Honesty – transparency – accuracy – friendship – kindness
How the Arrows Vs Armour series came about and how we approach it, from Tod’s point of view.
Mike (director/editor) and I are old friends, archers, reenactors and guys interested in medieval archery who spent many evenings sitting around campfires talking about what longbows did and could have done, might have done and could not have done…….. but not actually doing it for real. Without actually testing the bows, arrows and armour, everything, everything, is just speculation. In May 2019 we decided to stop talking about it and start doing it, so I made some phone calls.
I knew Kevin Legg (armourer) very well, Will Sherman (fletcher) a tiny bit and Joe Gibbs (archer/bowyer) not at all, but we all knew of each other and when I called up and asked them to shoot real arrows at a real breastplate from a real longbow, they all jumped at the chance to be involved. The timescales were tight, just 4 weeks from the first phone call to the first film and the I asked Dr Toby Capwell to join the gang and we were complete.
The deal was this and was simple. Make a historically accurate breastplate from around the battle of Agincourt, shoot it with historical arrows from a proper weight bow and talk about what happens. No pre-written scripts, no hype, no fluff, no pre-determined TV outcomes; just factual truth. What happens is what we show you.
This last line “What happens is what we show you.” is really important, because it means so much. We could mislead, misrepresent, fake, cut out, lie, hide, exaggerate and whatever else just to make a film, to prove a point, to entertain; but what does that achieve? What’s the point?
A very important part of this is not just how we present our films but the equipment we use. Naturally some people disagree with what choices we made for equipment or how we set up the tests, but importantly we try to give as much information as possible, to allow you to decide if what you are seeing is valid. We tell you everything and hide nothing.
So the philosophy is tell the truth in all ways, always.
This means, show what we do, how we do it and what we do it with and then talk about what actually happened, not what we wanted to happen. Simple.
The last part of the philosophy is to be kind and this is important too. The quality of discussion and exchange of ideas on these films is extraordinarily high and we love it. If the conversation and discussion is engaging, non-confrontational, informational and kind it encourages people to participate and the shouters shout less and in turn get drowned out by politeness. Be polite, always, and it leaves room for a real conversation.
The formula seems to work, a splash of archery, mixed with Honesty -transparency -accuracy -friendship – kindness