Shooting Stars: Veterans Teaching Actors Military Skills For Big Screen

Afghanistan Veterans are teaching actors the art of handling weapons to better portray combat in films and games...

A company run by two Afghanistan veterans is aiming to iron out the portrayal of combat in the film and game industry.

Within a three-day course in Dorset, actors are getting the chance to be taught one of the military’s most valued skills - how to handle a weapon correctly.

Set up by Al Paton and business partner Ben, they’re aiming to teach the actors how to move and handle rifles, pistols and bolt action shotguns as well as a sniper rifle on the live range.

Weaponry Handling
Actors get first hand experience of handling weapons.

“The guys that we’re teaching are performers - we’re not trying to turn them into soldiers, we’re just concentrating on basic safety and their confidence, so they can deliver a more realistic performance."

The first-hand training of using guns is proving to be an eye-opening experience to those in the film and gaming industry, with actor Will Bowen, who is taking part in the course, saying:

“I have never felt anything like that in my life” after firing a rifle for the first time.

Many of the actors have no previous experience with guns and some are proving to be naturals.

Marta Svetek is a motion capture artist who works on many combat style games, she added:

“It’s essential for an actor to actually do this convincingly, it’s no longer just tap and reload you actually have to show the complete reload function to add the drama to the combat.”

Weaponry Handling
Marta Svetek says actors need to learn the complete process of combat.