-Up Artist Vincent Gaustini on the right.

Battle weary extras.

Mitzi Gunter entertaining us during the long hours on the set.

This is what I spent a lot of my time doing. The morning make-up sessions were pretty hectic, but by the time you got to the set and took care of a few touch-ups, things slowed down considerably. During shooting you couldn't talk (obviously), you couldn't take a nap, and in most cases you couldn't move around. So, you just sat there and waited in case your name was called. The guy in the tank-top is Russell Dodson. He was probably the funniest person I've ever met, and made the whole project bearable. For the next installment, I really want to mention the individuals that worked around me and the stories surrounding them... Russell in particular. The whole crew was such an interesting group, and the Hollywood stereotypic notion of film-making couldn't be much further from the truth. From the principle actors to the directors and all of the "specialists" that were brought onboard, I learned not to assume anything. UP NEXT: SUPPORTING CREW  || BACK TO INDEX OF TATTOOS

MORE TATTOOS
TATTOO TANTALIZERS! || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 2 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 3
TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 5 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 6 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 7
TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 8 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 9 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 10

 

Home PageMenu PageTable Of ContentsE-Mail


SEARCH THIS SITE!


Copyright 1997 - 2017 by Mohican Press - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - Use of material elsewhere - including text, images, and effects - without our expressed, written permission, constitutes copyright infringement! Personal use on your own home PC is permissible!