Stunt School Day 3 – Guns, Cars, Falls, Tramps, & FIRE!

Travis Cool, Stunt Work, Video Leave a Comment

Timeframe:  Left hotel about 8:15am, returned around 11:30pm.
I may have the order of stunts mixed up, but doesn’t matter.
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Side Note: All the videos in the post are unedited, and I’m not sure if they’re in the correct order or not, but doesn’t matter. To see the final edited version with all the stunts edited together click here (Demo Reel)

Here’s a quick shot of the warehouse we were in…

Started out today going through proper protocol for weapons handling on set, and the difference between weapons handling in the real world versus a movie set. Also went through stances, moving with pistol, and how/where to hold it (again, in the movie world for ‘the camera’, not real life). You gotta pay attention to not cover your face, and make sure it’s “good for the camera”, etc. Real world tactics take second place if it’s not going to ‘look good’.

Then we moved on to being shot. For this, many times they will CGI (use a computer to add it in) the bullets hitting people and blood splattering, and other times they use what are called squibs. A squib is basically a packet of fake blood that explodes to make it look like you were shot. (Explode may be a lil extreme). It makes a loud pop like a big firecracker and feels almost like you got hit with a paintball but not as bad. It does leave a mark though…
Squibby1 560x315

Next was a high(er) box rig fall. I didn’t realize we were doing a bigger fall so was excited. (Although for some reason I was a little anxious about it too. Not sure why cuz it wasn’t really that high. About 20-25 feet, and this time we actually got to jump facing forward). I was told it was higher, but based on the input from everyone jumping, I’m going with 20-25′.

Since this was higher, we started with two layers of 14″ boxes and about 14″ of padding. After everyone jumped a couple times, we took out one of the layers of boxes. So then there was a total of about 28″ of stuff to break our fall.

Similar to the back fall yesterday, we flailed our arms and legs while falling. At first we were just doing the forward fall with the twist at the last minute to our back. Then we moved on to the 3/4 front flip. So, jump off head first, flat, flailing, then at the last minute flip forward and land on your back.

I definitely want to do more of this so it’s like eating bacon… Just second nature.

Then we moved back to guns and shot 10 rounds full auto. That’s not really a “stunt”, but it was setup to show we had experience and to use it for our demo reel (because you never know what “look” they’ll be looking for when casting stunt work).

Next up was mini tramp work. This was using the mini tramp to fly over a wall of boxes while looking like you were being blown up or whatever. So run, jump on mini tramp, fly and flail over boxes, and either 3/4 front flip or twist at the end to land on your back.

That was pretty fun and it came down to more of a timing/aim thing on the mini tramp to get as much height as possible over the boxes.

After that was… The stair roll down 17 fairly steep wooden (luckily) stairs. I’m fairly comfortable with my ability to roll and absorb shock and stuff, but when you get to the top of a set of stairs and know you’re going to throw yourself down them headfirst, it’s a bit weird. haha.

The best way to do it is as fast as possible. Basically, ball up and hall arse making as little contact as possible with the stairs. 😉

We did have a lot of hidden padding on under our normal clothing, and wore a hoodie to hide the helmet. (NOTE: In the real stunt world you don’t get a helmet). I’m pretty certain I would have been fine without the helmet. NO, not because there’s nothing in my head to injure, but because I don’t think I hit my head once.

It was a bit freaky at first, but I went down pretty easy. I did open my legs up toward the bottom to get some flail, but didn’t get them pulled back in fast enough and ended up kinda plunkin on my butt at the bottom. Still was a successful stair fall though! BOOM!

Oh, and only one cut on the outside of my ankle from the whole thing. Thought it would hurt a lot worse. 😉

Next was the car gags. Unfortunately we didn’t get to actually get hit by a car. I assume some students in the past ruined it. Grrrr!! So we did a gag where we were walking down the road and the car came speeding up and clips us (but doesn’t really even touch us) with the corner of the car and sends us flying off to the side. The effect comes from the camera angle in the car and the person doing the stunt flying off to the side.

I did three takes on this one and trust me, flipping and twisting yourself up into the air and landing on the ground rolling away. Asphalt and curbs are not very soft fyi.

So… I really didn’t like this one very much because it was the most painful of all the stunts! The stair roll was cake compared to this, but then… I may be able to throw myself better in the future. You’ll see how in some I’m bracing myself with my hands on the ground because… Again… Asphalt is not soft. haha!

We also got to do a stunt where the scene was someone stole our car and we jumped on the hood to stop them. So we sped down the road swerving and hanging on with one hand while beating on the window saying colorful adjectives about stopping and giving the car back. haha

After the car gags, we stopped for dinner and discussed marketing yourself. The concepts are similar to many other industries, and along with those other industries, you need to learn the “language” and “terminology”. Of which, I am lacking. I mean, I didn’t even know what a squib was or a ratchet before this weekend.

And last but not least….. THE BURN!

I only lasted 10 seconds because of a hot spot on the back of my head. Which ended up burning because I didn’t stop sooner. It wasn’t too bad tho.  ALSO, the first video is of the burn prep!

I could have kept going for a long time if it weren’t for my head because it wasn’t hot at all anywhere else and holding my breath (on ground) isn’t a problem.

Click Here to see the full Demo Reel with music (1 min 33sec)

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