“1917” – directed by Sam Mendes
Andy worked as the military adviser on Sam Mendes’ latest film, ‘1917‘, from the summer of 2018 until its preview in December 2019. He worked with various departments including props, set design, costume, hair and make-up before joining the team on location from April 2019 onwards. Long days of filming followed during which the good old British weather dictated filming opportunities. Andy’s involvement extended to bandaging the wounded for the final sequence and in quiet moments he gave talks to the extras about what it was like to be a soldier in 1917. As usual, he was able to point out potential historical errors to the director.
The two-hour film, loosely based on the experience of Mendes’ paternal grandfather, is unusual in that it is shot in one take allowing the audience to follow the two central characters on an apparently suicidal mission across No Man’s Land to warn comrades of a looming German attack and thereby prevent a massacre.
Andy realised that Mendes had never actually seen his grandfather’s Great War service record so he made a point of presenting this to the director, alongside a military biography of Alfred H Mendes who served from 1916 to 1918 as a messenger. As Alfred’s experience , as passed down through the generations of the Mendes family, had inspired the film, it was both an “honour and a privilege” for Andy to be able to do this.
The film has already received rave reviews prior to its nationwide launch on 10 January. Mendes won the Best Director award at the Golden Globes and the film is hotly tipped to sweep the board at this year’s Oscar ceremony. Here is Andy at the film’s preview in December 2019. Andy will be launching a new talk about his experiences working on “1917” this year.
Andy’s first foray into the world of Hollywood films was working as lead historical consultant for Steven Spielberg’s film War Horse. For a light-hearted, entertaining behind-the-scenes experience of the film why not book Andy for his ‘The Making of War Horse‘ talks, as listed on the Events page. Andy also acted as historical adviser on the 2017 film, Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
The 16th of October 2018 saw the premiere of Sir Peter Jackson’s film “They Shall Not Grow Old” as part of the 62nd British Film Institute’s London Film Festival. 2018 saw Andy working on the annotation of this film which has been produced with arts organisation 14-18NOW to mark the centenary of the First World War. It uses previously unseen footage held by the Imperial War Museum. A copy of the film was sent to all UK secondary schools. The film has also been shown on BBC2.
Military uniforms for hire.
Andy has an extensive collection of World War One props and uniforms, both British and German, for hire for film, television, amateur dramatic groups or school projects. Rates are negotiable.
To contact Andy about historical consultation for your film or visual media project, please email Andy at:-
Andy also owns the film location ‘The Trench Experience’ – a true-to-size replica trench system, based in Kent, which is already open for filming.