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THE BLOG > Film Reviews > Feature Documentary: LUSITANIA – A Damned Dirty Business. A film by David Doré


DEC 2012


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Feature Documentary: LUSITANIA – A Damned Dirty Business. A film by David Doré
>> Dave Doré has released a major documentary, filmed on a hacked Panasonic GH2 and edited in Final Cut Pro 7. This independent production shows just what can be achieved using affordable tools which are not the most expensive or most current technology.

These days it is the mindset of the filmmaker that shines through, rather than being limited by available equipment and budget. David has chosen a totally free model of distribution. In his words:

“I retired as MD of Spa Films back in May, after nearly 33 years, and am no longer motivated by money so I thought, sod it, I’ll release it free to air on Vimeo.”

Production Notes

The film was almost entirely shot on a Panasonic hacked GH2. However, the short scene in Yelverton, Devon, was shot on a Sony EX-1 by Chris Tizzard of Studio 8.

The film was cut and graded on FCP 7 plus PluralEyes and Soundtrack.

Sound was recorded using a Zoom H4n and Sennheiser mics.

Says filmmaker Dave Doré:

“I have long been interested in the Lusitania story, so when I completed production of my doc ‘Titanic Arrogance’ in 2010, I decided that I must do the Bill Turner story. So one inspired the other really.”

“The production was largely a ‘one man band’ except for the BoT Inquiry scene during which I operated and directed, but was able assisted by an Assistant Director, Sound Recordist, Production Assistant and three good actors. Of course, the film would never have made the grade without Richard Mitchley’s wonderful voice.”

“The film was completed last spring and offered to my distributor, Journeyman Pictures, who handle my earlier documentary ‘Titanic Arrogance.’ They declined the film on the basis that nobody was
interested in ‘Lusitania’... only ‘Titanic.’ A perfect example of our dumbed-down media. However the film was screened at the Kinsale Arts Festival in July 2012and received a very good reception.”

Shooting with a hacked Panasonic GH2:

The Panasonic GH2 camera which I used for this film had been upgraded using the Vitaly Kissilev hack. This is available as a download from and is quite straightforward to apply.

At the time of shooting A Damned Dirty Business I was using 720P50 @ 50Mbps 12 frame GOP. However, I have subsequently applied the Driftwood hack and am now shooting more or less everything at 1080P24 @ 70Mpbs All-Intra. The resolution of the GH2 sensor is just insane and has virtually no moiré or aliasing issues. However, the AVCHD codec as supplied (24 Mbps max.) lets it down a little. Once the hack is applied, the GH2 is right up there with the best. Just ask Francis Ford Coppola.

Short Synopsis

The film tells the sad story of Captain William Turner, last master of the Cunard liner ‘Lusitania’ and his struggle with Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty.

‘Lusitania’ was attacked by a German submarine, the U-20, off the Old Head of Kinsale in Southern Ireland in 1915. She sank in 18 minutes with catastrophic loss of life.

The affair remains very controversial to this day, but recent release of the Supplementary Cargo Manifest leaves no doubt that the ‘Lusitania’ was transporting munitions from the USA as well as fare paying passengers.

In a blatant attempt to cover up the real circumstances, Winston Churchill and his First Sea Lord, Jackie Fisher, contrived to lay the blame at the feet of William Turner. Like many men, both before and after, Bill Turner was set up as a scapegoat to protect the reputations of the powerful.

Churchill’s witch hunt would wreck Bill’s life!


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