Minsk Journal: Day 3 – Part II

OK, so the morning was about WWII. After lunch we went to an entirely different area of Stalin’s Line and geared up for a medieval battle. Again, the costumes were made for men and after the grenade debacle, I figured I probably wouldn’t be able to stay on my feet with both sword and chain mail.

Neilie J., battle cleric.

They put a black wool cleric’s robe on me which gave me a pretty good idea of what it’s like to wear a sweaty hair shirt (Somebody else’s sweaty hair shirt). I figured as a cleric I’d be allowed to just walk around the field after the battle, blessing the dead and stealing their valuables. Instead, I was hustled to a makeup chair where they put fake battle smudges on my face and then handed me a totally incongruous steel helmet.

It goes without saying that the helmet was too big for me. Still, I presented myself to the director (the real director this time) and he sighed as if to say, “What the hell am I supposed to do with you?” He then instructed me (via translator) to attack a mail-shirted guy while giving my fiercest battle cry. He tried to encourage me I guess, by mentioning Joan of Arc. Riiiiight.

Anyway, now I know how actors must feel, performing sex scenes in front of a set full of people. Rarely have I felt as awkward as I did with a camera in my face, having to swing a sword at a guy holding a big wooden shield while yelling, “Agh! Agh! Agh!”

After a group shot where they made us stage a Braveheart-like pre-battle scene that involved lots of shouting and shield-pounding, I was glad to get out of the sun and out of the hair shirt. We were then given the opportunity to try shooting a bow and arrows (or a cross bow) and then went off to one final shoot – the futuristic one.

Everyone getting their pre-battle smudges.

There we were again made up (by then I had three layers of grease paint on my face), were planted in front of a blue screen and were told to do two expressions – one indicating victory and one indicating defeat. I can only imagine how awful mine was.

We finished out the day with some time playing World of Warplanes (which is looking pretty good although my key strategy thus far is to plow kamikaze-style, into my opponents. Primitive, but effective.) We then had a group interview with Wargaming’s Vlad Belozorov. Not my favorite format, the group interview, but thanks to Vlad, I should have some good stuff to post about the upcoming World of Warplanes within the next few days.

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