Storming Omaha Beach (on a shoestring, with three actors)

In this little youtube, three enterprising guys recreate the storming of Omaha Beach by filming themselves repeatedly running up the real Omaha Beach, climbing the bluffs, etc, and then cleverly composite the footage, accomplishing a scene as impressive as anything in Saving Private Ryan for a fraction of the cost: "Due to the youtube interest in our little 'making of' vid , we have just heard they are going to repeat the full Programme on BBC2 on Sunday 27th Jan at 23:20!" Link (via Eat Our Brains)


  1. this kind of thing combined with that tracing program that lets you make and skin 3d models from video and clone objects are going to make movies like saving private ryan and cloverfield completely within amateurs reach in a few years. especially as higher quality cameras get cheaper and cheaper too.

    its exciting to think that the biggest hurdle amateur filmmakers will have to deal with is the acting.

  2. cancar, can you tell us what the site is you posted? I don’t want to just go there to boost your site traffic. is it relevant to the discussion?

  3. Oh. My. God. That’s truly amazing work.

    (You see similarly massively impressive work in the Machinima field, particularly in the WoW community, but it’s harder to do IRL.)

    Big-budget movies are getting harder and harder to justify.

  4. Big-budget movies are getting harder and harder to justify.

    I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately as well, with all the talk about the MPAA, RIAA and piracy/losing money/cutting jobs, blah, blah…

    It’s just way easier to do stuff these days. With a couple grand of recording gear you can make a decent album, and distribute it nearly free on the ‘nets. Obviously the same is really happening for movies. The roles of expensive middle-men (record labels/production studios), have increasingly diminished, as has the need for massive fund-raising and ‘advances’. Just how it is.

    Movies could be cheaper to the consumer, and music could be cheaper. There are still jobs for people, just not as many, and their labor is not as valuable monetary-wise. You don’t have to have so many highly-trained personnel to run a lot of complicated equipment any more.

    As long as you make back a few million to pay Tom Hanks, you’re set. ;-)

  5. What is the motivation for people to make low budget film and “distribute it nearly free”?

    Certainly creating is its own reward, but we have to eat.

    I also think it unlikely the big studios and producers will ever relax their grip in any matter. It is simply not in their nature.

    I have yet to see any persuasive image of the the near future of film. If the profit motive is diminished by wider access, the amount of films made may go up but there is no assurance of the quality also rising. Are film makers just racing to the basement in terms of financial return? Also, the technology here as applied is all about visual effects. What about the story, the acting and the direction? Perhaps a lot more talented no-bodies will get some exposure, but how does one get “discovered” in a field of suddenly hundred thousands? How also will the competition for eyeballs be organized? Can anyone keep track of a few thousand channels?

    This is a revolutionary moment. Perhaps even comparable to when cheap,mass produced books were first available to everyone. Where should I be putting my money?”

  6. This is incredibly impressive. If I ever travel to Europe I will definitely be stopping by Normany to pay my respects.

    Though, I have to beg to differ when saying this productions is “as impressive as anything in Saving Private Ryan.” These 3 guys are good, they themselves probably should be working for a big movie studio, but I have yet to see any battlefield as accurately reproduced on film as that in Saving Private Ryan.

    Speaking of accuracy, the Germans used the American M1 Grand rifles at Normandy (1:40 in video)? Teeheehee. Sorry, I’m a WWII nerd, I’ll shut up now.

  7. wow – that was AMAZING. i almost didn’t watch it, but i’m glad i did. kudos to all involved in that one, for sure.

  8. Probably better than you think. That’s a lot of repetitive exhausting work and clever track mattes and background replacements. Its realistic elements put together, not CGI. Look at Legolas troll surfing on Hi Def or the cgi in ROTK. Already looks dated.

  9. “its exciting to think that the biggest hurdle amateur filmmakers will have to deal with is the acting.”

    Well, that and the fact that a typical feature film will still require quite a few man-years of work from the initial script to the finished product. Take it from someone who has experienced what it’s like to spend years working on their own, trying to produce something that would normally be done by teams of people with proper money to spend – it can be unhealthy (for both the artwork and your own sanity) to try to heroically do it all yourself. Sure, you might be CAPABLE of doing it all yourself, but in most cases it’s simply going to take you too long. The work can go stale on you, and you can go stale on the work, and even if you successfully pull it off it’s still going to cost you years of your life, and quite possibly your mind – all for some half-baked idea you may have started on a whim.

    The main reason that these guys were so successful was because they set out to do something very short and with a simple, straightforward objective. If they tried to scale this up to a full feature film, the project would bury them.

  10. @#13

    That makes a lot of sense and I agree that it’s pretty far off being a movie industry shake-up. Probably more like user-generated vids simply becoming better and better.

    It’s also easy to draw a parallel to music, where bedroom productions DO become broadly successful all the time…but a movie is a completely different thing.

    I’d say these guys didn’t set out to do anything else than what they do as graphic designers, only on video.

Comments are closed.