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off Bruce really well.
With Predator, they were
good actors and good survivors.
I went after people who had had
military training to make it more realistic
and easier for the production.
( Jim Thomas) I know
Jesse Ventura was a Navy SEAL
and did a couple of tours in Vietnam.
Richard Chaves had been there.
He was with the 101st Airborne,
so a lot of memories came flooding back.
That definitely influenced the cast.
Bill Duke hadn't had combat experience.
Carl Weathers was a great athlete.
He'd played in a professional football league.
He's a consummate professional,
he really picked up on the element
of the tortured CIA agent.
Mac and Blain were
a team within themselves.
In interviewing people, we found out
there are relationships that develop like that.
There are things like
flasks or cigarette lighters
with emblems with the campaigns
they were involved in.
Those things become almost like totems.
They're handed around
and dealt with with great respect
because of where they came from
and the price that was paid to earn them.
Stunt Coordinator/Second-Unit Director
Craig Baxley
remembers his first impressions
of John McTiernan:
(Baxley) He was very confident.
Seemed to have a lot of great ideas.
And as a good filmmaker,
it's wonderful to have ideas
but you also have to know how to execute.
Baxley cites working with the helicopters:
We only had those helicopters for four days.
Two days for first unit
and two days for second unit.
John had to do one thing: Bring
the helicopters in, and get the guys out.
As we all know,
filmmaking's not a perfect science.
Sometimes it's about
making the right choice.
He shot with the helicopters for 3 days,
and they were leaving that day.
With helicopters, you usually want
to do your aerial work in the morning
before the winds come up,
especially down there.
I got the helicopters around 12.00.
We shot all those aerials
and the rappelling sequence in a half-day.
Everybody disses TV,
but had I not had - and I hate to say this -
a TV second-unit crew that
had worked so well together,
we could not have accomplished it.
We only had one chance
at the repelling sequence.
Film Journalist/Historian Eric Lichtenfeld:
Prior to "Predator", director John McTiernan
had directed only one feature, "Nomads".
By 1987, however, Australian
cinematographer Donald McAlpine
was already well-established in his craft.
Here he shares his thoughts
on the difference between
working with an American director
and an Australian one,
and on working with
an inexperienced director
as opposed to an experienced one:
(McAlpine) Directors are all obsessed people.
And they're all individuals.
The fact that they're born in the wrong
place doesn't make a difference at all.
Note that McAlpine doesn't specify
which is the "wrong"place!
(McAlpine) As a surviving
professional cinematographer,
my job is to study the director and
find out what he needs and what he doesn't.
My very un-politically correctjoke
is that I've had more virgin directors
than I've had virgin women.
McAlpine also claims that he enjoys
helping young directors learn:
John was the most precise director
I'd ever worked with.
To compensate for his inexperience,
he researched.
He knew in his mind almost every frame that
would go on screen... and it did go on screen.
He was extremely well prepared.
He was very communicative.
We really had a ball.
Each day we'd drive back from location,
which took about  an hour.
We'd go through the successes
and failures of the day,
prepare for the next...
and try to demolish a bottle of Scotch.
Predator was actually a flawed situation.
There's not much light on the jungle floor.
On the other hand, that adds depth.
Whether they're photographed
by Don McAlpine,
Jan de Bont or


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