I was hired for this gig through my affiliation with
Kristian Sorensen and his 'Alpha Company' - a
military casting agency.  Basically, the fellas and
ladies that work for him are actually current or
past members of some branch of the U.S, military
services.  

The idea is that a production company won't have
to spend time and money training people to look
like the real thing when filming a genre specific
scene.  Also, on this film -- the actors  ( special
ability ) -- would be live-firing some seriously
ferocious special-effects weapons.  They may
have been blank 1/4 loads -- but I am convinced
that the guns could actually seriously injure or
even kill.

It was very invigorating to fire the AR-15 machine
gun on 'full-automatic.'  The director, Roland
Emmerich, had us filming the scenes over and
over again, in the fake pouring rain.  So, we
soldiers would just empty a magazine -- they'd yell
cut -- some guy would come over and sweep up all
the brass cartridges at our feet -- we'd reload --
and do it all again.   

Although supposedly in New York -- we were
actually shooting the scenes in downtown Los
Angeles in the area of 6th and Spring.  I can't
image what that must have sounded like to the
already nervous inhabitants of that city -- I mean --
20 machine guns going off all at once.  The police
blocked off the streets -- and we just went nuts --
all night long -- for 5 consecutive days -
pretending to be trying to kill a gigantic lizard. : )
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