The Beat

BFHheaderEAnew.jpg POSTED BY EA Staff ON Jun 4, 2015

Meet the SWAT Consultant Who Trained the Cast of Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline is the fastest Battlefield ever, featuring a cinematized take on the cops vs. criminals fantasy.

To make the game truly immersive, the entire cast of Battlefield Hardline spent extended time at “A Place to Shoot” in Santa Clarita, CA, learning how to fire real weapons.

Chic Daniel, a 25-year veteran of the L.A.P.D with over 20 years of movie experience, has worked on forty movies and television shows, including films by Steven Soderberg, Michael Mann, and Roland Jaffe, just to name a few. His input on voice over sessions with the actors helped make the game feel like a real cop show.

Meet the SWAT Consultant who trained the cast of Battlefield Hardline.

What type of background leads someone into a career consulting with a game like Battlefield Hardline?
I spent three years in the United States Army. During my time in the military I received extensive firearms training with a variety of weapons, including handguns, fully automatic rifles, and sniper rifles.

Upon leaving the military, I tested for and was accepted into the Los Angeles Police Department, where I spent twenty-six years.

I then transferred to 77th Division, which patrolled some of the most notorious areas of South Central LA. After working patrol there, I was chosen for the CRASH unit (Gang Unit) and spent three years dealing with street gangs in the area.

Did you mostly perform uniformed police work?
During this time, I was approached to work in a specialized Metropolitan Division and was immediately involved in the investigations of several high profile cases, investigations requiring us to work undercover for months at a time. During my time involved in these investigations all the suspects were apprehended, tried and convicted.

An additional part of Metropolitan Division is the Special Weapons And Tactics (better known as SWAT) unit. SWAT is responsible for handling all barricaded suspects, hostage situations, high-risk search warrants, VIP security (including assisting the Secret Service with Presidential protection and the State Department with visiting Dignitaries).

After working SWAT for twelve years I promoted to Detective and was placed within the highly sought-after Major Narcotics detail. Most of my time in Majors was spent at Los Angeles International Airport working within a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force. We were responsible the investigation, interdiction and apprehension of narcotics and currency traffickers.

I stayed in Majors right up until my retirement from the Department.

How did you first get involved with Battlefield Hardline?
My involvement with Battlefield Hardline began early on, offering notes on the script, which may were meant to help authenticate some areas of the law enforcement backstory.

Even though I wasn’t involved directly in the casting process, I felt the choices matched the roles created very well. Having read the script before meeting the actors, I was pleased to see that the parts and the casting picks matched.

Once the cast was in place, it was time to involve the actors in live fire training on a wide variety of weapons, from semi-auto handguns to full auto machine guns.

What is it like to train actors using real weapons?
I’ve learned from my past experiences working with actors, including myself, that allowing live weapon during training fire helps instill the respect necessary when handling any firearm.

Once you understand the concept and receive the proper training, replicating the actions becomes easier on stage.

For our live fire training, we utilized a range called “A Place To Shoot” in Saugus, Ca. We filmed there for a day on a closed set.

All of our actors and the members of our production team had the opportunity to fire handguns, shotguns and rifles.

Once the training was complete, it was time to take that knowledge learned and implement it into the actual filming process.

What were the biggest challenges in working on Battlefield Hardline?
This being my first experience working on a video game, I quickly realized that the biggest challenge would be the size of the space used for filming. It is more in line with the size of a live theatre stage then an expansive movie set. This created closer interaction between the actors.

It was a slow and deliberate process. I was most impressed with the true professionalism exhibited by all participants. Everyday I was there I was amazed at the precision needed to either match movements required or the very choreographed actions called for the actors.  

Filming a feature film may take as many as 100 days, and occasionally more. One episode of a TV show might take seven or eight days. Filming for Battlefield Hardline took approximately eighteen months. I had no idea just how involved the creation of a fictitious world in which video games live could be.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
One area of working as a Technical Advisor, whether for film, television or video games, is the opportunity to work with talented, hard working, creative people. And that once again proved true with Battlefield Hardline. Everyone I interacted with were a pleasure to work with. Cate Latchford, Senior Producer, was responsible for getting me involved with the project and it was a true privilege to work with her.
Collin Hennen (Cinematic Director) took the time and patience to explain the process needed their creative vision. He would accept my input and explain why at times it wouldn’t or couldn’t work.

What are your favorite video games?
I’m not currently a video game player, so my area of expertise is limited to Pong, Asteroids, Pac-Man and a few other old-school arcade games.

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