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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Stunt Driving in New Calvin Harris Featuring Example Music Video

Stunt Coordinator /Stunt Driver TJ White and Stunt Driver Chris Nielsen getting ready to speed through the canyons for Calvin Harris Video.

English DJ Calvin Harris featuring artist Example team up on new single “We will be coming back”. Picking a beautiful location in the Malibu canyons of los angels was just one of the decisions Calvin and his team decided on.  Going with a young edgy director Saman Kesnazarz  known for “The Penelopes – Sally in the Galaxy music video.  Saman developed this concept of a Steve McQueen style car chase with a 1970’s feel through the canyons of Los Angeles..

This was achieved by bringing in stunt coordinator TJ White from T Minus Productions and the Z Crane camera car. T Minus Productions is a full serviced production company that designs stunt sequences from inception and gives productions the tools and the talent to achieve in a manageable time.

Action Director TJ White also known for directing 2nd unit for such action sequences for N’Sync, Velvet Revolver, The Hard Easy and soon to be released “Feed the Dog” helped design the driving sequences.  TJ being a stunt driver himself knows the limitations you can have with specific cars.  In this particular video they choose very old classic cars that have not been driven this extreme in years.

Stunt Driver Mike Owen talking with DJ Calvin Harris about safety.

Car chases are very technical and take time to plan out.  It takes an experience stunt coordinator and 1st Assistant Director to plan out the scene.  Stunt Coordinators usually pull out hot wheel cars that little kids play with to show the crew how the driving scene will go.  This is done many times so that every crew member is able to see where the cars will be going and where the real danger will be.  Once that is done the Stunt Coordinator will have the stunt drivers get in there selected cars with the camera car and drive the route at 1/4 or 1/2 speed this is so the camera can practice there shot and everyone could see the action.

 

 

 

 

Z Crane getting ready to shoot chase scene with stunt drivers.

 

On this particular music video the Stunt Coordinator TJ White was also the Stunt Driver / Doubling for Example driving a 1974 Porsche 911.  These cars not having the same technology as the newer ones relies on the experience of the driver to perform the stunt safety.

Driving though the blocked of canyon roads in the access of 70 + MPH gave the speed needed to make this particular video the same feel as a Steve McQueen or a Fast and the Furious film.

Feel free to watch the Calvin Harris ft Example music video below.

Renting Stunts Pads for your next Film Project

Watching stunt professionals fall out of a building, off of a horse, down a flight of stairs, or even just knocked down to the ground while standing up there is always going to be a pad of some sort to protect the stunt professional or actor from actually hitting the ground.  Especially in fight scenes when you see a performer get knocked down, or fall from a balcony, or even fall over three stories to the ground, a fall pad or “Pit” is utilized to ensure the safety of all involved.

Depending on the height of the fall, the size of the area, and the style of the fall will determine the pad needed for the stunt.  Some stunts just require the stunt performer to wear elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads, and a gator-back to protect the performer when “Hitting the Ground”.  But, good stunt coordinators like TJ White will require additional “fall” pads or “Pits” to ensure the safety of the stunt performer or actor.

Fall pads or “Pits” come in many different sizes and depths.  These pads can be very expensive and like any item used for protection, they need to be replaced after duration of time or how often they have been used.  For this reason, most production companies will try to save costs by utilizing stunt companies like Hollywood Stunt Coordinator, that offer Rentals of these “Pits”.   Cost of “Pits” can range brand new from the smallest $250 up to nearly $2000 for the large.  The most expensive being an Airbag, which allows stunt performers to fall from higher distances. Smaller budget projects find that the ability of “Renting” pads/pits for just a few hours or days, helps save money but also protect the performers.

Renting pads, Pits, and airbags and utilizing the experience of a seasoned stunt coordinator, like TJ White, helps reduce costs and mostly protects the stunt performer/actor from injury.  Safety is the most important element when performing any stunt.  Having the proper equipment and coordination secures that Safety is achieved.

 

Written by: Keith Porter – Director of Stunt Department