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Archive for the category “Film and TV”

Nock Out: Archery’s First Reality Show

While it’s cool watching fictional archers in films like The Hunger Games and the TV show Arrow, it’s even better to see professional archers in action. Unfortunately, outside of the Olympics, we archery fans must get our fix by watching competitions on the Archery TV YouTube channel. Occasionally on Top Shot, the History Channel’s marksmen reality show, you may see archery included in the competition.

Nock Out contestant, Rowdy Dowdy

Nock Out contestant, Rowdy Dowdy

Thankfully, this summer the NBC Sports Network has launched a reality show devoted to Archery–Nock Out. The series first episode aired July 26th 2013.

I only discovered the show a few weeks ago due to one of Facebook’s page suggestions. Thank you, Facebook.

Nock Out is a reality show similar to Top Shot with the exception that instead of changing weapons each week, the competitors use their own bows in each competition. All of the archers are using compound bows, sorry recurve lovers. And, so far, the competitions have been field archery challenges.

Like other reality shows, the archers are divided into teams, in this case three teams. The two lowest performing teams of the week’s main competition, have to pick a person to compete in a head-to-head shoot-off to stay in the competition or go home.

As an archery fan, I must admit that the head-to-head shoot-off can be more fun to watch than the team competition. It’s a nail-biter. The stakes are high, the margin of error low and the competition’s tough. You’re wondering who’s going to blink first.

Nock Out Contestant, Laurie Leroy

Nock Out Contestant, Laurie Leroy

There are few sporting events in which you’ll see men and women competing together. It happens in tennis with mixed doubles but it’s pretty rare. That’s one of the cool things about Nock Out. The men and women compete as teammates and occasionally against one another–one-on-one. It shows that in archery, how well you shoot isn’t always about strength but about technique, experience and how well you compete under pressure.

The contestants are a diverse group, as far as age (18-64) and gender goes, of professional archers. One of my favorites has been 64 year old Connie Calloway. She took up archery in 1977 and turned pro in 1992. She got knocked out in a head-to-head shoot-off last week, but she’s a great example of how this sport is one you can practice for a lifetime. Then there’s the inspirational archer Matt Stutzman, the 2012 Paralympics silver medalist, who is very much giving the other archers a run for their money.

Overall, I think it’s a great show and I hope it does well enough this season to have a season two. Tune in and check it out before the season ends. The show airs Fridays at 1pm on the NBC Sports Network. Go to their site to see what channel it airs on in your area.

Check out the season’s first episode here.

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Superheroes vs. The Olympians

I don’t know about you, but I cringe whenever I see an archer with bad form. This is mostly because I’m an archery instructor.  As an instructor, I’m trained to stress form a lot when I teach beginner archers.  It is an integral part of learning the craft.  Lately, archery has become very popular in movies and TV.  So, I thought it would be interesting to see how the Superheroes match up to the 2012 Olympian Archers in a head-to-head competition of form.

Yes, I know the Olympian’s are FITA shooters and not traditional shooters but there are some fundamentals that apply across all archery styles.  With that said, let’s get to the fun stuff and see how the Super archers compare with the Olympians.

Hawkeye (left), Brady Ellison (right)

First, let’s compare Hawkeye of The Avengers with Brady Ellison, who won silver on the men’s archery Olympic team this year.  Hawkeye’s form is all off.  His right elbow is rotated inward and his shoulder is pushed up.  Not to mention that he is wearing two arm guards.  Did this guy even get a lesson in archery?  Brady’s left arm, his bow arm, is straight.  The left elbow is not rotated and his shoulder is down, relaxed.  His right arm and elbow are straight back and in line with his bow arm, unlike Hawkeye’s chicken wing which is pointing upward.  Ellison’s grip is precise, while Hawkeye’s grip is too tight.  Not sure if you can compare the grip of a FITA archer with a bare bow archer. FITA archers don’t, to my knowledge, grip the bow as much as they let it rest there.  The finger sling catches the bow when they release.  Bare bow shooters have a firmer grip.

Oh Jin Hyek (left), The Green Arrow (right)

For our next round, we have Oh Jin Hyek, Korean’s gold medalist at the 2012 Olympics going against Green Arrow from the CW’s upcoming Arrow TV series.  Hyek’s anchor, the point at which the fingers of the draw hand touches the face, is solid, right under his chin.  Green Arrow’s anchor is non-existent.  Now, I’m a traditional shooter and my anchor point is the corner of my mouth. I don’t see him anchoring anywhere.  No anchor point equals no consistency and a really bad aim.

The Green Arrow’s bow arm is bent in comparison to Hyek’s fully extended arm.  When the bow arm is bent like that, you can’t get the push-pull effect that is needed to steady the bow arm. When the arm is fully extended, your skeleton supports the weight of the bow resulting in less strain and a stable form. When the arm is collapsed the form becomes less stable because you’re using more muscle to keep a steady aim and push against the weight of the bow.  Hyek’s right elbow goes straight back and is horizontally in line with his bow arm.  This is perfect form.  The Green Arrow has collapsed his form making it very difficult to shoot consistently.

Khatuna Lorig (left), Katniss Everdeen (right)

In this round, it’s teacher vs. pupil. It has been reported that Khatuna Lorig, USA’s 1992 Bronze medalist and fourth place finisher in the 2012 Olympics coached Jennifer Lawrence in the Hunger Games.  I’ve seen the movie and Katniss is pretty good compared to the other Superheroes, however in the picture in this analysis not so much.  Katniss has her right elbow sticking way out.  It should be behind her, as shown in her mentor’s picture.  Unlike Khatuna, Katiness does not even anchor her draw hand, leaving her unsteady and ultimately unable to shoot that bullseye she shot in the movie.  Between you and me, I think Khatuna made that shot for her.  What do you think?

All in all, I think our Superheroes have their work cut out for them.  I mean if you are going to portray an archer at least do it accurately.

ESPN and Brady Ellison Break Down the Mechanics of Archery

John Brenkus and the ESPN Sport Science team examine the science behind Olympic gold medal contendor Brady Ellison’s archery skills.

Pixar’s Brave: And the Verdict is?

Pixar’s latest release Brave has been out for three weeks now. And, in this year filled with archery themed movies and TV shows, I think it may have dropped the ball in regards to continuing the archery craze.

Brave did well at the box office but, unlike The Hunger Games, it hasn’t really caught fire with movie goers. Where Hunger Games inspired many to try out the sport-overwhelming local archery ranges and instructors in the process-and even the creation of a Meetup group in its name, Brave hasn’t had such an impact. Granted, Brave didn’t have the benefit of being based on a highly successful book series with a built-in fan base.

So, I ask my fellow archers, what’s the verdict?

Leave your comments on the blog and let us know what you liked or didn’t like about the movie.

Arrow: Extended Preview from the CW

Here’s an extended preview of the Arrow pilot from the CW. It gives a few more hints or flashes of Oliver Queen’s back story. You get a better sense of the show’s tone. This isn’t Smallville. Arrow has a grittier, edgier feel and is definitely more violent. And there appears to be a hint of a possible nemesis in this preview. Deathstroke? Lastly, there are exploding arrows! Something every archer wants in his or her quiver.

By the way, if you’re going to Comic-Con next month, you may be lucky enough to actually see a screening of the pilot.

Here you go:

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