Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blog Number 169 - Recommended reading along with Frank Miller's '300'

Since the momentum has slowed down because of the year we will have to wait for Frank Miller's '300' to premier, I will recommend several books in the next several postings to satiate your interest relative to the 300 Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Blog Number 168 - Update to Zack Snyder's Production Blog

Zack Snyder has updated his Production Blog to discuss the reasons why he chose Mark Twight as the individual who would train the cast and stuntmen. Pretty good stuff!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Blog Number 167 - Training regimen for Frank Miller's '300'

In Blog Number 158, I included Video Journal #3 which showed the training regimen of the Spartiates. Since the Spartans would be filmed without armor, it was essential that they look the part of muscled warriors. After looking at the video clip and the exercises that the extras went through, they definitely look the part.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Blog Number 166 - Recycled sets & props for Frank Miller's '300'

I initially had reservations about the movie's budget of $60-$70 million as did quite a few others. However, after looking at the stills and movie clips, especially of Video Journal #2 which I featured in Blog Number 131, the set designer's ability to recycle sets and props could bring the final numbers in line with their projections. Case in point, if you listen to James Bissell's commentary, a sculpted rock was used over and over for about 9 times.

It is this kind of economy that will allow the money to be used for the necessary digital effects. This should allow Zack Snyder to complete '300' as the vision which Frank Miller intended.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Blog Number 165 - Another image of the Tomb of King Leonidas of Sparta

In Blog Number 122, I included an image of a French postcard of the Tomb of Leonidas which I acquired several years ago. This is a better image for which I have to thank the Laconian Professionals for providing.

Yiasou patriotes!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Blog Number 164 - Thermopylai, Myth & Reality in 480 B.C.

One of the more interesting books about the Battle of Thermopylae is this one co-authored by G.J. Szemler, W.J. Cherf and J.C. Kraft. There are several books which I recommend about Thermopylae and this one being one of those, since it uses geographic analyses to arrive at several interesting conclusions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blog Number 163 - Lion of Sparta comic book

Here is the 'Lion of Sparta' comics which the movie 'The 300 Spartans' was to be originally called. I will be posting several of the images from this comic book over the next several days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Blog Number 162 - National Geographic illustration of the Battle of Thermopylae

Here is another image of the Battle of Thermopylae, this time from a National Geographic issue. This painting was illustrated by H.M. Herget whose work was featured in many of the National Geographic issues of the 1930's & 1940's.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Blog Number 161 - Illustration of Xerxes

Here is an illustration of Xerxes, the king of Persia from Mary Renault's 'Lion in the Gateway'. All the images which I've included from this book were illustrated by C. Walter Hodges and this one captures the difference between King Leonidas who will be played by Gerry Butler and Xerxes who will be played by Rodrigo Santoro. While Leonidas fought with his 300 Spartiates and perished with them, the Persian king was safe and sound on his throne, overlooking the fighting and impervious to any of the fighting beneath.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blog Number 160 - Another illustration of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Here is another illustration of King Leonidas from Mary Renault's 'Lion in the Gateway'. This book was published in 1964, therefore, I've wondered if Renault wrote the book after having watched the 1962 movie, 'The 300 Spartans'.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Blog Number 159 - Illustration of King Leonidas of the '300' Spartans

Here is the cover to the book 'The Lion in the Gateway' which was written by Mary Renault in the early 60's. Depicted in this illustration is King Leonidas of the 300 Spartans who will be portrayed by Gerry Butler in Frank Miller's '300'.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Blog Number 158 - Video Journal #3 for Frank Miller's '300'

Here is a link to the third Video Journal for Frank Miller's '300' which is on the Yahoo website.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Blog Number 157 - Post-production for Frank Miller' '300'

Now that Frank Miller's '300' has finished filming as of the end of January, the post-production work has begun which means that the raw video footage and audio elements have been completed.

Now the editing, titling, special effects insertion, image enhancement and audio mixing will be be added and refined to bring the finished product to the masses in the summer of 2007.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Blog Number 156 - Statue of a Spartan warrior training

This is an image of a Spartan warrior training in the nude. Since the armor that the hoplites wore was so heavy, it was placed on minutes before the battle since it comprised about half of the weight of the warrior.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blog Number 155 - Statue of a Spartan warrior

Here is a statue of a Spartan warrior that closely resembles the illustrations of Frank Miller in that the warrior is without the cuirass, greaves and other clothing that he would have worn at Thermopylae.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Blog Number 154 - Mosaic of King Leonidas

Here is a very rare mosaic that was given to me as a present several years ago of King Leonidas with the words MOLON LABE.

I'm always on the lookout for unique items that pertain to the Spartans, therefore, receiving this was a wonderful surprise!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blog Number 153 - The '300' Spartans at Thermopylae by Richard Hook

This is another image of the final stand at Thermopylae by 'artiste extraodinaire' Richard Hook. This illustration is from the book 'The Spartan Army' by Nicholas Sekunda.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Blog Number 152 - Frank Miller '300' bookmark

Here is an image of a Frank Miller '300' bookmark which is pretty rare. Even though this is pretty hard to find, it pales in comparison to the signed lithograph, of which only 3oo were signed by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Blog Number 151 - Frank Miller '300' promo card

Here is an image of a Frank Miller '300' promo card which probably is the most recognizable image from the comics. This is the helmet of King Leonidas who will be portrayed by Scottish actor Gerry Butler.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Blog Number 150 - 150th blog of '300'

When I started writing this web blog in September of 2005, it seemed like a mammoth undertaking trying to find material which wouldn't be repetitive. Well, I have hit the halfway mark and have to thank all the readers who have contributed comments. If it wasn't for you, I would be left scratching my head trying to come up with new topics.

Thank you for the inspiration!!!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Blog Number 149 - '300' Spartans' cuirass

Here is an image of a cuirass which I mentioned in Blog Number 147. The bronze 'muscle' cuirass was as Nicholas Sekunda wrote in his book 'The Spartan Army' 'modelled to the musculature of the body'.

As the shield, greaves and helmet were essential protective devices, so was the cuirass which has been noticeably absent from the Frank Miller '300' comics.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Blog Number 148 - Frank Miller '300' Spartans interview

I read another interesting Frank Miller interview today in Sci Fi Wire where he talks about '300'. Miller also mentions that the movie 'The 300 Spartans', 'changed the whole course of my creative life'.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Blog Number 147 - Greek Spartan statue

Here is a nice little statue which I bought years ago and which shows the armor which would have been worn by the Spartan defenders at Thermopylae.

The main protective pieces of armor are all included on the statue which consist of the Corinthian helmet, the shield and the cuirass which was the body armor which covered the chest and back.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blog Number 146 - 'The Persian Wars' by A.R. Burn

Another book which I highly recommend is 'The Persian Wars' by A.R. Burn which I obtained in the mid-'80's. When this book was originally published in 1962 it was entitled 'Persia and the Greeks'.

Interestingly enough, 'The Greco-Persian Wars' book written by Peter Green which I mentioned in Blog Number 145 was entitled 'Xerxes at Salamis' when first published in 1970.

It seems as if the titles of the books change with the newer reprints. The newer introductions and prefaces to the books are very illuminating since the authors discuss the reasons for revising their original books.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Blog Number 145 - 'The Greco-Persian Wars' by Peter Green

In Blog Number 89, I mentioned the books written by Herodotus who is known as the father of history. Since Herodotus is the primary author of the Greek-Persian Wars and in particular the Battle of Thermopylae, all subsequent books have referenced his works.

In my opinion, Peter Green's book 'The Greco-Persian Wars' is one of the most informative books ever written about the Persian invasions of Greece. Herodotus' account of the number of warriors in the Persian army has been discounted by many authors and scholars, however, Professor Green's theory that there were between 210,000-300,000 infantrymen is probably one of the most plausible.

If you have read Frank Miller's '300', this is one book that I would highly recommend!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Blog Number 144 - The Spartan Rhetra

The Spartan Rhetra are the laws written by Lycurgus whom I mentioned in Blog Number 143. It took me quite a while to obtain this book, however, it was well worth the wait because it contains a wealth of information for those who are interested in Sparta and her military, economic and social policies.

Some of the examples that Lycurgus wrote about which are included in this book are that the Spartiates should wear crimson-colored tunics and that they should wear their hair long in the belief that it would make them look more taller and more terrifying.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Blog Number 143 - Lycurgus, father of Sparta

The laws that were followed by the citizens of Sparta were said to be written by Lycurgus, the legendary lawgiver, however, it is not known whether he really existed.

What is known is that Lycurgus or a composite lawgiver is responsible for the iron code of rules by which King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans trained to perfection.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Blog Number 142 - 'The 300 Spartans' bootleg

Here's a copy of a VHS bootleg of 'The 300 Spartans' which my good friend Pete gave to me a couple of years ago before the movie was re-released on DVD. I hadn't seen the movie in quite a few years, therefore, after I received it, I must have seen it more times in one week than I did all the times previously combined.

Frank Miller has stated that this movie was what inspired him to write '300'.

Thanks Pete!!!