How To Make A Fight Scene

This is a guest post from Arman Ansari, the founder of StuntBross. Arman was responsible for the choreography and coordination of the prison fight scene in season 1 episode 1  – No Glory For Me.

 

A Day In The Life Of StuntBross

I was training for a while with my friend Sami Huhtala at Malmi’s Parkour Centre. Some fight & stunt choreography. This one day after the trainings I saw this awesome graffiti on the wall and thought to myself “we have to shoot something here, the place is so (deep)”

 

So after I was able to speak with Sami we went to this place and discussed it a little bit, and we agreed that we’ll shoot a short fight scene over there.

 

So on the next day at 10 a.m we already started to film…without any idea what we are shooting..😅 I was the fight/stunt coordinator and I also checked for the camera angles. For Sami I wanted more acting, face movement, all that stuff  because Sami is great and also a well-known freelance actor in Finland. He is a very good guy! The cameraman was my childhood best friend Douglas. Who is also by the way the co-worker in StuntBross with me.

 

I think we did pretty good for the final result. We got good feedback from the viewers. Especially for the moving camera and the close up shoots.

 

In the end, everything came from great team work. Here’s the street fight scene:

 

Tips For A Succesful Fight Scene

1. Know your location, area and other participants

First of all I check the location where the fight is going to be filmed. It’s important to know about thea area. For example is the place cramped, spacious or could there be some obstacles. It’s also good to know about your opponent. Does he know any martial arts, what are his strengths and core capabilities. They all determine what is realistic to do.

2. Aim for realistic feelings

The more seriously you take it the more real it’s going to be. You need to feel it inside your body that you are actually in a fight. That way you’re going to feel amazing from all those moves you do. Always practice the choreography before and also on the set. So the more you know your moves the more real it gets automatically because you know what’s there and what’s not. So.. get going!

3. Create an atmosphere and mindset of success

Everytime I accomplish on a scene, in either a stunt or a fight, after the shot we high-five with my opponent and ask each other’s opinion. It gives more motivation and good vibes to move on much better on a next shot. It’s also nice thing to give compliments to the cameramen.  This keeps good vibes going on so nobody gets bad attitude and tries to mess around. Doing a fight scene is very tough and tiring activity. Your mind feels what your body does and vice versa.

4. Choose the right camera angles and tricks to suit the scene

In some scenes it’s good to shake the camera a little bit or have it very close to the actors which both make an illusion of different styles. For example if the fight is about a one punch it’s easy to just pick an angle and shoot it over there. But when it’s really going down like some epic knife fight on a tight alley, then it might be a good idea to have the camera moving around, shaking a little bit and shoot face impressions and hand movements etc. from a very close distance for example. It all depends on what the fight scene if about of course.

5. Aim for the absolute best

It is also important to take a look at your takes and think about what you could change or even improve on the next roll-out. ”It’s fine” or ”it’s quite ok” aren’t acceptable. You should never be satisfied on those sentences, each sample must be like ”Damn that was awesome, we are awesome!”

 

Thank you for reading.

Arman Ansari