DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan on Omaha Beach cost a staggering $12 million? No wonder war film enthusiasts dubbed it as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, war films of all time. According to Mark Huffam, the film's associate producer, the preparations and pre-production of this iconic World War II film was "immense". In addition, he spilled that the 23-minute opening scene is 20% of the total budget of the film, which is a whopping $65 million. To justify the budget spent, it involved 1000 extras, 20 to 30 people of which were actually amputees. The amputees wore prosthetic limbs in order to appear like soldier's limbs that were getting blown off. While some of the extras were actually from the Irish Army Reserve. Furthermore, the shoot entailed the building of a lot of service roads just to take in the trucks that carry all the hardware needed. Of course, a military film is incomplete without all the battlements, bunkers, and attack vantage points. So they had to manually construct those.
The director Steven Spielberg once proved his brilliance when he purposely exempted Matt Damon, who played Private Ryan, from the 10-day military boot camp. He thought Damon's exemption would result in the resentment of the co-actors towards Damon. And this resentment would translate into their performances. He was successful in doing so! Saving Private Ryan depicted the war realistically that it triggered post-traumatic stress disorder among the WWII veterans who watched it. There are a lot of recent war films that were based on war novels, but this perhaps is the most iconic one ever.