Fight stunts are not something that I’m into when shooting video, but I’m always curious how the pros do them. In this video the stunt coordinator of the “Atomic Blonde” movie, Sam Hargrave, breaks down how the fight moves were choreographed. Not only that, but being a second unit director, he also gives insight of how they shot and cut the footage from these scenes.
Watching these videos makes me have more appreciation for the professionalism that goes into making those movies. I haven’t watched the movie yet and I don’t know whether it’s good or bad, but the amount of work that goes in it (and all other Hollywood movies) is enormous. Let’s take for example the scene with the man falling on the table. At first I thought it was just a “standard” stunt where the glass is made out of silicone or sugar, meaning it was relatively harmless. It turned out to be tempered glass that was shattered into pieces by small explosives in the corners of the table, detonated at the right moment. These kinds of effects, that are done in camera, are called special effects. Filmmakers all over the world tend to do more and more stunts in camera, which always looks better than the visual effects which are computer generated. It’s way more expensive to do special effects for a obvious reason: the risk taken by the stunt men, doubles, and in some cases, the main actors. In the video you will see the importance of sound effects even if the video may show flaws in the special effects. Such is the case with the cast iron pan which turned out to be a rubber replica, but the sound in the final footage sells the effect.
Here is a behind-the-scenes video that shows a side view on how they shot these stunts:
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