Film Stunt Techniques

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A film stunt is anything that requires abnormal action that could potentially cause harm. Discover how to use stunt coordinators to hire stuntmen and professional drivers with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jared Drake, and I'm going to talk to you about film stunt techniques. A film stunt...a stunt on a set is really anything that requires abnormal action that could potentially cause harm. That could be anything from, you know, obviously like a fight scene to somebody who just gets pushed over or somebody that falls off the couch. Some actors like to do their own stunts. Jackie Chan is famous for doing all of his own stunts. Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings as Aragorn. He actually performed all his own stunts. It's really dangerous to do as an actor, and it must be pretty nerve-wracking for the producers as well because if that actor gets hurt halfway through production, well,there it goes. Your movie's over. Physical stunts are anything that requires, you know, one person or a couple of people doing something dangerous. Like, let's say, you're jumping from building to building. A stunt coordinator could come in -- and let's say it's a big jump. A stunt coordinator could come in for this physical stunt and they could, you know, get it...bring in a stunt double, have that person harnessed and fly that person literally from helicopter to help lift that person up off the building, make it look like they're jumping down onto the other one, you know, in a full-on harness. Then in post-production, what they would do is the visual effects house would go in and literally color out, frame by frame, the harness that...and the wire that was going up to the helicopter. Color that out. It's a very expensive thing to do, but safe. And you also have vehicular stunts. It's car chases, it's car jumps, even something as simple as just pulling on the E brake and spinning -- that's considered a stunt. They call that a bootleg. There's professional drivers out there that you can hire through your stunt coordinator. There's cars that are specific stunt cars that are designed to flip on specific directions. Now, if you're filming a fight scene, what I suggest you do is watch other fight scenes that stack up. If it's a fight scene between two people, you know, in an office, try and research another fight scene that's already been filmed in an office and decide what it is that you like about it or don't like. And then you can make it your own. You know, always remember if you're throwing a fake punch and you're filming it, and the punch comes from this way, the face should go this way -- it shouldn't go this way because that doesn't make sense. So just use your brain a little bit because that'd be smart.

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