Pages Navigation Menu

Hart’s War

2002 | Director: Gregory Hoblit |

When I met the director, Greg Hobblit, it was already decided we would shoot in Prague. The site they had selected for the camp was very good – large and flat. As we started to draw it up, we had to decide if we were going to build all the buildings or to simply build part of the set and do the rest as a CG set extension for the rest. By simplifying the design it was really more cost effective to build the eighty prison camp buildings.

While the crew we had was great, what we didn’t have was a decent paint crew. We were pressed for time and the crew had miles of barbed wire to make, so we had to make a really simple way to age all the various buildings. The paint team we had weren’t interested in developing new processes, so my art director and I set out on our chemistry adventure. We only had time for a three step process. I won’t tell you the method we developed (trade secrets) but with the help of thirty art students armed with Hudson sprayers, the task was accomplished.

Unfortunately, the materials were unstable so it was constantly in need of touching up. However, the size and weight of the set gave it a gravitas that would never have come from a CG set extension and the ability to shoot in any direction gave the filmmakers great freedom. The shot of the three thousand extras entering the camp tells the whole story.

My daughter was with me and had a fantastic experience going to school in Prague. We all had a wonderful time on this shoot, even though it was winter and the night were cold.