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Spotted this in a mediocre movie

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  • Spotted this in a mediocre movie

    So, my youngest is getting in to post apocalyptic movies/books/TV shows. Which makes my heart sing. Because, well, that's my favorite of all genres.

    Anyway. I'm showing him the horribly mediocre movie The Postman, because it's one of my top 10 PA novels of all time. Movie is meh, though.

    Right towards the end after "the big fight", I see this in the background. Two really quick shots. I'm betting that somewhere on the cutting room floor is a scene in which they were played. No way a prop person goes to all the trouble to track one down. Especially one that appears to be a non-prop in that it's either catalin (or maybe ivory? there's a bit of color wash going on). Looks like the cords are tied in a reasonable fashion. And the one or two joints that were visible seem to be setup as properly as you'd expect for someone carrying pipes on their back on a horse. It all adds up to the fact that there must have been a proper piper accompanying these proper pipes.

    My guess is, somewhere that the director, Mr. Costner, thought to himself, "Wait a minute. Pipes, war, army surely makes some theatrical sense. But, this is the bad guy army. What was I thinking? I should have had the good guys playing these." And then, some piper from out in LA (presumably) or in and around "Metaline Falls and Fidalgo Island, Washington; central Oregon; and southern Arizona around Tucson and Nogales" (as the internetz tells me this was filmed) who had a chance at appearing in a major motion picture wound up on the cutting room floor. Who knows, maybe it was even one of the usual suspects, like Mr. Rigler.

    Wherever you are, Hollywood Piper, we see you. We wish we could have heard you.

    Yes, I realize I just wasted 2 minutes of your day. Some days, I can't help myself.

    moviepipes — ImgBB (ibb.co)

  • #2
    Or maybe - re-enactors are often hired for shoots like this as they are used to being choreographed and bring their own wardrobe, etc - maybe our piper was just some enterprising dude who showed up carrying a set of pipes and was told "you can carry those things, but try playing them and see what happens..."

    But yeah, quite possible a piping scene got dropped. I think they're difficult beasts from a directing and editing point of view.
    http://www.callingthetune.co.uk
    -- Formerly known as CalumII

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    • #3
      A Very Partial
      Originally posted by Calum

      I think they're difficult beasts from a directing and editing point of view.

      Alas!!... Some days... "difficult beasts"... from any point of view!! :-)

      And... 'twas ever thus... :-)
      My friends all know,
      With what a brave carouse...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Calum View Post
        Or maybe - re-enactors are often hired for shoots like this as they are used to being choreographed and bring their own wardrobe, etc - maybe our piper was just some enterprising dude who showed up carrying a set of pipes and was told "you can carry those things, but try playing them and see what happens..."

        But yeah, quite possible a piping scene got dropped. I think they're difficult beasts from a directing and editing point of view.
        You may be very right.
        But, I reject your reality and substitute my own.

        Maybe there will be a 4 hour director's cut. Somehow Mr. Costner wasn't allowed to make the film he wanted. The producers and studio heads forced him to do it their way. And at some point in time, he will release a director's cut that will pay proper homage to a wonderful book AND have pipes in it. They will only strike up after the final battle, when the evil army of bad guys who are mostly conscripts celebrate their liberation as well. And if we're lucky, they'll fix that final scene that had just so much wrong with it.

        win-win-win

        Comment


        • #5
          I've never seen this film, but I can tell you that there has been more than once that I've watched bonus deleted scenes for a movie and thought "OHHHHH, now that makes sense!"

          Andrew
          Andrew T. Lenz, Jr. BDF Moderator
          BagpipeJourney.com - Reference for Bagpipers

          Comment


          • #6
            I've worked on a number of films and there are various ways it could have gone:

            1) an extra is going to be holding a bagpipe. Then the propmaster gives the extra whatever they have, or can rent. (If something is handled by an actor it's a prop under the control of the propmaster, if it's just sitting on a table it's the domain of the Set Decorator.)

            Many props and decor are rented by firms that specialise in that.

            2) an extra is going to pretend to play a bagpipe. In this case the extra would be paid, I do believe, as a "day player" (in an acting sense, not a musical sense) but otherwise like #1.

            3) they hire an actual bagpiper. In this case the piper is paid as a "day singer" (they're called that whether they're a vocalist or an instrumentalist) and they provide their own instrument, and perhaps their own costume. The bagpiper's pipes will be corked off for the filming (total silence is the rule on set) and any sound heard in the final film will have been recorded some other day in a recording studio, perhaps by the same piper, perhaps by a different piper. I've done it both ways.

            For example (sorry for the bad video quality!) Here I am playing Irish whistle in a film. The set was utterly silent! We are NOT playing, those guys are NOT singing, the extras in the pub are NOT chatting. You could hear a pin drop. The only sound is the dialogue from the two main actors.

            We recorded that song the day before in a recording studio, we are lip-syncing along with a recording of ourselves played on-set; as soon as we are out-of-frame the playback is silenced and we stop pretending to play.

            (27) Patriot Games - Irish Pub Scene - YouTube
            pancelticpiper
            Holy smoking keyboard!
            Last edited by pancelticpiper; 06-18-2021, 06:32 AM.
            proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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            • #7
              Pancelticpiper, that is fascinating!

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              • #8
                In my early BBC and Ealing film studio days, about 40 years ago, I'd deal with muting bagpipes for filming. Corks could easily be seen on camera, so I'd get the pipes, take out the drone and chanter reeds, and put a layer of clingfilm over the hemped sections, covering the holes, then reassemble the pipes. The bag could then be inflated by the actor, but remain silent. Others took on this technique, it might still be used today, I don't know. Years later I got a phone call from Madonna"s office. She was making a film about the short lived reign of the bagpipe playing King Edward, and wanted to know if I'd be interested in being a "bagpipe technician", for the filming. At first I thought it was some of my pals having a laugh, so I was a bit earthy and abrupt, but it turned out to be genuine. I explained that I was now a BBC network director, running the channel, and didn't do that kind of thing anymore, but I'd pass on the number of a friend.
                I got a further call from Madonna"s office, asking me for details of what the king's bagpipe would have looked like. It was explained to me that Madonna "wanted to get everything right" for the film. I sent a lengthy email detailing the pipes, with their distinct Prince of Wales Crest, as well as some scans of the pipes from some old photos. The assistant told me that Madonna would be having an exact replica set made. I was impressed. The date for filming came and went, and I called my friend to see how it went. He'd given the actor lessons on how to appear to be piping, but no actual piping lessons. I asked what the replica set was like, and he told me he'd been given an awful cheap Pakistani set to work with. So much for respect for the bagpipe in the film industry.
                Callander Pipe Band FB page Please click and "like". Thanks
                Lowland and Borders Piper's Society

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                • #9
                  I have two friends (cowboys) who were part of the "Army of 9", when they filmed a lot of scenes locally in Clackamas County in the Three Lynx area, they did a lot of the stunt work, and said the costume designers came up with all sorts of interesting uniform items for them all to wear. Most of them got to keep their gear once filming completed. A number of the saddles used were US Army Cavalry.
                  Margaret
                  Forum Clasp
                  Last edited by Margaret; 06-27-2021, 08:45 PM.
                  Margaret

                  Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
                    Madonna "wanted to get everything right" for the film...Madonna would be having an exact replica set made...an awful cheap Pakistani set...
                    Ha! That's how it goes! That's the first giveaway in a film, when the "piper" has a horrid Pakistani set that no proper piper would be playing.

                    Originally posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
                    ...given the actor lessons on how to appear to be piping,..
                    I've seen actors who are fairly decent at it, and ones who haven't a clue. I don't think an actor put in that situation is ever going to convince a piper; there are just too many little things that have to be done right.

                    I read a fascinating interview with an actor who had been hired to star in a film in which he was going to portray a famous jazz musician. He said he spent quite a bit of time studying musicians both when performing and when on break, to learn not only how they held their instruments when they were playing but also how they held their instruments when they were not.

                    Actors who are portraying pipers never hold their pipes right when they're not playing, even if they do a fair job at imitating playing.

                    I was hired as sort of a bagpipe consultant on the Ellen show. She told the propmaster to get hold of a set of pipes for her to play...not pretend to play, but actually play. He tried to talk her into hiring a pipe band so she could march along in the band pretending to play. But no, she wanted him to obtain pipes so that she could march out on set playing solo. (She had never so much as touched a set of pipes.)

                    The propmaster asked around and was smart enough to figure out that the only way to get a set of working pipes was to rent one currently being played by a piper. I showed up and was met by the propmaster, who told me that Ellen's plan was for me to show him "how they worked" so that he could take the pipes to Ellen and show her. I showed him "how they worked" and he said "you'll have to show Ellen."

                    I demonstrated the pipes and handed them to her. All she could produce were some squeals. Disgusted, she said "this isn't going to work!" handed the pipes back to me and I was dismissed. Oi oi.

                    Originally posted by Adam Sanderson View Post
                    ...muting bagpipes for filming. Corks could easily be seen on camera, so I'd get the pipes, take out the drone and chanter reeds, and put a layer of clingfilm over the hemped sections, covering the holes, then reassemble the pipes...
                    I've always corked pipes internally, with foam ear plugs, which are the perfect size to fit into the tops on the drone's bottom section. Since that's as easy to do as shove a cork in the top, I can't imagine why I see so many pipers even in competition with visible corks sticking out of the tops of their drones.

                    I have an earplug or two in the pocket of my Argyll jacket just in case, when I'm playing funerals etc.

                    proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

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                    • #11
                      I was watching Downton Abbey and there's a scene with a piper playing at Inveraray Castle.

                      I thought "now, that's a piper" because of the way he was holding the pipes, the way he was moving his fingers, his overall posture, and his kit.

                      No London or Hollywood costumer is going to put together as proper a kit as the one the piper they hire already owns.

                      As is typical his fingers didn't match the soundtrack. That can be done, and is done, but it takes more care from the sound editor and they usually can't be bothered. Half the time when an actor is seen from a 3/4 rear shot you can see the actor's jaw moving up and down and it doesn't match the dialogue on the soundtrack!

                      The piper, Iain Campbell, does play at Inveraray Castle. There's video of him playing in that same outfit on the castle's FaceBook page. Here are the only photos I could find of his Downton Abbey performance.





                      There are two anachronisms with his kit: his bag-cover is impossible for 1921, and his doublet, though possible, is extremely unlikely.
                      pancelticpiper
                      Holy smoking keyboard!
                      Last edited by pancelticpiper; 06-30-2021, 04:03 PM.
                      proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; Son of the Revolution and Civil War; first European settlers on the Guyandotte

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Using those foam ear plugs as an emergency solution in the manner you described is brilliant! I hate visible corks....
                        They shall now be used where I play, thank you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Many years ago(3 decades) I was approached by the casting person for a movie which had a funeral scene requiring a piper. I was tentatively hired but it was discovered that I would have to belong to the musicians union in order to take the gig. I inquired of the union as to how to join & was told they didn't accept bagpipers. They ended up having an actor hold a stuffed bagpipe & pretend to play it & the music was dubbed in after. Since then, I have paid particular attention to "pipers" when they show up in movies & TV shows & have noticed that most are holding it incorrectly(one Adam-12 episode has him holding it upside down!). Oft times, uilleann pipes are dubbed in when the GHB is shown, as in Braveheart.
                          "Remember yourself always & everywhere...the highest that a man can attain is to be able to do."
                          G.I.Gurdjieff

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                          • #14
                            That’s odd about the AFM local not accepting bagpipers. I belong to the same local as Yo Yo Ma, all the members of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, and some of the finest musicians anywhere.
                            Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron

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                            • #15
                              Greetings to All,

                              During my--and--The Great Waltz About--with--that Old Rascal--Time!!--I
                              too--have had the occasional brush--with the photographic Arts of film and
                              television--and have found myself oft reminded of the rather pointed view
                              of that great actor--John Gielgud--who said to a reporter in an interview--
                              when asked how--he and other actors were able to put forth such illusions--
                              he said; "It's quite simple, really, we pretend." :-)

                              Hence--anytime--any of us-- are approached to take part in any of these
                              undertakings--we should be prepared--for A Flamin' Great Pile of Pretense!!--
                              and--we should be equally prepared to not--take any offense--at what ever
                              direction--poor we--and our pipes--may be steered...

                              I have played for and on--film--commercials--national television--and in-house
                              industrials--and as long as their check clears--I find that I am not too terribly
                              concerned--about whether or not--any--or all of it--is actually shown--or winds
                              up--on the cutting room floor... :-)

                              And while we were all hip deep in the middle of "production"--I found it an equally
                              good matter--to keep myself well away from--any internal judgements--and much
                              the less--to say anything--about what ever they wanted--and how ever they wanted
                              it done...

                              Alas... so many artistic and talented people--and with so obviously--zip//zero--for
                              any--knowledge--of History--or The Pipes--or The Music. (Rob Roy's uilleann
                              pipes--leap quickly to mind. :-)

                              Now--I have been on some really good "shoots"--so I don't wish to create too
                              gloomy a picture--but for any here who may wind up in such--just--as The Boy
                              Scouts say--"Be Prepared!" :-)

                              Regards, and Happy Piping--to All,

                              Pip01





                              My friends all know,
                              With what a brave carouse...

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