Shooting In A Warzone

Jan 8 2013 @ 8:02am

Jada Yuan covers Buzkashi Boys (trailer above), which is on the Oscar short-list for short films. It features "the Afghan national sport of buzkashi, which is kind of like polo, played atop horses, but with a headless, disemboweled goat carcass as the ball." On the dangers of shooting the film in Afghanistan:

The most significant precaution was the decision to make it a short film. A feature would have required them to stay at certain locations for weeks at a time, whereas with a short, they could be in and out of locations in a single day. They streamlined the script to 29 minutes and shot the two buzkashi matches in the film in bits and pieces over sixteen days of filming. To keep their crew of 45 to 50 safe, it was imperative to keep the production a moving target. “We kept our ear very closely to what was going on, and we didn’t tell anybody where we were shooting or when we were shooting,” said [director Sam] French. “If we were going to shoot in Murad Khane [Kabul’s Old City, where the blacksmith shop was located] on Thursday, then Tuesday night we’d call the crew and say, ‘Actually, we have to shoot tomorrow,’ so the timing was varied. We were aware of those issues.”