News: Marines, sailors man their 'battle' stations for upcoming movie
Story by Kristen Wong
KANEOHE, Hawaii - Marines and sailors ran for cover, scrambling like ants across the flight line here, as orange flames and smoke erupted into the sky last week. Some
tumbled, others shielded their faces from the heat of the fire — and a camera caught it all.
Nearly 40 Marine Corps Base Hawaii Marines and sailors from units including Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadrons 363 and 463, and 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, served as extras for the upcoming movie “Battleship.”
Of their seven weeks shooting in Hawaii, the movie crew spent two days here, filming in and around the hangars and the flight line.
Based on the popular board game, “Battleship” is a $200 million action movie showcasing the military. The movie includes approximately 3,000 extras, with 85 percent who are real service members.
“It’s almost like a war game,” said Ernie Malik, publicity coordinator for “Battleship.” “[The service members] get to play act.”
On Oct. 8, the crew shot several takes as helicopters, gear, gas tanks and service members were spread across the flight line. Hovering over Kaneohe Bay with a camera attached to its nose was a large, blue N992BH Eurocopter, ready to shoot
sequences from the sky. Below, a car-mounted camera shot from the ground.
One by one, flames erupted from gas tanks, spitting orange plumes into the air. The Marines and sailors awaited their cue, then ran as fast as they could down the flight line.
Between takes, service members were laughing and smiling as extras in the movie.
Lance Cpl. Tim Hildebrandt, crew chief, HMH-363, played an extra running down the flight line.
Hildebrandt of Spirit Lake, Idaho, said he liked the behind-the-scenes look at movie making.
“It’s pretty cool how everything works,” Hildebrandt said.
Lance Cpl. William McBride, helicopter mechanic, HMH-463, was an extra in at least two scenes. The native of Abbeville, La., said featuring the CH-53D’s in the movie was like giving tribute to the seasoned helicopters, soon to be retired.
“It’s quite an experience,” McBride said. Cpl. Darren Green, a San Diego native, spent a total of 16 hours on the set. The crew filmed several close ups of Green’s face as he reacted to explosions. His shots would be put together with those of the explosions, and he said it was difficult to react to a situation that was not actually happening.
“I think the highlight [of the experience] was seeing myself on camera and told that I was going to be in the movie,” said Green, the squad leader of Weapons Company, 2/3.
“Battleship” also filmed scenes in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles and San Pedro, Calif., In addition to K-Bay, scenes were filmed at Kualoa Ranch and Ford Island in Hawaii.