Military training and costumes

Last Update: 03 August 1998

Bravo Two Zero's eight main actors underwent three days of intensive, specialised military training in Johannesburg before filming commenced. They were taught basic firing movements, handling of weapons and safety with the weapons.

Armourer Daniel Carvalho says: "One of the roles as an armourer is to teach military co-ordination and Andy McNab assisted the actors in holding their weapons correctly. He took a huge weight off our shoulders because it was not an easy task to get the actors to look like professional soldiers in just three days. We have used AK47's, Minimis, M16's with M203 Grenade Launchers, G3's and 50 calibre Brownings for this film, so there was a lot for them to learn."

All weapons used by the eight man patrol were imported from Britain and the rest of the weapons for the extras were brought in from Johannesburg. "We had 15 local extras from Upington and 15 Iraqis from Johannesburg that we had to arm, as well as the eight actors," comments Carvalho. "Often the language barrier was a problem with the Iraqis, especially when trying to instruct them on weapon handling."

"It was a nightmare with up to 25 extras running around with weapons, blank-firing but nonetheless dangerous," continues Carvalho. "At close range you can kill a person. It has been a real problem in terms of safety with the Iraqis, not only because of the language barrier but because a lot of them are trained soldiers who fought in Kuwait, and when you give them weapons they don't behave like extras. They try to load the weapons themselves and blank-firing weapons are not like normal weapons, they require a lot more maintenance."

Darion Hing, Wardrobe Chief, met with Andy McNab in London for guidance and to discuss wardrobe and was pointed in the right direction as far as stockists of genuine accessories went.

"The only challenge was trying to keep the outfits as realistic as possible, with a bit of licence every now and then," says Hing. "Because of the nature of the project I didn't really have a theme to go on, except in the desert with all the camouflage gear. Organising the wardrobe for the Iraq scenes was very interesting because all their clothes were from the 1970's - second hand Red Cross contributions left over from the previous war between Iraq and Iran."

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