If you’re interested in archery, you’re likely inspired by Robin Hood, Green Arrow, and Katniss, but even these archer all-stars make mistakes sometimes. Let’s take a look.
Katniss – The Hunger Games
Problem: She doesn’t have a clear anchor point.
This scene is a typical case of the Hollywood anchor. The anchor is the point at which the hand is supposed to rest on the face when you draw the string all the way back. The Hollywood anchor is set somewhere under or away from the face to showcase the actor’s entire face for the pretty shot. Unfortunately, as nice as the shot looks, the arrow wouldn’t have hit its target.
Green Arrow – Arrow
Problem: No anchor point!
Green Arrow has a notoriously bad habit of anchoring all over the place. In these scenes, you can see his anchor switch from near his face to his chest, and even shooting from his hip – which isn’t really possible.
Legolas – Lord of the Rings
Problem: Shooting the bow sideways.
Legolas likes those fancy Hollywood face shots just as much as any famous archer, but I have to burst your bubble here. Bows aren’t meant to be shot sideways, and if they are, you’ll get what’s called a bow hickie – a bruise caused by the string scraping your arm. In these scenes, Legolas would be lucky if he didn’t pull the skin off his arm in the process.
Mia – The Princess Diaries
Problem: Everything, just, everything.
Use this as the best example of what not to do in archery.
However, for some encouragement, here are some scenes with good archery form:
Ygritte – Game of Thrones
Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
Merida – Brave
If there are some archers I’ve missed that you’d like to see, let me know in the comments below!