Red Tails...Jan 20th

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Red Tails...Jan 20th

Post  Banjo on 2011-12-10, 14:02

Don't miss this !

Red Tails Gets Extensive Preview at NY Comic Con

By Bryant Shiu, for e-Hotline
Red Tails

December 1, 2011 – Note: Bryant Shiu, a contract copy editor for EAA Publications, attended October’s annual New York Comic Con, which held a special preview of Red Tails, George Lucas’ movie about the Tuskegee Airmen set to premiere on January 20, 2012.

Lucasfilm’s upcoming epic features spectacular dogfights between fighters zooming around warships bristling with firepower. Pilots perform their duties with derring-do and unwavering bravery. But instead of combat taking place eons ago and in the unmistakable realm of fantasy, the real-life exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen portrayed in Red Tails show men fighting during a time not too long ago, in a galaxy right here.

On October 15, attendees at the four-day New York Comic Con got a preview of the World War II action-adventure. Before the Red Tails guests entered the large meeting room early Saturday afternoon, I took a seat and anticipated the presentation as much as those around me. Many of us were there because of the historical and cultural significance of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American aviators in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Others attended because Red Tails was by Lucasfilm and wanted an early look at a movie that promised a great deal of the same kind of thrills found in a Star Wars flick.

I attended for a personal reason - in the end. World War II has been a subject of fascination for me, especially in recent years. Like my fellow nerds in the audience, I’ve loved my share of Star Wars films, but I also count Saving Private Ryan among my favorite movies, too. And the more I research my grandfather’s service in the war, the more I want to know about that time in general. Chu Kai Chow was an officer and a fierce fighter. He might have been king of the ground pounders and therefore not an aviator, but the fact that Red Tails tells a WWII story was enough of a reason in itself.

When the guest speakers entered the stage, I found that the panel comprised of visual effects supervisor Craig Hammack; co-writer Aaron McGruder; actors Michael B. Jordan and Leslie Odom Jr.; and, to my surprise, an actual Tuskegee Airman. Dr. Roscoe Brown, who had commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, received a standing ovation upon his introduction. As Roscoe spoke, however, only then did I know exactly how well deserved was his reception.

The New York Comic Con in the Big Apple is one of the largest comic conventions and multimedia events in the world. Thousands of comics and sci-fi fans attend it each year, many of them dressed up as their favorite characters. So it was unique that at a major event known for celebrating fictional heroes, a real-life hero took the spotlight. Roscoe is a character in his own right. Brimming with a life experience that could only be gained from the times he has lived in, Roscoe has a down-to-earth openness about him.

He served America at a time that racial discrimination and segregation were ubiquitous, including within the military. Roscoe said it wasn’t a good feeling to fight for your country when you weren’t treated equally. Still, the world needed saving, and he wanted to fight any way he could. Joining the ranks of the Tuskegee Airmen provided a chance for him to do so. According to Roscoe, when you’re faced with adversity, it makes you try even harder.

The audience saw the Red Tails trailer first, followed by never-before-premiered clips from the movie. The trailer and clips showed enough thrilling action to rival any scenes in other Lucasfilm adventures. Upon hearing the speakers and watching the footage that day, I took note of a recurring theme: WWII had made a tremendous impact on Star Wars and sci-fi in general. Instead of flying through the starry endless night of outer space, WWII fighters soared into the blue and fought in cloud-filled, smoke-strewn skies. The starships that traveled like leviathans in Star Wars and countless other sci-fi movies and TV series were stand-ins for bombers, battleships, and aircraft carriers. As Red Tails producer, George Lucas went back to the source of his inspiration.

Roscoe provided ample inspiration for Red Tails with his own exploits. In one of the clips, German jet fighters brazenly buzzed past P-51 Mustang prop planes as both sides fought. The exceedingly faster jet fighters played a cat-and-mouse game of sorts - until one of the “mice” outmaneuvered a cat and blew it to bits. Roscoe told the audience of the time he stealthily used a bomber as cover while his Mustang snuck up on a speedy Messerschmitt 262 and perforated it. He was one of three Tuskegee Airmen to shoot down these jet fighters with the more maneuverable P-51s.

After every piece of footage, we heard Roscoe’s observations. Each time he saw a scene from Red Tails, he felt like he returned to his cockpit. Roscoe said it “takes me back. And I’m young again.”

In addition to the trailer and clips, the panel showed documentary footage of the two actors flying backseat in fighters for the first time. The objective of the pilots was to get their passengers sick. Both planes made high-speed spins and turns, all the while with their passengers yelling - and whooping. At some point in both flights, the actors brought out their smartphones and started taking pictures! Only at the end of the footage did the audience find out if the actors got sick; the screen flashed the words “Zero Sick Bags.”

“These guys were pretty soft when they started,” Roscoe said with an amused tone. “It was our job to toughen ’em up and make them as cocky as us. But they were even cockier.”

Everybody in the audience could feel the inspiration, fun, and warmth provided by Roscoe. After the panel, I had to meet him. The Comic Con people were trying to move him to the autograph area, but attendees would manage to stop him several times to get his signature. Before we got anywhere near the autograph area, I became one of those attendees.

I introduced myself as he signed my Red Tails poster. “My grandfather fought in World War II and was a great soldier,” I said, “but I never had the chance to meet him. I’m glad to meet you.”

“Where did he serve?” he asked.

I only had time for an indirect answer. “He was in the Chinese Army,” I said. “He fought the Japanese, the Axis.”

Seconds later, Roscoe was whisked away. I started to head to my next destination at the show, but I stopped in my tracks and looked back for a moment.

I realized that what I did just then was the best thing I would do all weekend at a place filled with fantasy heroes.

Red Tails opens January 20. I’m looking forward to it more than ever.

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Re: Red Tails...Jan 20th

Post  Berry on 2011-12-10, 16:24

Does sound interesting. I'll watch out for it. two thumbs up

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Re: Red Tails...Jan 20th

Post  Banjo on 2012-01-06, 13:55

Good interview with Lucas.

http://www.etonline.com/movies/117888_George_Lucas_Red_Tails_Takes_Flight/index.html

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Re: Red Tails...Jan 20th

Post  sandisea on 2012-01-10, 15:53

Better interview! roflmao

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-january-9-2012/george-lucas
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Re: Red Tails...Jan 20th

Post  Banjo on 2012-01-13, 15:14

http://www.eaa.org/news/2012/2012-01-12_redtails.asp

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Re: Red Tails...Jan 20th

Post  Banjo on 2012-01-24, 11:56

I saw it yesterday. All in all very good. There were some CGI flying scenes that would be impossible in reality....pulling 10 G, 180 degree turns within 50-100 ft. for example, but most of it was amazing specially the scenes with the P-40s because there are no more than a few of those still flyable. There are still over 130 flyable P-51Ds so it wasn't too hard to get enough of those together and repaint them to "fake" a squadron. The lack of tail numbers was odd though. I'll have to look up if that was done in combat squadrons in WWII. It's possible that it was, for security purposes and to make it more difficult for the enemy .

A similar situation exists with the P-51C which was the model flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, not the P-51D as shown in the film. There are only a few P-51Cs in existence.

http://www.cafmn.org/index.php/our-planes/p15c-2

There was a lot of fictionalized things in their personal relationships which is acknowledged in the closing credits.

Bryan Cranston had a very small role as a colonel who was skeptical that black pilots would be successful.

There was one scene that had me running to research....the scene where the new pilot arrives and he has Warrant Officer W-1 bars on his collar. What the..? scratch I had never heard of Warrant Officers being pilots in the AAF in WWII although the British, Germans, French did have sergeant pilots. But...it turns out that there were a few WOs flying in the AAF. Of course today almost all U.S. Army helicopter pilots are Warrant Officers, but the Air Force and Navy don't use them...


" From 1942 to 1945, Flight officer was a United States Army Air Forces rank used by the Army Air Forces during World War II. The rank is equivalent to warrant officer junior grade which is today's Warrant Officer (NATO grade: W-1). Enlisted and aviation cadet trainees who successfully passed air qualification training were appointed as flight officers and served as rated pilots, navigators, flight engineers, bombardiers and glider pilots. At the end of World War II, the Army Air Forces discontinued the use of the rank of flight officer. All of the service's flight officers had either been promoted to commissioned officer ranks during the course of the war or discharged. Pictured right, U.S. Army Air Force Flight officer rank insignia as used during World War II. Source of this information and the Flight Officer Insignia: Wikipedia, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_officer#United_States_Army for more information.

In January 1944, the appointment of women as Warrant Officers was authorized."


Hmmmm....I'm beginning to think they jumped the shark on this one.....radio call signs would have been important...

"The lack of a readily-visible serial number on Army aircraft began to be a serious problem, and on October 28, 1941, shortly after the USAAF had been formed, an order was given that numbers of no less that 4 digits would be painted on the tail fin of all Army aircraft (where feasible) in a size large enough to be seen from at least 150 yards away. This was officially called the radio call number, but was almost universally known as the tail number. Since military aircraft were at that time not expected to last more than ten years, the first digit of the fiscal year number was omitted in the tail number as was the AC prefix and the hyphen. For example, Curtiss P-40B serial number 41-5205 had the tail number 15205 painted on its tail fin, Curtiss P-40K serial number 42-11125 had the tail number 211125 painted on the fin, and P-51B 42-106559 had 2106559 painted on the tail. Since the Army (later Air Force) used the last four digits of the tail number as a radio call sign, for short serial numbers (those less than 100), the tail number was expanded out to four digits by adding zeros in front of the sequence number. For example, 41-38 would have the tail number written as 1038.

Consequently, in most situations for a World War II-era aircraft where the tail number is visible, you can deduce the serial number simply by putting a dash after the first digit, prefixing a 4, and you automatically have the serial number. Unfortunately, there were many deviations from these rules--there are examples in which only the last 4 or 5 digits were painted on the tail, which makes identification of the aircraft particularly difficult. "

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