46 x 45’ / 16:9



Nikos Perakis (ep.1-5), Yiorgos Kordelas, Panayiotis Portokalakis
Nikos Perakis (ep.1-5), Chariton Charitonidis, Vangelis Seitanidis, Katerina Bei

The series’ long history begins in 1983 when, trying to fund LOAFING+CAMOUFLAGE, I used the abundant material I had collected to write story lines for a six-episode mini series that would be shot in parallel with the film and use the same actors and locations. But ERT – the public Hellenic Radio and Television company – then a monopoly, rejected the proposal, probably for the same reasons the army refused to lend us even a single button. Nobody wanted to embarrass the repentant officers who seamlessly continued their careers.

After the commercial success of the film ERT was interested in six half-hour episodes, which of course we never shot but finally compromised with four, which were even aired two or three times in an arbitrarily edited version presented as a "movie", forcing us to go to court. With the emergence of private television STEFI Films, co-producer of LOAFING, decided to produce TV programmes and asked me to find partners for a multi-episode "Loafing". I worked with Dimitris Nollas, Manos Efstratiadis, Vangelis Raptopoulos and Vassilis Nemeas to organize the existing material for the first of 52 episodes. The major private channels showed initial interest, which always evaporated as soon they saw the budget, so the project was again put on the shelf.

Fifteen years later and only because of the commercial success of "Sirens in the Aegean" the so-called commercial channels asked for an "army series", but set in the present.

If the politics had supported independent media, I might have risked it, not only to take my little revenge on the army for making my life so for giving me such a rough time, but because by then there were allegations about useless arms programmes and raging rumors about commissions and bribes. But a series set during the seven-year rule of the junta remained an unfulfilled desire, and of course I didn’t want my corpse found washed up on some rocky shore or in a ditch beside the Attica Motorway.

In the end I escaped the dilemma, because the channels interested had reconsidered and imagined that a few soldiers on a rocky islet are not only funny but also cost practically nothing. Meanwhile the public channel NET had been convinced that with "Loafing, the series" it could revise its repressed past as "TED" ("Armed Forces Television"), in 1966 the first and only military channel with a terrestrial frequency in Europe.


The press release distributed by NET television when the airing of the series began, mentioned that "The theme of the series is TED, the first Greek Military TV Channel and the life of the soldiers who served there, from its foundation until the creation of its successor, YENED (Armed Forces Information Service). The adventures of the heroes have as background the tragic national adventures of that period, which coincides with the initiation and establishment of the seven-year dictatorship." For those who have seen or will see the series, if public television –still under reconstitution– ever re-broadcasts them, I would add that many episodes, such as the paradoxical posting of Savvides's detachment to OTE – Hellenic Telecom Organization - were real events. But others, such as the made-for-TV "Fall of Constantinople" and the journey in time on the destroyer LEON – the renamed USS Eldridge that had been beamed to a different time during the "Philadelphia experiment" – were products of the imagination of screenwriters Bei, Charitonidis and Seitanidis, inspired by the aesthetics of the "Military virtue of the Hellenes" and the junta - see RESEARCH.


On SIRENS IN THE AEGEAN I met many actors that I would like to have had for key roles in the series, but the casting director had to recruit a whole battalion of soldiers with its full hierarchy of officers. In an era of mad competition between private channels, when even inexperienced actors were playing simultaneously in two serials as well as the theatre, we had to shoot nightmarishly crowded scenes such as morning, night and extraordinary battalion inspections assemblies, alerts and celebrations, where "all hands" had to be present in the camp and in the scene. This alone would exclude from the beginning the participation of many actors, a lot of them potentially interesting. On the other hand, it was a good opportunity to meet new actors. Eleftheria Dimitromanolaki must have taped over 100 actors, apart from those who remained in the company’s archive from SIRENS and other recent productions. For the final selection I met with only those who gave us priority for the shooting and it was them I had to persuade since not all parts were leading roles nor equally interesting. I have scanned only three pages with frames from Eleftheria’s casting videos.



Papadopoulos Ioannis
Orfeas Avgoustidis
Lambrou Achileas
Yiannis Tsimitselis
Marlafekas Dionysios
Konstantinos Danikas
Savidis Petros
Charis Mavroudis
Karamanos Michail
Nikos Yialelis
Yiorgakis the sound man
Stelios Xanthoudakis
Andreas Kontopoulos
Apostolou the bucket
Alexandros Yiannou
Patrikios Kostis
Triantafyllakis the editor
Chrisovalantis Kostopoulos
the cook
Themis Angelopoulos
Nikos Karapanos
Sotiris Mentzelos
Akis Lyris
Thanos Chronis
unit bar tender
Christos Karnakis
unit policeman
Sotiris Dimikounis
TED station soldiers
Yiorgos Demertzidis, Efthimis Balayiannis, Vagelis Karayiannis, Manolis Ibraimakis
outpost soldiers
Achmet Chatzisouleiman, Dimitris Mikios


Colonel Kontelis
Dinos Avgoustidis
Lieutenant-colonel Katsambelas
Tasos Kostis
major, counterintelligence
Manolis Mavromatakis
Manos Pintzis
staff sergeant
Petros Petrakis
unit police corporal
Antonis Chantzis
brigadier at outpost
Yiannis Kokkiasmenos
Sergeant at outpost
Yiorgos Demertzis


Elektra Tsakalia
Jenni Theona
Alkistis Poulopoulou
Danae Theodoridou
Monica Bolla
Mrs Lambrou
Sofi Zaninnou
Mr Karlatos
Pantelis Dentakis
Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos
Yiorgos Galitis
Grigoris Stamoulis
bus driver
Dimitris Liolios
Mr Menelaos, bar owner
Andreas Koutsourelis
anchor women
Katerina Dede, Chara Kamenidou
Angela El Zeid
souvlaki roaster
Andonis Samaras


Nikos Perakis
directors (6-46
Yiorgos Kordelas, Panayiotis Portokalakis
writer (6-45
Chariton Charitonidis, Vangelis Seitanidis, Katerina Bei
Kostas Lambropoulos
director of photography
Yiorgos Mikelis
line producer
Yiorgos Papadatos
production manager
Michalis Karachalios
assistant prod.manager
Dimitris Chatzivogiatzis
Nikos Mamangakis
sound engineer
Panos Papadimitriou
costume designer
Maria Magira
set designer
Sofia Zoumberi
Lambis Charalambidis
sound mixer
Yiorgos Faskiotis
1st assistant directors
Nikos Kyriazidis, Panayiotis Portokalakis
Nikos Perakis’s assistant
Yiorgis Grigorakis
2nd assistant directors
Filio Stefanopoulou, Liza Apostolopoulou
Anna Petridou
Eleftheria Dimitromanolaki
assistant costume designer
Anjy Raftakopoulou
Vasiliki Elmenoglou
Kyriaki Melidou
Angeliki Balodimou
set design assistants
Fotini Stergiou, Yiannis Mermelas
Yiannis Petris
props men
Yiannis Mylonas, Alekos Kalogeropoulos
asst. directors of photography
Thanos Papathanasiou, Kostas Lachanas
Yiorgos Grammatikos
Yiorgos Papayiannopoulos, Kostas Panagopoulos
Christos Papayiannopoulos
trailer editing
Thanasis Papathanasiou, Thanasis Dovas
boom man
Yiannis Kariyiannis
music coaching
Dimitris Dermanis
classical guitar coaching
Chrysostomos Karanioniou
Dimitris Livanos
Lizeta Kalimeri
production secretary
Yeoryia Saranti, Efi Skrobola
financial supervisor
Marina Stilianou
public relations
Gogo Avyerinopoulou, Mary Avyerinopoulou
post production
Graal S.A.
post production manager
Irini Vouyioukalou
post production co-ordinator
Karolina Kosmetatou
color correction+visual effects
Nikos Panderis
title design+visual effects
Manos Chamilakis
Ippokratis Chalas, Myrto Karra
VTR operator
Nikoleta Bizou
technical support
Thanasis Bouzanis
film archive


delegate producer
executive producer
CL Production


an ERT production
© 2006 ERT


When LOAFING and CAMOUFLAGE was in pre-production in 1984, and I was searching in the public TV archives for material my cinematographer colleagues had shot for Army TV and the cinematography unit of the Army Geographical Service in 1966-68, I found only a few negatives scattered in three lockers. From the Army TV civilian staff that was still there in 1982, when it was renamed ERT2 (National Radio Television 2), I learned that they had moved the Army archives to a basement that had flooded and they managed to save only a few negatives. I borrowed some "suspicious" ones to print and see what they contained: nothing of interest for the film. We applied and were able to do research in the archives of the Press Ministry and there we found quite a lot of newsreels from the period 1966-68. Major topics and key shots were missing from many of them. The archivists complained that in the early post-junta years unscrupulous journalists had borrowed the newsreels, cut out what they needed and returned the remnants. A veteran editor revealed to me that they had simply removed footage of known public personalities. We borrowed some negatives from the period and printed them. The controversial footage was missing, but I had enough material for the film.

Fortunately, when we started the series in 2006, the archives of the contracting channel, ERT, had been organized and we found many Army newsreels that someone had probably "salvaged" from the flood. We even found shots of the nocturnal swearing-in of the coup leaders filmed by Panousopoulos, and the shot of putschist colonel Makarezos with the shadow of a desk lamp handle on his forehead. The gloating of the conspirators was so great that they weren't paying attention to such details and Panousopoulos was spared a court-martial (see SCENES).


The head titles of the episodes, mounted as a teaser for a self-promoting "Army Geographic Service" newsreel, are the most descriptive introduction to the seven-year dictatorship. The excerpts I chose from the five episodes I shot contain scenes I was not able to shoot for the film back in ‘84, for budgetary, but also for duration reasons. Among them there are also scenes I re-shot, trying with great zeal to remake the respective scenes of the movie. In the scene where Papadopoulos returns to his unit in the dawn of April 21, I was even forced to use footage from the film because there was no way to get tanks on the streets or empty them of parked cars. In some shots even Nikos Kalogeropoulos’s back is playing, after we digitally 'stretched' him to make him taller to match Orpheas Avgoustidis, who again had to imitate the gait of the original.



The contracting channel, ΝΕΤ (New Hellenic Television), nursed the series with frequent broadcasts of trailers. After all, we were telling the story of the channel's own dark history, which was destined to grow darker*... In the black and white trailer edited by Thanasis Papathanasiou we used the most «evocative» reports shot by GYS cameramen, and we "embeded" our protagonists into footage of some "historical" events, such as Colonel Katsambelas (Tasos Kostis) at the swearing-in of the "National Government" with co-conspirator General Yeoryios Zoitakis.

* On 11 June 2013 Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s administration shut down all state (ERT) radio and TV stations in order, as he announced, "to purge the establishment and ban meritocracy and corruption".


In 1984 we shot the playback –as we called music clips- of "I love you" at the Philopappos Monument with the general shooting permit issued by the Ministry of Press and Information. In 2006 the responsible antiques authority refused us permission and then we tried to shoot the scene on the neighbouring hill of the Observatory, with its permission and Acropolis in the background. Before the shoot started, the archaeology staff discovered us and forbade us to shoot with Acropolis as background, so we complied and moved to some crags behind Philopapos hill with sky as background, so as not to waste the day moving around. A lady archaeologist rushed over to inform us that the Archaeological Council gives permits only to films that promote culture, that the whole area belongs to the archaeological site, and that she wouldn't allow us to shoot. I asked her to call the police to remove us and hurried to finish shooting before they came. The police probably never came and the Acropolis was added to the “playback” digitally.

"S’agapo" (I Love You) is probably the most popular song composed by Nikos Mamangakis, with lyrics by Nikos Foskolos and sung by Jenny Vanou – at 57:50 minutes – in his movie "The Avenue of Hate" in front of a curtain that could have been hanging in the TED TV studio.

"The Hitch" sung by Aspasia Stratigou is the most "soldierish" song written by Nikos Mamangakis and Yiorgos Kordelas, who was writing the lyrics for the songs in his own episodes while I was shooting the first ones.