200 people get that chance to play “Call of Duty” in real life this weekend. It was part of a military simulation being filmed at Camp LaGuardia. It's also part of the effort to make the area more attractive to film and production crews. As one executive producer told us, it's Camp LaGuardia's unique history that makes it an ideal backdrop. Our Karen Tararache explains.
ORANGE COUNTY, N.Y. -- To the untrained eye, this looks like a military operation.
And, well, it basically is, except with air soft weapons and biodegradable ammunition.
"The best way to explain this is you play call of duty or battlefield, you take that 3D and that's us. We give you the very cool locations, you see on the video game maps and then you become Sergeant Woods in ‘Call of Duty,’” said John Lu, Executive Producer.
"I really enjoy it. You get to breach rooms. It's stuff that you generally don't see because it's a real world application as opposed to playing against plywood bunkers or that sort of thing,” said Michael Cook, Participant.
The event is an installment of the Operation Lion Claws Military Simulations Series and video training exercise. They're the largest producer of organized air soft military simulations in the United States.
200 people from all over the country are taking part in the mock-combat missions at Camp LaGuardia. But it's about more than just war games.
"We don't glorify combat in any way. What we do with the combat series is a Mil Sim which is military simulations and at these games we play honor to our forces soldiers who are fighting overseas. We also give them homage and it also gives the people a taste of what our soldiers are going through in the real world,” said MS Howard "Mad-Max" Mullen, Retired Army Ranger.
The event is also an effort to boost Orange County's profile as a film and production destination. This spring, the Orange County Arts Council launched the Orange County NY Film Office, which made filming this military simulation at Camp LaGuardia a reality.
"We are always searching for unique locations and that is kind of the key of our production. The location itself has to be unique. And When we found Camp LaGuardia, we studied the history of it and we thought this place is very interesting,” said Lu.