Friday, March 16, 2012

Hollywood Archery: Good Representation?
During the planning of the Hollywood Celebrity Sporting Clays Invitational last year, Tim Case and I started off discussing how archers are represented in Hollywood. Tim, an archery instructor from Pennsylvania, and I talked over the phone on multiple occasions. We talked about a few movies out there that could have really used some archery instruction on set. Not that we want any part of the H-wood scene, but to represent what we love in a proper way would be beneficial to both sides, don't you agree?

A few weeks after we last spoke, I received a text message from Tim asking me to look at the movie The Immortals and see if I could spot anything wrong. Immediately, I noticed that the spray-painted gold bow that Theseus was shooting had a target sight on it (why would they need a sight on a bow from hundreds of years ago?), and that it was mounted on the opposite side of how he was shooting. But that wasn't the worst part. Look at this image and you'll see that he's shooting right-handed using a left-handed shooters bow. Really Hollywood? You couldn't come up with someone to tell you THAT was incorrect? I am not reviewing the movie here, to be honest I have not seen it, now do I care to. There are so many things wrong with Henry Cavill's form here that I will let you guys pick it apart.

Image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

Then yesterday, a friend of mine, who knows I am a MARVEL geek and that I am really looking forward to The Avengers movie, sent me a link. One of our SoCal archers and writers, Jim MacQuarrie, did a review on the movie role of Hawkeye. I read it from top to bottom and while Hollywood is supposed to be an entertainment venue, and not always entirely spot on, I have to say that Jim's review was spectacular. He also reviewed the archery in "BRAVE" and "The Hunger Games." I highly recommend you swing over and read the review on Hawkeye and read some of the comments and if you have time, read the other reviews. Interesting and great material.

Frankly, he shoots like a rank amateur. Does this ruin the movie? No. But if they’d gotten it right, the film would be even better; attention to the details is usually an indicator of attention to the big picture. In a few interviews last year, Renner said he was taking archery lessons in preparation for the role, but from what I see here, it looks like he (a) had no coach and was entirely self-taught; (b) had an incompetent coach (there are many out there); or (c) is a terrible student and refused to do what his coach told him.

I have to completely agree with Jim on this one. If the Hollywood big-wigs just had a go-to group or person in archery related matters this could be solved very simply. I know it can be views as nitpicking, but in this case I think it's more than that. I have a feeling my fellow archers who use traditional equipment will truly enjoy Jim's take on archery form and shooting. I know Tim Case would agree that Hollywood needs some guidance because he has mentioned it to me in the past and he and Jim are both spot on.  Will it happen? I sure hope so.

Check out the reviews and let me know how you feel. There's no right or wrong answer. I am just feeling like people should express their opinions outright and not be judged. So really. How do you feel about it? Do you think we are too picky or should Hollywood give more attention to detail?


  1. Wow Albert, great article and long overdue. Thanks for remembering and mentioning our conversations. There is no doubt that there are failures, but there are also positive representations. I found the scenes in "Brave" to be very well animated and the attention to detail was impressive.

  2. I once saw on a television "law enforcement" show, a scope mounted upside down.

    Upside down.

    Again...upside down.

    But who would they go to? The ATA? NSSF? The NRA?

    Their entire socio-political views fly in the face of what those organizations represent, they aren't going to line their pockets with consulting fees.

    Guns, bows, slingshots, they all look much more dangerous than they are when handled by the ingorant, uninformed, and untrained.

    THAT fits Hollywood's message...and THAT is what we see...

  3. Excellent post Al! You are spot on about the attention to detail.

  4. Well said, I had the "Hawaii 5-0" scene come to mind while I read this.