Pfc. Margerum of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, walks the road through a peaceful forest in the Bastogne area, as he returns from the front lines. | Location: Bear Bastogne, Belgium. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Band Of Brothers' Bastogne Forest Wasn't Actually A Forest At All
Episode 6 of “Band of Brothers,” entitled “Bastogne,” contains one of the most brutal moments of the series, as it observes the slow-suffering death of a young soldier and the anguish of the men who are unable to save him in time. The icy surroundings make the circumstances all the more dire, but surprisingly the frigid forest of Bastogne was not a real forest at all.
The show's art department constructed the Bastogne set using 250 special-made trees courtesy of the special effects unit. A nifty technique was used for the moments when a mortar round would blow up trees on screen, as special effects supervisor Joss Williams shared, “We created our own trees, which are a mixture of fiberglass, hemp, and latex, to give a shattered tree look.”
Williams continued, “The Germans, for that section of the war, had timers on their mortar rounds so they would explode in the treetops. So the soldiers not only got the shrapnel from the mortar rounds, but they've got shrapnel from the trees getting hit." To both actors and the audience, it looked and sounded as though the trees took a hard blow.