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Horses, Ships And Costumes
To remain true to the period, the actors in Troy who ride horses had to learn to ride bareback, an accomplishment that challenges even the most experienced of equestrians due to the difficulty of remaining balanced on a horse without a saddle. As the leader of Troy's elite Apollonian Guard, Bana in particular had to master the skill; with up to 80 riders behind him, it was imperative that he be able to safely maneuver. "Hector is a breaker of horses,” Petersen stresses. "He's a horseman, and Eric had no idea how to ride a horse, so he had to learn from scratch. Now he feels like he was born on a horse.”

"I started training back home in Australia months before we started the production,” says Bana, "and then kept up that training all the way through. I had six or eight people attack me and try and push me off my horse, to train me not to panic if I get in a situation on the set where horses and people go crazy, and you could potentially get pushed off your horse. But I had some wonderful days during filming – Orlando and I had many moments galloping along the beach on our stallions off company hours. And you just turn around to each other and say, ‘How good is this?'”

Horse master Jordi Casares trained the actors and designed all the stunts involving horses. It took six weeks prior to filming to train the horses to perform their stunts. Crowd control was an obstacle in training the sensitive animals. 

"The most difficult issue for me to deal with on this film was when we had actors on the chariots, being pulled by the horses,” Casares remembers. "During battle, there might be 500 extras with the spears and lances surrounding the horses, and it's natural for them to be scared of spears and sticks or any fast movements. A horse could take off on a chariot with an actor on it, and they will run over anything. They'll take down extras, cameras, anything in their path.” 

The 1,000 ships launched by Helen's flight from Sparta were crafted for the film in a variety of fashions. Two fully functional, 40-yard-long engine-driven ships were built in Malta out of steel and clad in wood, on which the scenes at sea were filmed. 

"The practical ships were an amazing technological feat,” Phelps reveals. "If you're going to have cast and crew onboard the ship it has to meet all sorts of regulations – they have to be certified and life jackets and lifeboats must be concealed on board, so we had to build in all of these hidden compartments. And we had a professional rigger, which gives us that element of reality and extra dressing and detail and which makes the ships look believable. So these were proper, legitimate vessels that we built.” 

Since the two seaworthy practical ships had to stand in for several different vessels, Phelps and company had to find a way to give them a new identity with just a couple of hours notice. Their solution was to change the eyes on the front of the ships, and design a distinct graphic for each of the kings' sails. Achilles' Myrmidons are easy to pick out, as theirs is the only black sail in the fleet.

For scenes of the Greek encampment shot on the beach in Mexico, four ships were built – three full ships and two half ships. Since they would remain beached throughout shooting, these crafts were able to be built entirely of wood, which contributed to their visual authenticity.

With the exception of two ships that are real, the magnificent shots of the 1,000 ships of the Greek Armada sailing for Troy were digitally rendered by Framestore CFC, the largest visual effects and computer animation company in Europe.

As with all other aspects of the production, authenticity was vital to the design of the thousands of costumes needed to outfit the massive cast, stuntmen and extras of Troy. However, as the story takes place 1,200 years BC, there is very little reference information that a

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