Filming a single shot fight scene – Stage to screen

Fact: Fighting is not cool.   Fact: Stage fighting is very, very cool. 

Recently I’ve had this recurring thought. A nagging idea about filming epic fight scenes that do all the things I want them to do in the movies. I used to choreograph fights for a touring theatre company in my distant past. Now I’m taking those skills and the pool of talented performers I know to make fight scenes like this one.

 

It all started with a promo video for Off The Ground’s – Musketeers. With no preparation I joined a rehearsal and watched a set of fights choreographed for stage before capturing the footage in the video below.

 

I’d recently bought a DJI phantom and the stabilized Gopro footage it provides proved way better than I could have hoped. After a little thought and some more equipment I’m now using a new rig (see below) light enough to get right into the action so after rounding up a couple of actor friends we set about choreographing the fight and camera at the same time.

Check out the equipment used to film this video

I knew I wanted everything to work as one shot so each hit must be positioned in terms of the camera and each move planned out. In reality, stage combat is much closer to dance than it is to fighting.

‘Fight Club #1’ is the result of about 3 hours of preparation, rehearsal and filming. The plan is to get together regularly, produce these mini scenes and with your feedback, improve and expand the project

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