Stunt School Day 2 – Fights, Falls, Flying, & No Drowning

Travis Cool, Stunt Work, Video Leave a Comment

Timeframe: Left hotel at 8am, returned at 9:30 pm
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Today was awesome! Still really had no idea what to expect, so I was more anxious about not knowing than about doing the stunts.

Side Note: All the videos in the post are unedited (except I took out a word from the fight scene, ha), and I’m not sure if they’re in the correct order or not, but doesn’t matter.  Also, all the vids are HD so you may need to change the quality setting.

You can watch the final edited version (aka sweet Demo Reel) at the bottom…

And, here’s a quick shot of the studio we were using…

We started with fight scene work. After practicing for a while, working on angles and timing and “selling it”, we were paired up and given scenarios to create a quick little fight scene skit. My stunt partner Alex and I had the scenario of a jerk that was always harassing his coworker. So I was the jerk.

Then we moved on to box rig falls. This fall was about 10-12 feet, and we fell backwards into a layer of boxes and matts. The boxes were 14″x14″x14″, and all the pads were probly about 14″ also. (Maybe a lil more). So about 28-30″ of stuff to fall onto.

So we would stand on the ledge, and then just fall backwards and flail our arms and legs and try to land as flat as possible. Like someone pushed you off a balcony or something.

Next was wirework. First we did a Matrix style stunt where you get pulled up in the air and fly forward a lil bit. For this we just did a side kick into a mat one of us was holding. It was a bit awkward, but I know with practice it would be easier.

After that was a back flip off a wooden box that was about 3 feet tall. This stunt gave me the most trouble because for weeks I’ve been practicing doing back flips on my own. In this stunt, you don’t need to jump at all because the pullers do that for you, but I was jumping, so it threw everything off.

There’s one clip where I don’t think I was completely ready to go and they pulled before I took off and the flip didn’t happen. They saved my bacon on that on. Mmmmm bacon! (You’ll see).

However, once I stopped jumping, it went ‘ok’. I think it would have been easier just to back flip off the box with no wires. haha. So I definitely need to work on my wirework.

Next was the ratchet. This was so freakin fun! (Everything was fun, but this was really fun). This stunt involves getting yanked backwards like you’ve been blown up. On the harness, you clip the rope in the middle of your back. The rope goes up to a pulley on the ceiling way behind you. Then you tighten up the slack, and when they say ‘action’, you’re yanked.

There are machines that do the work, but many times people are still used. That is what we did. Two ladders were set up right in front of the person doing the stunt and a plank was put between them. Then two people would grab the rope and jump, and it would pull you super fast, back and up, into a big pad leaning behind us.

There’s a hilarious (at least to all of us) blooper toward the beginning, and the same blooper from a different angle at 43 seconds. HAHAHAHAHA!!!

The final stunt for the day was the underwater fight scene… Which I was super stoked about {sarcasm font}.

I really don’t care for water, unless I’m drinking it. ha! And we had to jump in the deep end of the pool with a knife and our stunt partner and go as deep as possible and grab each other’s wrists and flip and roll to simulate an underwater struggle with a knife. Oh, AND… While exhaling so there would be bubbles making the struggle look even more intense.

It “sounds” way simpler than it actually is. Even the advanced swimmers in the class had trouble. Synchronizing the flipping was the hardest thing I think. You’ll see… Some of them are pretty hilarious. Just flailing and stuff. LOL!

I think we accomplished it, or came really close. (We only watched the video real quick on a small screen, and I was freeeezing my arse off). Either way, I’m just glad I made myself do it and that I didn’t drown. Cuz that would have made for a bad weekend.

Demo Reel Note:  I couldn’t remove the ads from YouTube because of the song.
Click Here to Watch the Demo Reel

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