French shoot 'Top Gun' above Bastille Day parade

13th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 13 (AFP) - As air force fighter-bombers roar across the Paris skies at the annual Bastille Day parade Wednesday, unbeknown to the crowd below, cameras fitted to the planes will shoot France's answer to the 1980s Hollywood blockbuster "Top Gun."

PARIS, July 13 (AFP) - As air force fighter-bombers roar across the Paris skies at the annual Bastille Day parade Wednesday, unbeknown to the crowd below, cameras fitted to the planes will shoot France's answer to the 1980s Hollywood blockbuster "Top Gun."

With the help of the French airforce, which sees recruitment potential in the film, producers have hooked four cameras on the underbelly of a Mirage 2000 and others on helicopter ships.

Ten cameras have been stationed too along the wide Champs Elysees boulevard, where more than 300 military vehicles, nearly 4,000 military personnel and 100 aircraft are taking part in the military parade.

"Defence is backing this project," Colonel Claude Baillet, the head of the SIRPA armed forces information service, said at a news conference this week to promote the adventure-cum-spy movie, "Chevaliers du Ciel" (Knights of the Sky).

"Without the airforce it wouldn't have happened, we hope it'll become a new reference," he said. "'Top Gun' inspired a lot of youngsters to sign up to the airforce, and every time it's broadcast on TV, we get calls from people wanting to join."

"We're banking the film will inspire new vocations, which would help meet our recruitment aims for the next 15 years."

The 1986 film starred Tom Cruise as the young jet pilot determined to be best boy at the Top Gun Naval Flying School. Also in the movie are Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan and Kelly McGillis, the civilian instructor at the school who provides the romantic interest.

The French film, which has a EUR 20 million (USD 24 million) budget, is directed by Gerard Pires, who was behind the successful action movie "Taxi". The stars are relatively unknown abroad - Benoit Magimel ("Crimson Rivers 2", "The Piano Player"), Clovis Cornillac and Alice Taglioni.

"This is the most ambitious aviation film ever made in France," said Pires, before dashing off to organise filming of Mirage fighters, Transall transport planes, Alphajets and more.

"And the script is anchored in reality," he said. "We all know the effects of September 11 (2001) in New York on the country and its people. But what would happen if someone took control of a military plane on July 14?"

"This is not just a movie about airplanes," said Pires, who is an amateur pilot himself.

The French airforce has been involved for two years now in the project, with shooting due to end in December after filming in Djibouti, in southern France and at the Farnborough airshow in Britain.

The release date unsurprisingly has been set for July 14, 2005.

 

© AFP

Subject: French news

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