A loving tribute to 5 years of Tier 1 Military Simulations events.

They say that it is only when you lose something that you realise the value it had. That emotional wrench requires a loss of access. Not that airsoft is banned or that I am banned from enjoying it; but, we (my friends and I) tried to attend other events, I was even offered (very generously) positions of filmmaker in lieu of playing fees, and yet – we couldn’t get excited by the action or involved in the role play.

I present here an argument that tier 1 was unique in the pantheon of airsoft companies, that it tried – and bloody well succeeded – in doing something very very high end. All the elements were in place: The core team were either ex-military or professionally trained by the same, the stories and “serials” were designed and delivered by experts, the locations were the best and came with hired role players, and the marshalling was (if I may say so) pretty good.

Taken all together, the whole became far more than the sum of its parts with a focus on quality over profit. Much like the best opera – you put money in, you get opera out. Tier 1 offered something rare in airsoft events, it only cared about giving people an authentic experience. Even if that came at a cost to the player happiness. I recall vividly one night assault, where the blue side came up on the staging area for the assault early. It was absolutely pissing in rain; but, the marine-hardened leaders of Tier 1 didn’t care. We stood in that rain, ready to assault, for 40 minutes, like Spartans. Only on the agreed time did we charge. In another event, a helicopter assault was planned against a building selected by a spotting team. Any other company would have faked the spotting team pinpointing the building; but, no – Tier 1 sent out a serving marine to crawl around in the dark to use actual military listening equipment to actually find the building.

This level of detail was what I tried to capture in my films. Many airsoft films are little more than “look at me, how awesome I am” ego’fests, and I am not saying I don’t include my own achievements; but, I worked very hard to try and capture the spirit of the event, and not just my contribution.

For this film, I went back to the original film files. All the way back to my long term storage systems and 500gb of files in the project. It was an epic undertaking; but, by doing it this way I could render it out in high quality and I could use the original sound data. This has led to a far improved final result and also enabled me to colour the film across all the events; and not be stuck with the colouring of the original productions.

I am very happy with this film, and I see it as a fitting tribute to those incredible 5 years of events Tier 1 achieved as a brotherhood, a family.

So, this is for Ed, for Mark, for Shez, for Robbie, for Tricky, for Mike, for Lex and for all my milsim brothers (especially those from the early years such as Stu and Dan).

Let us not forget – we were awesome.