I got my second call! Within a week of my first job, I got the call to come back and film another fight scene as a double. Oh… and this time, I know the actors name! It only took about an hour of research and Google translate to find out his name is Luis Ernesto Franco and the show is called “Under the Same Sky (Bajo El Mismo Cielo).”
So what was different this time? Glad you asked…they colored my hair red. Last time I got a break because of the lighting in the prison. However, this time we would be filming a fight scene on the prison yard basketball court. So…I now have red hair, but it is definitely worth it!
Again, they were running 100mph. I got to the set a little before my call time and it was straight into hair and makeup for me. After about an hour and a half in the makeup chair, I went out to the set and they were already done choreographing the fight scene. This fight scene was much bigger than the first one. Last time there were only two stunt guys and this time we had at least six, plus a whole gaggle of actors and extras! It was definitely a lot of information all at once. The fight scene was almost a minute long and included close to 25 different movements. If that was not enough, towards the end of the fight they were throwing a “smoker” into the mix (in my ignorant lingo: a large, hot, effect that creates a crap ton of smoke). I think they gave me about 15 minutes and 4 or 5 runs to get the choreography under my belt. Then it was a go! They dropped the actor in to do the lead up to the fight. I’m not sure if this is right or not, but I spent the time while they were filming this “lead up” staring at the actor. Should I try to pick up his mannerisms and continue them into the fight? I want to do my part to make sure the viewer has no idea that there is someone else doing the fight. But who knows if that is right…maybe I’m just supposed to just do me? I will learn one day. And then just as I imagined it happened, they cut at a point where Luis Franco had his back turned and I jumped in!
Some highlights from all of the takes:
- An ACTUAL MMA fighter stunt guy jumping off a workout bench with a flying jab (I can’t imagine how scary that was to have coming at your face).
- One “take” where I got lost and one of the stunt guys had to pull me around and put me back in place (still looked real…but I was TOTALLY lost)!
- A jump round kick from me to a stunt guys neck with an awesome, awesome (yes it deserves 2 awesome’s) reaction from him!
We ran the scene from start to finish without the smoke 3 times and then on the final shot, they added the smoke. Holy crap…I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be able to see anything. Once this thing got going, it was like being in pitch black…but grey. After the full length shots, we did a series of shots with only a couple of moves at a time. Following this, it was the actors turn! He jumped in to get the close up shots of the fight.
I also learned an additional purpose of a stunt guy. Following the fight they had to use prop handcuffs on Luis. Guess who got to be the one who got handcuffed and dragged around until they figured out exactly how they wanted the action? Yep…that would be me. It totally makes sense though. Those things are sharp and not comfortable one bit. This is what I get paid to do…the dangerous stuff! And…I love every minute of it!