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Forum Index > Makers and Manufacturers Talk > Albion & The Arn Movie(s) - Official Thread Reply to topic
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Søren Niedziella




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PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2007 4:21 am    Post subject: Albion & The Arn Movie(s) - Official Thread         Reply with quote

The official website for the first Arn movie - Arn The Knight Templar - is now online at www.arnmovie.com (and at www.arnthemovie.com). On the website you can watch the first trailer and find information about the actors, story line etc.

Albion has made more than 200 swords and daggers (with scabbards) for the movie(s) and three new swords were designed exclusively for this project - among these Arns sword (which has plenty of screen time in the trailer Big Grin ). All in an extremely short span of time - and made possible only because the talented craftsmen at Albion worked more than overtime on this.

This is the most expensive film production ever made in Sweden and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Two movies will be made. The first one - Arn The Knight Templar will premiere in Sweden December 25th, 2007. The second movie will premiere late 2008. After that the movies will be made into a six hours (six episodes) TV-series and a single film for international release.

In this thread I will try to keep you updated with news on the movie(s) and Albions involvement.

Best,

Søren
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2007 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the announcement,

Could you post some pictures of some of the swords that will be used in the movie as they are difficult to see on the movie site.

Jeremy
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Brian Ellis Cassity




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PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I noticed a picture that features what might be that "sweater maille" I read about in the other thread about this movie. That is, I don't know maille, but I do know sweaters, and the one I noticed definitely looks like a sweater cut off just above the elbows--a lieutenant or assistant of Saladin (I assume) is sitting his horse just behind and to Saladin's right.

I visited the movie's websites and noticed the costumes in addition to the armor. These seem, to me at least, to be well done. There may be many, but one thing I did notice that may be wrong about the female (lead?) costume was that in one photo she appears to be wearing a sideless surcoat, which I think doesn't appear until the 15th century. But I suppose that's a minor error on the scale of things.

Upon reading the introduction to the movie, it makes me wonder if it won't have a West-bashing element in the way that Kingdom of Heaven did, but oh, well. I'll not linger on that. It looks entertaining, in any case, and I'm sure I'll be watching it after it comes out on DVD.

So is this character based upon a Swede who really took part in the Crusades? Were there many Swedes who did? I read recently an article that suggested (a bit conjecturally) that some Catholic Irishmen may have taken part in the Third Crusade as men-at-arms or other retainers of Norman-Irish knights, but one might suppose there would be few willing to do so, since the native Irish were busy fighting the Norman invaders at that point.

Brian
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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This movie seems to follow the "hero" rule of most armour movies of the last decade, i.e. hero's (main characters) get butted maille or WETA maille, lesser characters get WETA or sweater maille.
The sideless surcoat first appeared in the 12th C...

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Tim Lison




PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2007 5:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This looks cool. The real question is: Will the sword be available through Albion?
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David McElrea




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PostPosted: Wed 23 May, 2007 11:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Ellis Cassity wrote: I read recently an article that suggested (a bit conjecturally) that some Catholic Irishmen may have taken part in the Third Crusade as men-at-arms or other retainers of Norman-Irish knights, but one might suppose there would be few willing to do so, since the native Irish were busy fighting the Norman invaders at that point.

At this point in history all Irishmen were Catholic... the Reformation was still some centuries away. I'm guessing you know that, though, and meant to distinguish the Gaelic Irish from Anglo-Irish?

The Knights Templar had a strong presence in Ireland, so Irish soldiers/knights certainly would have been present in the Levant. As to what the ratio was of Anglo-Irish to native Irish, I have no idea. It is worth remembering that many of the Anglo-Irish were "as Irish as the Irish" by this time as well.
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2007 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Ellis Cassity wrote:

Upon reading the introduction to the movie, it makes me wonder if it won't have a West-bashing element in the way that Kingdom of Heaven did, but oh, well. I'll not linger on that. It looks entertaining, in any case, and I'm sure I'll be watching it after it comes out on DVD.


Well, the books certanly have. The author of them is known here in Sween for his strong sympthies for the Palestinian people and also for his work as a journalist on the far left wing in the 70-th.

Quote:
So is this character based upon a Swede who really took part in the Crusades? Were there many Swedes who did? I read recently an article that suggested (a bit conjecturally) that some Catholic Irishmen may have taken part in the Third Crusade as men-at-arms or other retainers of Norman-Irish knights, but one might suppose there would be few willing to do so, since the native Irish were busy fighting the Norman invaders at that point.


The caracter is fictional, but a few of his relaives are historical persons. Like his uncle and father. There is no facts saying a swedish nobleman where in the third crusade. This could be because there was no sweden yet in the 12th century. There is some very few leads in material that could hint to such but far from certain. The crusades going out from our part of the world was directed ofer the balic sea to finland and balticum. And more probably a Nobleman from Västergötaland (the area ARN is from) would join the Teutonic Knights rather tan the Templars.

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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On costume and armour:
As far as I can tell from what I´ve seen of the shooting of the film (I visited two days of filming in the "Holy Land" in Marocco), there is no "sweater mail" used in this film. It is all mail armour made of links, either butted spring steel rings or the type that was developed for The Lord of the Ring trilogy.

Albion has made the swords for all the leading characters. Some of these are swords taken directly from the Next Generation line, and some are designed specifically for this film. There were also daggers and knives made in some numbers...
...All this with scabbards.
I think I carved some ten or eleven different hilt configurations for the film, counting all daggers and swords. Some of the swords were actually developed as Next generation swords at the time, but fit right in with the time period. These swords you wil see available over time in the coming months.
A selection of the swords especially developed as film props will also be available thorugh Albion-europe, but Søren can tel you more about that in time.

It has been very interesting to get a small insight into what goes in to the making of a film. It is mostly like you can imagine from seeing any Behind the Scenes material provided with DVD´s but the reality of it is on a massive scale. Att least in this film.
With a film of this size with hundreds of extras in some battle scenes there is no way a small company like Albion could supply *all* the props needed, given the short production time.
To arm armies film companies has to rely on established film armouries who rent out equipment to large scale historical films. Very few players on this market have the rescources to hand out mail shirts, hemlets, shield, swords and pole arms in hundreds on short notice and also provide the logistics to keep it all together. It is a huge undertaking. This is why you can reconginise some wepaons re-appearing in diferent films if you look carefully enough. That is also why you can see some solutions becoming the established norm of the business. There is simply no way to build every thing from the ground up for each individual film. To make a small changes will have large scale implications.

Albion swords are used extensively all through the film. Leading characters and the most well equipped extras (those closest to the camera) all carry Albion made swords and daggers in Albion made scabbards (all scabbrads arehandmade by Aaron and Shan-aan).
Islamic warriors as a rule does not carry Albion made weapons, except for Saladin, his brother and his closest friend. These Islamic swords were designesd specifically for the film. All three share the same blade but has individually carved hilts. Three individual daggers were also made for these prominent characters, but I am not sure how much they will show in the finished film.
These Islamic swords all have slim, straight and double edged blades, with cantered tangs. As a basis of the design I used published material of Islamic swords of the period. As you migh well know, not all Islamic warriors used a curved blade. The straight double edged blade was still popular and was used in many different shapes.
In art you can often see rather long and slim blades slung from the waist or from a baldric. Weapons of this type was the inspiration for the sword of Saladin, his brother and his trusted friend.

The Scandinavian setting demanded a completely different approach regarding swords. A leading theme in the story is how hisory changes through the clash of and contact between cultures. Jan Guillou does this by condensing events that took place over longer time and in larger scale into the life of a single man and those close to him. A way to visualize history as a dramatic epic.
One idea that is funda,mental for the story is how life in Scandinavia clings to old ways in culture and weapons. Therefore the arms and armour used in the north needed to have a different character than the equipment of the warriors clashing in the Holy Land.
Most of these swords used are chosen from the Next generation line, but some again were made new. Especially one sword for one of the Big Bad Guys needed to be special. A very large weapon for an outstanding brute of a villain. This is "film reality", but not without historic paralleles. The sword found together with the famous Gjermundby helmet (the one with the goggles) was unusually large weighing some 1,8 kilos. The Sword I designed for the film to fit the Big Bad guy weighs some 1,7 kilos and is a conglomerate of a danish find and a not unfamiliar sword from a Finnish female grave...
As you have gathered by now, the Scandinavian weapons have a marked viking flavour, making them a bit outdated by the period of the film. This is in character of theTelling of the Story (if not history) that takes place in the late 12th C and beginning of the 13th C.

The sword of Arn himself is naturally made specifically for the film. It is a sword with a history of its own in the story, and it had to look its part. It is rather carefully described in the three books, but the text still leave some room for further characterisation. I don´t know how much detail I can reveal at this stage. Rest assured more information will follow.

It has been interesting to have an opportunity to influence the sword part of a film in a historical setting. It is a very small part of the whole, but one that I care about whenever seeing a film of this kind.
The film is not a documentary or an attempt to recreate with absolute authenticity a historical event. It is a drama played in front of a historical setting. Still, I felt it was important to do my best in providing the most authentic swords possible to fit the story. It was great to see how Arn came thundering in on his horse into the courtyard of the castle, to give early warning of an imminent attack, wearing his sword as a natural part of his attire. The details of the scene was such that you could walk around on the setting in advance and see the loaves of bread on the tables in the background. Even if everything was built from scratch as props, you had to knock on the walls of the castle to know it was anythyng else than stone.
I was impressed by the efforts made to make everything look like the real stuff. The result was surprisingly convincing even when seen with your own eyes. Being partial to some aspects of this kind of film, it was a special joy to see knights and their followers walikng around with Albion swords I knew had been made only weeks before, looking like trusted and well used side arms.


Last edited by Peter Johnsson on Thu 24 May, 2007 9:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2007 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Ellis Cassity wrote:
I visited the movie's websites and noticed the costumes in addition to the armor. These seem, to me at least, to be well done. There may be many, but one thing I did notice that may be wrong about the female (lead?) costume was that in one photo she appears to be wearing a sideless surcoat, which I think doesn't appear until the 15th century. But I suppose that's a minor error on the scale of things.


Sideless surcoats are most popular in the 13th and 14th century and are rare except in ceremonies beyond that time frame for most countries; I am most impressed with the detail of the clothing: proper fur lining, naalbound caps and gloves, linen and wool!

James Barker
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Brian Ellis Cassity




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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Barker wrote:


Sideless surcoats are most popular in the 13th and 14th century and are rare except in ceremonies beyond that time frame for most countries; I am most impressed with the detail of the clothing: proper fur lining, naalbound caps and gloves, linen and wool!


I was thinking I'd read in Davenport's Book of Costume that sleeveless surcoats make an earlier appearance, but that sideless surcoats do not until the beginning of the 15th century in Europe with the possible exception of Spain. Well, I will defer to you gentlemen. I'm quite new to this hobby, never actually having participated in a reenactment. Thanks for the information.

Brian[/i]
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Brian Ellis Cassity




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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2007 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David McElrea wrote:
Brian Ellis Cassity wrote: I read recently an article that suggested (a bit conjecturally) that some Catholic Irishmen may have taken part in the Third Crusade as men-at-arms or other retainers of Norman-Irish knights, but one might suppose there would be few willing to do so, since the native Irish were busy fighting the Norman invaders at that point.

At this point in history all Irishmen were Catholic... the Reformation was still some centuries away. I'm guessing you know that, though, and meant to distinguish the Gaelic Irish from Anglo-Irish?

The Knights Templar had a strong presence in Ireland, so Irish soldiers/knights certainly would have been present in the Levant. As to what the ratio was of Anglo-Irish to native Irish, I have no idea. It is worth remembering that many of the Anglo-Irish were "as Irish as the Irish" by this time as well.


Yes, you're correct. Indeed, I should have said Gaelic Irish rather than Catholic Irish.

Brian
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Mikael Ranelius




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PostPosted: Thu 24 May, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Ellis Cassity wrote:


So is this character based upon a Swede who really took part in the Crusades? Were there many Swedes who did?



Not many, but some must have made their way to the Holy Land as crusaders. By the 12th century the Catholic Church had been established in most of Sweden (with its own archdiocese founded in Uppsala in 1164), and the Pope's call to the cross was proclaimed in Sweden just like elsewhere in western Christendom. We know that both Danes and Norwegians sent men to join the crusades, and a Swedish medieval historian, Dick Harrison, recently suggested in his book about Nordic crusaders that it's likely that at least some Swedes took part in these campaigns.

Jan Guillou, the creator of Arn, was inspired by the anonymous founder of the church at Forshem, in Västergötland, Sweden. The church dates from the 12th century and is built in the honour of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This seems to suggest that the founder of the church had some connections to the Holy Land, perhaps a returning crusader.
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Søren Niedziella




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2007 1:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On pictures of the swords and availability.

A website dedicated to the swords from the Arn movies will be made and it will (naturally) have pictures of all the swords Happy
The swords will be available to buy though Albion Europe starting January 1st, 2008.

Best,

Søren
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2007 1:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Awesome!!!! Razz Razz Razz Razz Razz
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2007 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Søren Niedziella wrote:
The swords will be available to buy though Albion Europe starting January 1st, 2008.



It looks like the quality bar on movie-tie-in swords is going to be raised considerably.
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2007 5:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian Ellis Cassity wrote:
I was thinking I'd read in Davenport's Book of Costume that sleeveless surcoats make an earlier appearance


Brian

As a person who researches clothing I will give you some advice being new; theatrical costuming books are 90% crap. There are tons of great books out there on medieval clothing and I could point you to some if you like; just email me.

James Barker
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Brian Ellis Cassity




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2007 10:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! If you have a basic canon in mind covering the greater part of the medieval period, I'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks again!

Brian
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David Sutton




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2007 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This film looks very exciting. As it covers some of the same ground that Kingdom of Heaven did it will be interesting to see how the different productions have interpreted the period and events. Certainly the swords will be superior coming from Albion (though the swords in Kingdom aren't too bad). I'm assuming that the battle featured in the trailer is Hattin it certainly looks like it might be. I was pretty disappointed that Kingdom skimmed over it. I've always thought it was a tremendous battle. Cool
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Oakeshott type is Arn's sword? To me it looks like a XIII or XIIIb. Or, with the longer fuller and profile taper, is it a short hilted XIIa? Below are the steel and aluminum versions from Albion's site.


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arn-1.jpg


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Robin Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think there is enough taper and the fuller is too long to even call it XII or beyond. Given the length of the fuller and the taper and width of the blade I'd say it would be an XI or perhaps an Xa.
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