Movie set debacle

My children and I were “extras” in the upcoming movie called “Under Jacob’s ladder”, 1920’s drama taking place in Soviet Ukraine during Stalin-induced famine. You know, the usual stuff, NKVD, concentation camps, prisoners murdered, cemeteries etc. I asked a NKVD guard involved in a scene I did not see, what type of gun he had, he said he was given a Colt rifle, even though the way he handled it in front of the camera did not show too much of the gun. I did not even think of looking inside his ammo pouch. Do I hear DocAV chuckling on the other side of the world? My kids on the set.

Vlad–WOW!! A genuine Movie STAR family among us. I bet it was interesting to to be able to observe what goes on in making a movie. Where was it actually filmed?

It is being filmed in Chester, NY. Here is movie’s historical info Well, I don’t think we are “stars” but we are definitely “extras” which means you’ll see us about 2 seconds on screen. I just wanted my children to see first hand the headache of making a movie.


I have three questions for you:

  1. Have you taken a stage name?

  2. Will us commoners still be able to talk to you about bullets?

  3. You’ve probably been asked this many times before but, how did you get such good looking kids??

Did you consider advising the Producer and Director that the prop guns were not correct? I know that they like to get advice from the extras.

If they need a title for the movie I know a good one. Chester In Da Moonlight.

Ray ;) ;) ;)

Yea. What Ray asked. I’m just waiting for the National Enquirer stories about him. The telephoto beach shots, passed out, in a pile of ammo, at a gun show, that sorta stuff.

Actually, I did talk briefly with the director, script writer and main character actors, they were very nice. I asked the assistant director to see what she described as non-firing guns but got a distinct feeling that she was very uncomfortable talking about guns so I did not address the correct armament issue any further. Yes, I did change my name legally into SKSVLAD, and you may send your fan letters and ammunition donations to “”. Thank you for your support.

Someday I can tell my grandkids, “I knew SKSVLAD back when he was plain old sksvlad.”


Someday?!?! I’m tellin’ 'em now!

Thanks, guys, I’ll autograph your .22 long rifles next time I am at SLICS.

Firstly, in the 1920s, they were called the CHEKA, (Director Felix Dzerzhinsky); the NKVD was only “rebadged” and re-organised in the mid 1930s). But the nick-name “Chekist” or “Milicia” remained right thru to the 1980s.
A Colt rifle could only be Berdan N0.1 Rifle, developed by Berdan Himself, a central cocking piece trapdoor Musket, in 10,66x57R Berdan cartridge. The first 100,000 or so were assembled by Colt, but with “Cyrrillic markings” There were still plenty arround ( as well as the bolt action Berdan II) after the Revolution. And the CHEKA/NKVD “footsoldiers” did not get priority on Rifles, unless engaged in full Operations ( such as the campaigns against the Tartars or the Central Asian Muslim Tribes in the 1930s).

It could also be that the deactivated Muskets were the only small arms they could get without too much hassles from Police ( suspicious lot in any country), although I have seen Russian (Generic) films which were exact in all details. Must have had Red(Soviet) Army support ( as they usually did back in Soviet days).

There is another Film to look out for, about the Russo Turkish War of 1877-78…called “The Turkish Gambit”…one of a series of detective novels set in the 1870s-1890s, with our “Inquisitor” (of the “Imperial Police”) as our hero.

THis includes scenes of the Siege of Plevna ( read SAOTW and contemprary records by both German and US Military Observers.).

Doc AV
AV Ballistics.

  • Well, it’s time to have today a rising star [like “sksvlad”] in the film industry, a real man who likes guns and ammo, a person who does respect the right of the people to own legally firearms. Most of the stars from Hollywood today are nothing but BAD example for everyone and anti-gun fanatics who have made huge fortunes for themselves playing in violent, stupid movies. Liviu 05/03/09


You and your kids being in that particular movie must have generated a few emotional moments for you.


If you came to last SLICS and saw my stomach, you would know that I have absolutely no concept of hunger and starvation.
Doc, you have an amazing memory, of course, you are right, it was called “Ch K”, 2 letters, “Ч К” (Черезвычайная Коммисия) which means a “Commitee of Extraordinary Matters”, Felix was in a rush, so many things to see, so many people to execute.

You know you have to fall out a night club drunk and in the company of an un-named blonde who’s half your age AT LEAST once a week now you are famous. Its in the contract.

If it gets to be a drag always remember I don’t mind helping out from time to time.

Actually there are a lot of film /firearms related inaccuracies. It might be fun to see if we could get a thread going on it.

Just as a quick example. In the film Zulu troops are seen firing their martini rifles without reloading them between shots and although there is the sound of a shot there is no smoke or recoil.

That is AWESOME! Too cool! I can not wait to see that movie now to try and find you guys. Now come on down to Miami so we can film you wrestling something with big teeth for your portfolio :-) Haha!

PS: Post a pic of you after they made you up in your character if you have one so we can ID you in the film, if possible!!!

[quote=“Vince Green”]
Actually there are a lot of film /firearms related inaccuracies. It might be fun to see if we could get a thread going on it.

Just as a quick example. In the film Zulu troops are seen firing their martini rifles without reloading them between shots and although there is the sound of a shot there is no smoke or recoil.[/quote]

Here is a picture of Michael Caine with a Webley Mark VI revolver, even though the film was set in 1879 and this revolver was introduced in 1915.

Jason, I don’t want to scare IAA members by posting my own pictures, but here are a couple of 1930’s shots of my grandfather Eugene with a bunch of famous people. I am sure DocAV heard these names. Babel was beaten to death by NKVD

1930’s, left to right,Isaac Emmanuilovich Babel,Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein,Valentina Milman(Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg’s secretary),Eugene Gregorievich Bermont

1930’s,right to left,Eugene Gregorievich Bermont,Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein,skip one,Isaac Emmanuilovich Babel,skip two,Valentina Milman(Ilya Grigoryevich Ehrenburg’s secretary).

You rule! Thank you for those fantastic pictures! They are great!


Yes, I know the work of Eisenstien well ( “Battleship Potemkin”, Winter Palace (“Revolution” or “Oktober”) and “Alexander Nevskij” (I think).

Babel’s name came up in one of the 3 Volumes of “Gulag Achipelago”, by Solghenistin ( read originally in Italian, back in 1974-75, when I was studying for Language Entrance Examinations in Turin University. Not much info, except that he was “liquidated” by the NKVD ( “Che Ka”) for not being “Soviet” enough for Stalin’s liking ( …“pour encorager les autres”, as Solghenistin remarked.)

Dark History, but history none the less, to be revered by the descendants.

Doc AV
A V Ballistics