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First fight scene completed

July 29th, 2008 · No Comments · Production, Stuntwork

After roughly 5 hours of choreography and rehearsal evenly spread over tonight and last Friday night, my partner and I have completed the fight moves for the first fight scene of the movie. It’s roughly 60 movies long, but those are combined moves. If you count each of our individual moves that number immediately doubles, because if I’m punching, he’s blocking or ducking or taking a hit – and vice versa. You can break the fight down into 4 individual parts, which is nice because it helps you to remember all the various moves if you can work through it one segment at a time.

Although 5 hours may seem like a short time, we had previously spent several hours last year working through the scene – I would say a little more, about 6-7 total. As I mentioned in my previous post, thanks to me having the forethought of taping our rehearsals, we were able to look back at what we had done, incorporate some things but for the most part throw a lot out and come up with new moves that better fit the character’s motives.

I am definetly going to put together a short “behind the scenes” featurette of this fight scene’s development, as this third iteration of the choreography has finally produced a fight that flows well, fits the characters and fits the overall mood of the film at that point as well. We’ve been rehearsing at a different gym, tomorrow night we’ll be able to go to the actual film location and block out the fight in the proper setting to make any final adjustments, then we’ll film a slow run-through for the same reasons I taped us last year, so that we can review moves later on down the road – we have 3 more major fight scenes to choreograph!

Now that we have the moves locked in, the next step is to go through and get our pacing and foot work down. A lot of people don’t think about their feet when they’re doing fight scenes, and they end up just shuffling around as they punch and block with their arms. This is fine to some extent if the camera is catching the actors from the waist up – but not only does this affect the movement of your upper body noticeably, I don’t plan on making use of many tight shots in this film, so the footwork will be visible almost always.

Once we get this cleaned up to a decent level, we’ll be moving right along to the second scene involving the bamboo Kendo swords, or Shinai’s.

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