General Question

Mtl_zack's avatar

How much of Milk is actual footage?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6725 points ) December 24th, 2008

It seemed almost seamless how they took historical clips and implemented them into the film. What was footage from the 70s and what was not?

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4 Answers

lrk's avatar

I’m pretty sure most of it wasn’t—the shots they made look old still had the current actors in it instead of the actual people. I’m not sure about the shots which didn’t have anyone recognizable in them…

aprilsimnel's avatar

If it was an extra long shot of a march, it was old footage. The memorial march at the end was definitely real footage from the event. Some of the newscasts were old footage, because I recognized young Tom Brokaw and Walter Cronkite. Anything with Anita Bryant in it was old footage.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

They’ve definitely gone to great lengths to make the film look historical… wardrobe, set, makeup, styling, surroundings, film editing, sound – all of it. I don’t think a huge percentage of the film is actual footage; definitely the last “epilogue” type part is, and the very beginning are original footage, and some spliced in the middle (like aprilsimnel said, the news footage with Brokaw and Cronkite, with Anita Bryant, all of that, yes), but the majority was made for the film, as far as I’m aware.

Jeruba's avatar

The memorial march was filmed in the street just outside the apartment of my hairdresser. He and his wife watched the filming from their window. He said the call went out for extras, and about 10 times the number they needed showed up at midnight for the scene, all rigged out in 70’s gear and in high spirits. The shopkeepers all collaborated by putting up period posters in their storefronts, etc., and they brought in a bunch of new-looking cars from that era. When they were ready to roll, the guy with the bullhorn told the crowd, “Now I need everybody to look as sad as possible,” and all of a sudden it was a massive stream of candle-bearing mourners. My hairdresser told me this only the night before last, so my recollection is clear.

Definitely the opening shot of (now Senator) Dianne Feinstein making her announcement on the steps of City Hall was real footage. I remember that day. My husband phoned me from work to say “Moscone’s just been shot.” It was very bizarre. She was a City Supervisor like Milk at the time, and she stepped into the breach, and that was when her career began its sharp rise.

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