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Wanderer; a short film by Weapon Outfitters

Wanderer is Weapon Outfitters’ first serious foray into short film production. The short features unique guns, interesting characters and professional cinematography, but the star of the film is the location: a defunct nuclear missile silo. The production company had access to this piece of Cold War history thanks to the fact Titan 1 missiles were in active service for only a few years before the Titan 2 made them obsolete: as a result, these silos were decommissioned and sold before international treaties required implosion of newer silos. The needs of the Titan 1 fuel and navigation systems resulted in sprawling underground silo complexes, which made the perfect set for WO’s look at the future of a fallen society

“The feeling of descending a decades old steel staircase into the ground and away from the warm summer sun and into a tomb of steel and concrete is a chilling experience,” says Roy Lin, Weapon Outfitters honcho and producer of Wanderer, “especially with all the various hazards lurking in the dark. I almost learned a very painful, and possibly fatal, lesson about the limitations of night vision when I tried navigating around with just a PVS-14 monocular at this site during a previous visit.”

On a prior exploration, Lin walked around with his field of view limited by the soda-straw view of the world presented his NVG. At one point, he realized there was nothing but air beneath his next step. “I caught myself, turned on my headlamp, and saw I avoided walking right into a concrete pit once covered by steel plating.” He says, “that experience was fresh in my mind as we filmed Wanderer.” Everyone on set was instructed to move slowly, purposefully and look where they were stepping in order to maximize the cast and crew’s life expectancy.

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While shooting above ground in summer was standard fare, the cold, damp subterranean environment made full use of the crew’s RED Dragon digital cinema camera’s capabilities. Lin says, “There was at least one butt clenching moment during filming when the heavy, six-figure camera was passed, one-handed, from a shaky, bent ladder up into a concrete tunnel 20 feet in the air.”

The unique location was matched by the equally rare gear and talented cast. For firearms, the crew filmed with two rifles. US Olympic team target shooter Amanda Furrer, playing the titular character, slung a prototype Hodge Defense Systems AR-15 pattern rifle with components made from third generation aluminum lithium alloy. The Hodge AU-Mod 2 rifle was fitted with a SureFire M300 Mini Scout Light for tactical and practical illumination.

Model Ethereal Rose (nom de guerre) carried a Rifle Dynamics/Billy Cho custom 7.62 x 39 Kalashnikov rifle fitted with an Elzetta Mini CQB weapon light as a contrast to Amanda’s rifle. Both rifles utilize Silencerco muzzle devices. The AR was topped off with a B.E. Meyers 249 Saker flash hider that’s compatible with the SilencerCo Saker family of suppressors, while the Rifle Dynamics rifle wore a simple SilencerCo Muzzle Brake to stick in line with the “bullet hose” design principles of the Kalashnikov platform.

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The Wanderer film crew was made up of half military veterans and half film industry professionals, which Lin says was a huge help in keeping production going smoothly. Writer, director and camera operator Shawn Nelson was assisted by 1st assistant camera operator, Riley Keeton. Professional makeup and special effects artist Lis Krebs helped Amanda and Rose get the right look. William Wood, who’s normally the operations/grumpy veteran at Weapon Outfitters, did double duty playing two villains as well as hauling equipment. Retired Marine Rico Silva acted as general production assistant, as well as providing and supervising the use of a .50 caliber M107 Barrett rifle. Lin says he floated around, helping to keep things running smoothly. (we suspect he did a bit more.) The film was edited by Isaac Marchionna who, Lin says, offered the team invaluable feedback for future projects as well as maximized the footage they captured. Lin also added thanks to the crew at RECOIL Magazine for their help, advice, promotion and publishing of the film.

“Throughout the filming process,” says Lin, “everyone noted how unique and awe inspiring the location was, and hopefully viewers get that feeling too.”

RECOIL is honored that Weapon Outfitters chose to team with us to promote and publish their first cinematic production. It is with great pride we present Wanderer while looking forward to Weapon Outfitters’ future projects!


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