Watch This: Test Footage from Dog Fighting Movie War Birds

December 8, 2009
Source: Official Website

War Birds Test Footage

I'm surprised this isn't directed by Michael Bay! I just stumbled across a 2-minute video of test footage for the movie War Birds. We just wrote about War Birds yesterday, as they've received the go ahead from TMU Pictures to head into production. It's about the underground culture of illegal, real-life aerial combat using "old school" dogfighting planes. I was expecting it to look cool, but this video (found on the official website) is hands down awesome - it gets pretty badass at about 40 seconds. I can't wait to see this turned in to a feature-length film. Watch this footage with the volume up and I guarantee you'll have a frickin' blast!

Watch this test footage for Michael Chait's War Birds:

[flv: 580 330]

The story follows an Air Force veteran-turned-reckless airshow re-enactment pilot who gets pulled into the world of illegal aerial combat. Shooting is scheduled for next summer in Michigan using real airplanes and aerial sequences. War Birds will be directed by first-time filmmaker Michael Chait. The script was originally written by Josh Staman and Bryan Binder, but writers J. Todd Harris (Bottle Shock) and Richard Jefferies (Tron Legacy) will be polishing the final draft. Oscar winning Titanic cinematographer Russell Carpenter (of 21 and The Ugly Truth recently) will serve as a visual consultant as well. Expect this in theaters by 2011.

Find more posts: Hype, To Watch, Trailer



That was amazing!! I can't wait to see this movie. It's going to ROCK!

Six Three on Dec 8, 2009


Plus, I'm glad that plane with the goofey yellow wings got its ass blown up!

Six Three on Dec 8, 2009



samuel j on Dec 8, 2009


I'm these guys battle it out in vintage air planes and then shoot the crap out of guys playing army on the ground? Hummm..........I think I'll play guns in the air plane. I recognize this is a test video but I've seen better action sequences from the history channel.

FRank on Dec 8, 2009


This looks terrible! What is with the cheesy slow motion and the song is fucking awful! Wow how could they manage to fuck up such a great concept??? These guys have really bad taste Booooooooo

The movie guy on Dec 8, 2009


Really? That footage made no's like that South Park episode when the civil war reenactment goes too far...

Telltale Twin on Dec 8, 2009


Wow, that was horrible. 100% cheese. I bet Lucas's WW2 movie is better than this.

blester01 on Dec 8, 2009



Reub on Dec 8, 2009


One of the worst trailer I've ever seen, and I think that it represent well the movie...

boh on Dec 8, 2009


Well that wasn't confusing or anything... underground dog fighting during an underground war reenactment. What?!?!?!?!?!?!

Eric B on Dec 8, 2009


Haha, who picks the music for these kind of things. I mean, seriously. I know it's a test, but it looks horrible.

John H. on Dec 8, 2009


Corny song kind of ruined it for me

Dan W on Dec 8, 2009


What the hell did I just watch? who do i call to get those 2 min back...

...(le sigh) on Dec 8, 2009


I don't get why there would be jets fighting W.W.II planes. It doesn't seem like a fair fight to me. I think they should just stick to the old propeller driven planes and forget about the jets. I'm still a bit confused about this whole concept. So it's like W.W.II reenactment with real bullets?

Brad on Dec 8, 2009


Aweful music. Trailer looks cool, but it tries too hard.

Robbie on Dec 8, 2009


Is it just me or does this trailer remind you of the opening scene of tropic thunder?

Shelby on Dec 8, 2009


Retarded choice of soundtrack. Whose decision was that?

FancyMonocle on Dec 8, 2009


I think this is actually the director, Michael B. Chait.

Meadow Soprano on Dec 8, 2009


People, people, That's why it's TEST FOOTAGE. Not a trailer, not a clip, and none of this will ever be in the actual film itself.This is where they test out special effiects, seeing how the cameras pick up the plane movement, trying lots of different things (even unnecessary slow motion) to see how easy/difficult it is to shoot what they want, and how it will look on screen. Of course there's no story, and of course it doesn't make sense, and who the hell cares about the music in the video? Get over yourselves, all of you.

Ethan Anderton on Dec 8, 2009


Very simple, yet stupid concept: Reinactment tards all shooting blanks at each other in the air and on the ground (and apparently nobody took the time to paint one of the prop planes with German insignia, leading to the ridiculous visual of an American P-51 Mustang fighter shooting down an American T-6 Texan trainer), then BOOM! Out of nowhere comes a black Hawker Typhoon, and KILLS the P-51 Mustang, FOR REAL, deader than dog-shit. To everyone's shock and let's be honest based on that trailer, joy. What a piece of shit.

Sharkman on Dec 8, 2009


That looks so lame. Watch 'Der rote Baron (2008)' instead, good film with amazing bi-plane dogfights!!

Roundhouse on Dec 8, 2009


Nobody gets it Ethan.. They just wanna yell and whine about the "trailer". Promising footage if you would look at it as a camera test point of view. Great movement, always felt like they were fighting. I didn't see any static footage at all. This test is a good look at what kind of speed we will see. Hopefully they muck it up some with grittyness in the real thing. Give it some style. Forget the music. They prolly let one of their 16yr olds pick it out.

Hedgehog on Dec 8, 2009


I liked it! I get the concept. I understand that in these days of "Modern Warfare", many people believe in kinetic, hardcore, military action...not theatrics. But, this works. The rock song is by Linkin Park from the "Transformers 2" soundtrack! Not my song of choice, but like Alex indicated, it's not a trailer by any means. WE must UNDERSTAND that this is TEST FOOTAGE. Nothing has been fully rendered to specifics nor appropriately edited to resemble a coherent plot. This is just an amalgam of military scenarios that could make the final cut...EVENTUALLY. I thought it's a good concept and with some tweaking it could ROCK!!!

Spider on Dec 8, 2009


LOL - I'm the only one who thinks the idea of illegal aerial combat is awesome (and I like Linkin Park as well so sue me).

Jim on Dec 8, 2009


Why are there ww2 soldiers fighting with more modern planes? This is confusing!

dom on Dec 8, 2009


was waitin for the planes to transform! haha

craig on Dec 8, 2009



shadow on Dec 8, 2009


Let them go guys. There is no talking to them. They're stuck in "Bitch Mode". Great test footage. Can't wait for the real thing.

Ariel on Dec 8, 2009


i agree with 6# this footage makes no sense to me the music from Transformers Revenge of the Fallen it looks like Renactment footage, means nothing to me. 🙁

Cineprog on Dec 8, 2009


That was hella lame!! Stupid Germans, go back and live in your igloos

Jack n Jill on Dec 8, 2009


To #16... you watched Tropic Thunder?!?! Hahahahahaha!!! Durrrrrrp!!

Mister Durp on Dec 8, 2009


Hahaha!!! Durrrrp!!

Mister Durp on Dec 8, 2009


Expect the unexpected. Be polite. Pain don't hurt. #16 watched Tropic Thunder?!? Hahahaha... Durrrrp!!!

RoadHouse on Dec 8, 2009


To Hedgehog I disagree. (sorry to be so plain) The footage, I think, wasn't "fast" enough. It didn't look as if the planes were really fighting. I think their best shot to get good test footage would be to get two pro stunt pilots, and retro fit the planes with paintballs, instead of transposing the shots in post. you just can't recreate that tension with "imagine you are being shot"

Josue on Dec 8, 2009


Oh boy, War Porn.

Elroy on Dec 8, 2009


@ Josue That would be so much fun to see them firing paint balls at each other. "I GOT YOU YOUR DEAD!!" "Nu uh! You missed!" "CHEATER! I hit you right there! YOUR DEAD!" "Nope, I dont see anything." Now that I watch it again, I can see where it could be quicker. They didn't do much to get close shots of fly bys and the such. I still enjoy the footage. But it needs some shaky cam or some Bourne Identity shots to get that feel of constant movement. 🙂 Like I said, needs some grittyness to the action. 🙂

Hedgehog on Dec 8, 2009


Why was there a fucking Jet in this? Am I missing something? And also, stop using goddamn rock music in WWII. IT IS NOT COOL.

Peter on Dec 8, 2009


looks terrible . lmao ..........

PinkSushi on Dec 8, 2009


I was pounding on the old joystick til my legs went for a walk after watching this. Wow, apart from my eyes bleeding brain matter, I loved this, if Lucas could put in some cgi gophers it would make it perfecto, then some hamsters coming in on parachutes playing the banjo and listening to 'Born to Be Wild', it'd be heaven. I thought the model plane explosions were quite funny. But I don't even know what the rest was about.

Crapola on Dec 8, 2009


Hey Sharkman, #20: same thing I said to someone yesterday, if you're going to be a dick, try to at least know your stuff. That black plane was in no way a Hawker Typhoon. What it was, I don't know. A Hawker Typhoon is a British RAF fighter from the 40's. Prop driven. Learn your shit before you start trying to call people out. And again like so many have said: READ the article-it's TEST FOOTAGE. It doesn't concern the plot or actors, or even necessarily the planes or vehicles that will be in the final film. This is how the cinematographers put together their notes for lighting, special effects, explosions, etc... This clip is just supposed to be a neat little clip of warbirds flying around for the film and plane nerds to enjoy;an insight into the movie-making process. If you don't like it, go watch another trailer for Avatar and shut up.

Scotty97 on Dec 8, 2009


@34 Clearly, you are missing something. Read the description before watching morons. If someone gave me money to test footage of Airplanes why wouldn't I blow up people while I was at it. And why wouldn't I have a jet come in at the end and blow up the old airplane. There just testing stuff people and why does everybody care about the music THIS IS NOT A TRAILER PEOPLE!!!

klaus_komix on Dec 8, 2009


As test footage this is pretty great, but what the heck is going on in it?

Pff on Dec 8, 2009


Hey 43, stop trying to be so ironic/hispanic rock star. Just tell us YOUR opinion, and then piss off. Take your own advice. 'Tard.

Scotty97 on Dec 8, 2009


I kept waiting for it to get "badass."

Will Dearborn on Dec 8, 2009


what they need to do is add more Grain to the film so it makes it look more intense and stop with the close ups and they need to have more quicker cuts and change the song and title

Dgeet on Dec 8, 2009


This looks TERRIBLE. Er, USAF jets fighting Navy jets? WTF... Normally war reenactment freaks are patriotic... Also, is it set in modern day or back in WWII? Either way it makes absolutely no sense. What a waste of money. They could have made a cool WWII dogfight movie using the same stuff they used for this crap.

Vic on Dec 8, 2009


Seems like this guy is trying to be like Micheal Bay too much... with all the explosions Micheal Bay does it Perfectly!

Said on Dec 8, 2009


46, I'm going to disregard the 'jets' comment for being too obvious. However, please point out where you see USAF 'planes' fighting Navy 'planes'. The planes shown are 2-3 different USAF P-51 Mustangs, A USAF T-6 Texan trainer, A British RAF Spitfire and an unknown jet, possibly Asian.

Scotty97 on Dec 8, 2009


That was pretty confusing. If it was all about pilots using vintage planes that's fine but the soldiers on the ground made no sense in that context, and neither was shooting at them. If this is a contemporary story the guys on the ground don't belong. If this is a period story during WWII, the pilots need to lose the modern pilot helmets and get the leather hoods on. Thank goodness that was just test footage.

Chris H on Dec 8, 2009


Why linkin park? there are so many better songs that would hve fit perfectly, they should have used Explosions in the Sky. The film story reminds me of the Great Waldo Pepper.

Xerxex on Dec 8, 2009


It has to be a joke...

pipo on Dec 8, 2009


That was the single worst trailer I've ever seen. Bar none. Awful.

zedzero on Dec 8, 2009


number 50 explosions of the sky wouldve made this seem a bit better but i think the director wanted to make it a complete piece of shit

Dgeet on Dec 8, 2009


You sir are an idiot. Bad shit is bad.

Jake P on Dec 8, 2009


Hey Scotty97, #43, do you realize you just bitched yourself out and called yourself a 'Tard, you 'Tard!!??

hey buddy on Dec 8, 2009


It would be nice to see a movie done with live action air fights and not all done with CGI, so sick of every director relying on CGI for everything

D on Dec 8, 2009


What is this, The Fast and the Furious with planes? The Top Gun-era model plane explosions topped off a completely lame video (and worse choice of music). A Billington Fail.

"David Webb" on Dec 8, 2009


Hey #55, that's because the real 'Tard's comment was erased by the admin, and mine moved up one. Try thinking before speaking.

Scotty97 on Dec 8, 2009


Some of you are missing the point of this footage, but whatever. As long as they have a cool story, I'm down to check it out.

germs on Dec 8, 2009


This looks really good, although it has Michael Bay/John Woo written all over it. It looks like two different films, the Dogfights in the air, which make no sense on how that fits in with the rest of the film. I loved the slow-mo bullet time war sequence in the ground battle footage, there hasn't been a decent WWII movie in a while. Looking forward to this 🙂

Mike on Dec 8, 2009


Uh, this looks like a bunch of random crap.

Marty Martin on Dec 8, 2009



DoomCanoe on Dec 8, 2009


Love the fact some morons on here are flaming the content of the thing without actually paying any attention to the fact its test footage. Liked it, if the story is tight and they get this right who knows.

CHACKSTER on Dec 9, 2009


Nice footage, shit trailer.

Will on Dec 9, 2009


Very amateurish to say the least. It looks like video from an air-show.

Ezza on Dec 9, 2009


Best part of the trailer was undoubtedly the Wilhelm scream 😀

Tom Dearsley on Dec 9, 2009



coyo on Dec 9, 2009


Here's the direct link to the Quicktime version of the test footage! Enjoy!

Steve Kidd on Dec 9, 2009


The song takes away from the footage and makes it look like a slow boring video. The concept alone sounds lame and then set to this silly test footage... who cares.

ultramanj on Dec 9, 2009


Hey, Scotty97 #40: I know it's test footage, jerkoff (or should I call you "Self-Appointed Adjudicator of Other People's Comments"?). Who gives a damn? They put more effort into the test footage than most directors put into the final cuts of the movie. It's still a lame concept, IN MY OPINION, even if it was a final cut. Isn't it more likely that someone you're showing the test footage to (like a potential financier, who is also someone who might be interested in seeing test footage, in addition to the lighting and sound guys), might actually be able to tell what's going on in a rational story, rather than having to ignore all the stupid shit just to look at the flashy colors and hear the cool booms? And you're right, the jet wasn't a Hawker Typhoon. So what? YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT PLANE THE JET WAS, EITHER, YOU FUCKING DOUCHEBAG, so maybe YOU should know your stuff before you "call someone out." Since I didn't call anyone out, but was just rendering an OPINION, perhaps it's okay if I do that and not worry about some jackass policing my comment. Now go get me a juice box, bitch.

Sharkman on Dec 9, 2009


Some people are such BITCHES JESUS This is test footage, probably done way before any story was locked down. It's obviously made to show people that are unaware of the story idea (old planes vs new planes i guess?) what the film will be about. The twist comes in at the end when the JET appears, hence making people say "wait that was a fighter" If this gets people talking and thinking about the possibilities of having it set in present day and all that, then it worked! When this is made into a feature I wonder if all you BITCHES will still be saying it's shit when the first trailer hits.

Josveta on Dec 9, 2009


Pretty sure I will be. Lets wait for it though so the anticipation builds.

Frank on Dec 10, 2009


no idea wtf is going on here but it looks like it's trying too hard. and that soundtrack really killed it for me. garbage. at least the ending was funny where the 'winner' got a missile up its ass! technology wins again. and then the 50 explosions going off

kenji on Dec 14, 2009


Wow, it's a good thing they don't post more test footage or you ppl would be ripping on EVRYTHING... Jesus Christ ppl it's not a trailer, and that song will prob not have anything to do with the movie... i thought it seemed like an interesting concept, and visually appealing. don't really know why they would ever need ppl on the ground, but i guess a real trailer might explain in the future.

Derek on Dec 17, 2009


Well I think its safe to say we can rule out any chance of this being based on a true story.. =P Well the ground based combat at least. I mean come on, being being shot at with live ammo for fun? The aerial combat might have enough glamor to it to attract crazy people. But they would have to be crazy, and rich.

Lighting Toronto on Dec 18, 2009


Looks like Iron Eagle revisited. What a waste.

Aero Pirate on Jan 21, 2010


Hey all, I found a Facebook fan page for warbirds: Appears that we were all stooped onto what this may be about. Gives a little more insight to the story! Can't wait for more, I'am definitely following them now... I have a feeling it's going to be tight!

Flying V on Jan 25, 2010


whats the name of the song and that looks awesome cant wait

Proshot19 on Feb 20, 2011

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