Navy crew tell of working with Brad Pitt for World War Z

A Royal Navy navigator has said meeting Brad Pitt when he filmed scenes of his World War Z aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Argus "wasn't too shabby".

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By Paulley - 9/19/2011
A ROYAL NAVY navigator said meeting Brad Pitt when the star was shooting World War Z aboard the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Argus "wasn't too shabby".

Emily

Paramount Pictures had asked the Ministry of Defence if one of their ships could be used to play the role of a helicopter carrier.

The ship's crew at first thought the request was a "wind-up" by commanding officer Captain Kehoe.

But when RFA Argus returned to the United Kingdom after an anti-piracy patrol, film location scouts were already waiting on the jetty.

A few days later the ship was told that World War Z director Marc Forster was impressed and wanted to film on the Argus.

Steven McMenemy, 31, from Falkirk, Stirlingshire, was appointed host of the film crew and sat next to the director while the scenes were shot.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the cast and crew of World War Z. It has given me an unprecedented level of behind-the-scenes access and I have enjoyed seeing how it all comes together.

The major highlight must be sharing daily banter with the director Marc Forster, as I had a seat right next to him on every scene.

But it wasn't too shabby to meet Brad Pitt and the rest of the actors. The bizarre thing was that once he'd walked by a few times, everyone got very blase about it and he was just another actor walking back and forth.

The ship sailed and we were joined by four small catamarans which were being used as markers for the cameras, so that warships could be added in with CGI (computer-generated imagery) later.

Our Zombie Fleet in place, we sailed out beyond Portland Bill in Dorset and headed for clear water. Later we were joined by the film company helicopters flown by two of Hollywood's best stunt pilots. Despite the ship's staff being very used to helicopter operations, some of the manoeuvres were simply breathtaking to watch.

RFA Argus was later turned into "USS Madison", which involved stencilling new "pennant number" 19 on to the ship's funnel, as well as adding some "Americanism" to the superstructure.

In a gap between scenes I arranged for Mr Pitt to meet Captain Kehoe to wish him a happy retirement. The captain, in return, presented Brad with a ship's crest to hang in his production company's office as a reminder of his time on RFA Argus.


The filming on board RFA Argus took place before the cast and crew headed to Glasgow, where parts of the city centre were "turned into Philadelphia".

World War Z is expected to be released in December 2012.
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