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"Carrier" {PBS}


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#1 Michael McIntyre

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 12:45 AM

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Pretty amazing series on PBS right now - "Carrier".

Making the film CARRIER required 17 filmmakers to take a six-month journey aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during its deployment to the Gulf in support of the Iraq War. They disembarked from Coronado, California on May 7, 2005 and returned there November 8, 2005 with stops at Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong, Guam, Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain and Perth, Australia.

The trip proved an evolution for the film crew who spent the early weeks trying to find their place while the 5,000 sailors and Marines around them were too busy to take notice. Eventually, the film crew discerned the ebb and flow of life on a carrier, and began to feel more at home on board. The ship?s crew not only accepted them but also took a vested interest in the project, making suggestions on the best places to film and providing access to missions that helped capture the full experience of the deployment.

Jammed into their own staterooms, the crew that once felt apart now felt kinship as they shared both trepidation and jubliation awaiting the safe return of the carrier?s jet fighters. When the huge emotional surge of seeing home hit in November, the filmmakers knew how the Nimitz crew must feel. But back on land, their own mission of editing and production continued for nearly three more years before the film CARRIER docked at PBS on April 27, 2008.
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#2 Tom Lowe

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 10:03 AM

Oh man, I'm going to watch this.
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 04:28 PM

This was an Abel project through and through. They rented or purchased all their gear from us and most of the crew were long-time Abel associates. It's a great program and we're proud to have been a part of it.
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:22 PM

Is this the show that Axel Baumann shot? Or was one of the operators?

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 28 April 2008 - 09:23 PM.

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#5 Richard Boddington

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 10:23 PM

I actually watched tonights episode on PBS Detroit, not bad, not bad. I mean it wasn't great to be honest, the shooting was adequate and the story was a bit slow. This was the episode where they kick out the country hick for being a racist.

I did find if fascinating to see the perks one gets aboard the carrier for being an officer vs enlisted person. I'm sure that's true in any NATO navy.

I'll sound biased here but I think the Canadian series "Jet Stream" which was a six part series following cadets who want to be fighter pilots set a gold standard for production of these sorts of military reality shows. I mean I was blown away by the production values on that show, and the writing and producing. Of course this series will never be seen in the USA.

So I don't want to sound too negative about "Carrier," it gets a B+ from me where as Jet Stream would get an A- from me.

One man's opinion, as they always are :D

R,
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#6 Michael McIntyre

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:57 AM

This was an Abel project through and through. They rented or purchased all their gear from us and most of the crew were long-time Abel associates. It's a great program and we're proud to have been a part of it.

Very cool, Mitch. Must feel good to be part of such a historic project. Admittedly, I am hooked. Saw the latest episode tonight, "Controlled Chaos" and started from the beginning with "All Hands".

The storytelling is so great that the cameras almost don't even matter. Of course, the Varicams look incredible and hold up really well in all conditions. It's interesting to see them subjected to every imaginable available light condition there is.

Beyond that tech note, I described it as a 'historic project' because it truly is. In this time of 'reality television', PBS proves {yet again} that other networks are dishing out nothing approaching reality. We're talking present day cinema verite on a grand scale.

It's late. I ramble. The TV redeemed itself this week. Well - that and the NHL playoffs.
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 10:56 AM

Is this the show that Axel Baumann shot? Or was one of the operators?

Tim

Yup. Members of the film crew included long-time Abel clients such as Ulli Bonnekamp, Bob Hanna, Joan Churchill, Sandra Chandler, Axel Baumann, Jeff Dupre, Don Lenzer, Peter Pilafian, Jerry Risius, and Bob Richman.
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:33 PM

I really enjoyed the first episode the other day. This next one focused a bit too much on the racist kid and started to feel like an episode of "Real World". But it's a top notch production. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to live on that carrier as a camera crew, must have been a great/trying experience.
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#9 Michael McIntyre

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 12:26 AM

I really enjoyed the first episode the other day. This next one focused a bit too much on the racist kid and started to feel like an episode of "Real World". But it's a top notch production. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to live on that carrier as a camera crew, must have been a great/trying experience.

That's a very valid point. They did adopt a similar bait-and-switch with the 'sex victim advocate' guy. One minute he's up-and-coming officer material, the next he might have raped someone during shore leave. One minute the redneck's just a wild-and-crazy guy and the next he's a racist train wreck.

There had to be some limits to their operational access (i.e. the nuclear install). It makes you wonder if this approach was dictated by a need to be relevant on today's TV dial or a search for story and screen time. More of a documentary concern than pure cinematography.

Still an impressive undertaking. You didn't catch me complaining at my freelance gig today. And, no, I won't be seeing a recruiter anytime soon. Make that ever.
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#10 Richard Boddington

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 08:34 AM

So I guess the moral of last night's episode is that if you want to attack a US carrier do it during the "cross over" ceremony. That way the entire crew is distracted and off having a talent show. :blink:

BTW, how do they get a carrier out of the way of those new high speed torpedoes?

R,
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:31 PM

BTW, how do they get a carrier out of the way of those new high speed torpedoes?

They don't. Last I heard, they still use torpedo blisters instead. That, and enough escort ships to keep the enemy far enough away.




-- J.S.
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#12 Walter Graff

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 09:57 PM

Caught an episode tongith. Pretty boring content wise. Like reality TV on a boat. If you hate everything about what you do in the Navy, then dont do it. And very surprised how uneven it all was visually in teh episode I saw. Some shots very very stuttery with very little motion and some at one point it seemed like they forgot to shoot 24p or shot with a different camera. I've seen other carrier ruding docs that had far better cinematography.
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#13 Jim Layes

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 07:12 PM

So I guess the moral of last night's episode is that if you want to attack a US carrier do it during the "cross over" ceremony. That way the entire crew is distracted and off having a talent show. :blink:

BTW, how do they get a carrier out of the way of those new high speed torpedoes?

R,


How does a Carrier get out of the way?.. It's called "Carrier Detail".. Did you see the little ship behind the Carrier.. That's what gets between the Carrier & the torpedoes.. I know, I spent over 2 years on a Destroyer "USS Gurke", chasing a few Carriers, including this Carrier. And for the "Cross Over", what a bunch of wimps (Navy).. I was in the Navy from 1972-1979 and I crossed twice (ShellBack). The Navy might as well get rid of the "Cross Over"...
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