8 January 2015

Brad Pitt shares his filmmaking tips with Met Film School

By Cassio | Categorised in Film Festival Diary


Fury tells the tale of a band of men involved in the final push into Germany in April 1945. A battle worn sergeant called Wardaddy played by Brad Pitt, commands a Sherman tank and leads a crew of five on a near suicidal mission into Germany. Outgunned and outnumbered they face overwhelming odds as they try to strike into the heart of Nazi territory. Watch Trailer.

Executive Producer and lead actor, Brad Pitt, Director, David Ayers and the cast shared their secrets of how Fury’s realistic World War two feel was created with Met Film School at the 2014 London Film Festival.

  1. Research was key! Brad read a book called “On Killing” by Dave Grossman that explores the psychological cost of learning to kill in war, to understand the mindset of his character.In addition, David and Brad also visited Germany and met those who had experienced events and spoke to soldiers who had been there at the time. Attention to detail was a key focus.
  2. Casting was based on chemistry. David and Brad had discussed working together for sometime and as soon as Brad read the script he wanted to be involved. However, with the exception of Michael Pena’s character, Gordo, David didn’t write the script with any actors in mind. He saw bringing the cast together similar to building a family. The right chemistry between the cast was key, as well as the actors love of going above and beyond for a role. They all needed to have a willingness to expose themselves to harshness and difficulties in order to make this film, at a level actors aren’t typically asked to participate in.
  3.  Fury “Bootcamp” immersed the actors into the role. David was serious about recreating the military experience. As part of the pre-production process the cast was sent to “bootcamp” to learn everything about tank warfare plus discover more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The experience helped the cast bond like a family, just as the crew do in the film.
  4. Overcoming the logistics of shooting inside a tank was a key challenge for the film. The Fury team kitted out the interior set using blueprints to guarantee authenticity and everything worked realistically on the inside. All this made it one of the most technically complex sets that anyone had worked on. It was an uncomfortable set to work within, but all this helped to recreate the atmosphere of being in a real tank.
  5. In keeping with the film, old school celluloid was used over digital. Digital capture in David’s view is still trying to emulate the range and look of film. He tested film and digital before shooting, however, he felt that film provided more subtle depth of colour than digital. Ultimately film provided the best tool to recreate the muted shades of Germany circa 1945.

Finally, Met Film School asked Brad Pitt if there were any lessons he learned acting and producing Fury that he’ll take with him in the future, he said:

 “I took a lot from this film. The ultimate acting experience is discovery. The greatest thing in our line of work is to learn something about the world and about ourselves and this was one of those situations. We all walked away from the film absolutely enriched. And for me specifically the film was a real study of leadership, respect and being responsible for others and I walk away knowing I’m a better father because of the experience.

Fury was released in the UK on 22nd October 2014 and comes out on DVD and VOD mid 2015.

Met Film School is London’s largest provider of filmmaking education. Learn more about our undergraduate filmmaking programmes.


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