Making of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

Making of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

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– Balaji Thangapandian (BT) | Film Theorist

Micheal Bay has long been associated with military services. He is one of the very few first American filmmakers to use real seal for his blockbuster film ‘ The Rock (1997)’.  He has top level contacts with CIA, marines, Global Response Services (GRS), seal. That’s how he has been able to make compelling war films.

The film 13 hours is based on the real incident happened in Benghazi, Libya on 11th of September 2012, and the book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff. Unlike Micheal Bay’s films, for 13 hours he didn’t cast stars as the film is a real heroic tale and he roped in actors with great talent but relatively unknown.

13 hours is the time period, how long GRS personnel fought with terrorists, who attacked an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and killed the American ambassador. The film is a realistic portrayal of heroic deeds of American soldiers who fought hard, sacrificed their lives for saving others. Michael Bay got the following real personnel, who were involved in the attack for making the film:
– Kristian ” Tanto ” Paronto | Former Marine
– John “Tig” Tiegan | Former Marine
– Mark “Oz” Geist | Former Marine
– Joost Janssen | Former Navy Seal/ GRS operator)
– Harry Humphries | Former Navy Seal/ Military advisor.
They all felt compelled and got involved in the making so that the film gets made realistically.

‘ We all know the story of Benghazi. I saw the news like everyone else here. And, what is interesting when I read the book called 13 Hours, there is an amazing heroic story that happened. The movie is tragic, but it is supposed to inspire you because what you see is a classic nightmare story, and when you have a nightmare, you hope you have the heroes like these to rescue from nightmare. I have been very fortunate since my second movie with Sean Connery ‘ The Rock ‘. I was the first director to have a real seal team in a movie. And, I became friends with lot of seals over the years. I worked with military extensively for 20 years, and the first to use weapons systems, and I have close ties with men and women of military. And, its really an outstanding group of people. One of the things this movie focuses on is ‘Selflessness’. Firemen, policemen, military are the first responders who put their lives ahead of their families to save you and keep you safe. That’s an extraordinary thing, and that’s what this movie honors.’, said Michael Bay, at a premiere.

‘None of you have to go, we are the only help they have.’


13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Micheal Bay


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