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Port Chicago Mutiny--Training


Since the black sailors involved in the so-called Port Chicago mutiny were not aboard ship at the time of the incident, it was not necessary to go aboard a vessel to accomplish our training mission for this film. What was necessary was to shape the performers and a group of selected extras into basically-trained U.S. Navy sailors circa 1943. We borrowed pages from the Blue Jacket's Manual of the period to design a curriculum that included Physical Training, Manual of Arms, Close Order Drill and Naval Service Indoctrination.

We did most of the training on various Los Angeles locations and we had the full backing of Director Kevin Hooks to do whatever was required to get his cast and supporting people into the proper look, feel and mind-set. With a staff of two Warriors Inc. Cadre serving as Chief Petty Officers, we trained sun-up to sunset for a full week working with 30 actors and extras.

Later in the production schedule we also carved out time to work with white actors who portrayed training Petty Officers and officer members of the court-martial board. As usual, we spent a lot of time with the writer and Director getting the script into shape by suggesting alternate dialogue or scenes that were more true to the Navy in World War II.