Here goes nothing!!!
So this week was our first major challenge of making Vengeance. We filmed our first action set piece of the film, it involved 3 stunt performers and our lead, Sukie. I've filmed a few fight sequences of over the years but most were insanely quick and onlu made up of a few moves. With Vengeance one of the areas we really wanted to work on was the level of action we are able to do. Wasteland was not an action back film, it was never meant to be, but we have fun doing the action that there was, now we wanted to go bigger and more complicated. That said it had to be right for the story of the film.
First things first
We met up with our fight co-ordinator and had a walk through the location we were gonig to do the fight in. This was a really insightful process as there were lots of great ideas flying area, some of them had to be rightfully dismissed as it would change the lead character into something he's not. It just wouldn't fit to have him go from an everyday man to someone who was an expert in Parkour or suddenly change the fighting style that we wanted to establish. We blocked through each of our action set pieces and everything was starting to look good. Now all we needed was to rehearse.
Day of the fight
The first mistake I made was thinking that I could shoot anything other than the fight sequence in the time I had available. So we spent some time filming a few set up shots to establish where the lead character was. This put us behind. Not a great start for my first major action sequence, but we got thse shots out of the way and we were ready to get stuck in. The first shot of the fight. We set the lights. Set the camera on a dolly track to push in as the fight begins. We rehearse both camera move and the fight. It's looking good, but the timing is a little off. We rehearse again, and again, and again. Suddenly fear sets to creep in as I look at my watch and see that time is slipping away. "Let's start rolling I say" I think I was thinking that if we are filming something then its better than not filming anything. An hour races by and we still haven't got past the first part of the fight. It was all coming down to the lining up of each of the hits and if they didn't look right then they won't sell in the finally film. Sukie was doing incredibly well but this was the first time he's done anything like this as well. I was starting to worry that tiredness could play a factor. I discuss the scene with the fight co-ordinator and we agree to reduce some of the choregraphy and focus on getting what we can looking great as aposed to a long and poorly excuted fight sequence. We finally get past the first sequence and move onto the next. By this time Sukie is starting to come to grips with what he's doing and looking more and more the part. Thing's speed up a bit and we start to get back on track. The relentless speed in which we are film is making my head spin at this point. I also feel I should point out that up to this point the crew who are makeing this film are me and me director of photography AJ, and that it. We have been contacted many times by people who are interesed in being a part of what we are doing only to disappear and never turn up when it come to shooting. AJ did an outstanding job, again, filming fight sequences is something he hadn't done before either. At the end of the night we are exchusted but we feel like we've got some good stuff ready to be edited into the film.