“They call me baby driver, and once I am in a pair of wheels, I hit the road and I’m gone”
A cherry red Subaru wheels into view on an unassuming street. Baby plays ‘Bellbottoms’ on his iPod, at this point you will catch a headshot of his accomplices, two serious looking guys and a chill looking girl. The music, soft initially, starts building its tempo as the hooligans proceed to the trunk of the car to unpack their weapons. Did I mention Baby, with his (no, seriously) baby-faced, sweet as pie looks make for an unlikely bad guy? As he proceeds to bang his head to the riveting music and sway, sway, sway to it, his fingers beating to the music, playing some drums here, and a little guitar there….until the screeching noise of the police siren is heard. His accomplices finish the job quickly, and what follows now is the most scintillating few minutes of cinema this year. His car zooms in and out, wheeling around trucks, crazy stunts by Baby – a true master driver, I’m talking wedging into narrow gaps, I’m talking about a perfect reverse 270 drift and I’m talking about driving to the music! This gate away driver of the year is a true blue action hero, there’s this insane driving scene where police are chasing him by the road, and there are helicopters hovering in the air, and what do you think Baby does? He drives in between two other cherry red cars, and then vroom, he’s on the left side now, and in two seconds on a highway, far and away.
The film’s stunt director, Darrin Prescott, claims that 99% of the stunts in the movie are practical. The era of car chases are passing away swiftly, so why is Baby Driver such a hit? It’s now the time of robots that glide in the air shooting bullets that do u-turns, of immensely complex technology that does its damage at the push of a button. However, Baby Driver brings a breath of fresh air, with the mind-blowing, scintillating chases…..that dance to a beat! How frustrating, mind blasting and excruciatingly difficult must it have been to get these right? That scene in the alley, called a 180 in and out where the Subaru turns forward and backward in a narrow alley with buildings and trucks took five or six takes to film after several rehearsals in an empty parking lot. Most of these stunts were performed by stunt artist Jeremy Fry, a veteran in this field. Would Baby Driver be the sensation it is today without the brilliance of its stunt director and artists?
A 180 in and out by Jeremy Fry
Wonder Woman is the first positive (and successful) superheroine film. Wonder Woman, despite her impressive powers and track record, is constantly underestimated. So what shows her physical prowess and agility to their true potential? Her other-worldly stunts. The pressure of delivering to these high standards was not borne by one stunt director alone, but an army. It had a stunt rigger, stunt choreographer, stunt performers, key lead stunt artists, stunt photographers, stunt department coordinators….the list goes on. It is important to realise, and acknowledge, the work these artists put in. As a cinema goer, it is pretty easy to acknowledge stunts and marvel at them, but the truth is, the science and math of this process is no less engaging.
CGI graphics in this larger than life superhero movie
Gal Gadot’s stunt double puts in work
Mad Max Fury Road is as real, as gut-wrenchingly tense and eye- wateringly crazy as it gets. Taking the term “action movie realism” onto a whole new platform, Mad Max Fury Road has some of the most daredevils, high-risk stunts you can think of when you consider the fact that almost all of it is *real*. That’s right. The rock rider’s bomb squad, the swinging polecats, the final chase sequence which had literally 75 vehicles in one staggering, awesome shot….this movie cannot be topped. Guy Norris is the chief stunt coordinator for this movie. Also an experienced stunt artist, he bid farewell to his swashbuckler stunts with this last act of daredevilry – driving a ten-ton, sixteen wheeled truck at 60mph, directly into a 16 wheeled wrecked vehicle! This movie has a staggering total of 303 stunt sequences, performed by a massive team of stunt drivers, performers, and riggers to collaborate for months with visual artists, special effects, and design teams. It takes an army to film a movie of this magnitude.
An eight-week training program in Chinese pole work went into filming this scene, which did not make use of CGI
The fifteen-odd minutes of a stunt can generate enough thrill and hysteria to last for the entire ninety minutes of the film. A stunt direct must first study the scripts to determine the stunts, implement safety measures for potential hazards, consult special technicians, makeup artists, prop master’s to design these stunts. The director also hires qualified Stunt Artists, who perform these stunts at great risks to their lives. The work might involve stunt riggers, stunt coordinators, principal fight choreographers and the list just goes on.
Author: Keerthana U
* This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to me, and not necessarily to Open Face Media organization, or any other group or individual.*