Producer Ross Dinerstein and his company Campfire Films produced this epic commercial for the Tom Clancy “The Division” video game directed by Xavier Gens ” Hitman” and Director of Photography Bridger Nielson. This stylistic commercial takes the viewer into the world of this video game with the game of stunt and visual effects.
Amazing set for this commercial at Fox Studios
Stunt Coordinator TJ White, VP of T Minus Productions Lauren Pacheco, Stunt Women Boni Yanagisawa, Stuntman Alex Mccaslin and Stuntman Justin White
MTV VMA 2015 nominated Kendrick Lamar’s latest music video “Alright” filmed mostly in San Fransisco and Oakland California and parts of Los Angeles has gotten over 16 million views on a little over a month. This visual piece is from the uber talented director Colin Tilly “Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Enrique Iglesias, Little Wayne” from London Alley a Music Video production company in la. Colin decided to go to his root in Oakland and create visual art that could capture Kenricks voice in the video. Putting Kendrick in very dangerous stops was done by using his Stunt Coordinator “TJ White” that he has worked with for years on such video as Chris Brown, Justin Beiber and David Guetta.
TJ stated ” Working with Colin is challenging , He likes very dangerous shots that makes people think the stunt is fake or that we are not using the real artist, but in fact it is so real that many safety parameters have to be put in place to make it happen. In this video you will see the artist Kendrick Lamar on top of two light pole 2o feet plus in the air standing rapping. This is done through using cranes and specialized stunt equipments and a crane. It takes a team of stunt riggers to set up these gags so that the director will be able to shoot almost 360 degrees around the artist and keep the artist safe.
Colin also really wanted to see some high performance stunt driving in the video to capture the feel of this area and there car culture. This was done by using cars that were altered for drifting and having qualified stunt drivers for Los Angeles in San Fransisco to do the driving.
Terry James and son TJ White on Justin Bieber Video set
If you listen closely to the back roads of Northeast Ohio, you may still hear Terry James 1967 El Camino big block echoing.
In the 60’s and 70’s, the Motorcity was pumping out some serious horse-power. And the young, lead-foot drivers of Geauga County, Ohio were eating it up. The towns of Middlefield, Burton and Chardon were stomping grounds of many a street and drag racer. They were just far enough outside Cleveland to avoid the police, but close enough to have good asphalt!
To this day, classic car shows and drag racing at Thompson Raceway are still thriving, thanks to the passion and elbow grease of these hundreds of pioneers. While most of these guys still tinker with their hot-rods, one of them took his passion and talents to the Silver Screen.
Producer Terry James moved to LA in the 1970’s and quickly began driving and performing stunts for film and TV. His passion for cars, speed, and safety is on display in car-centric classics such as B.J. and the Bear, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, and The Cannonball Run. He has performed, stunt coordinated and directed 2nd unit on countless shows, including: Stripes, The X-Files, Prison Break, Thank you for Smoking, and Michael Bay’s Transformers, and many others. Terry has also been nominated for an Emmy for Young and the Restless and Days of Our loves in 2011 and was just nominated for an 2012 Emmy for Days of our Lives.
As a producer, his thrillers are keeping audiences on the edge of their seats, while giving investors a nice ROI.
His latest film, HUFF, starring Charlie O’Connell and Clint Howard, is in the can and beginning to show at festivals.
Sci-Fi action thriller The Hunger Games (directed by Gary Ross) proves that audiences want to see action, drama, and perhaps more importantly, great stunt work!
To date, the film has grossed nearly $500M worldwide. Critics have compared THG’s staying power to that of Avatar and Titanic. The film’s female centered cast and compelling action sequences have been credited as the key elements to the film’s success.
The Hunger Games’ stunt performers, as well as stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, and Liam Hemsworth, have called their THG stunt training the most intense of their careers. Stage Combat moves are abound in the film, with actors taking each other on with knives, bow and arrow, and seemingly anything they can get their hands on! The chaotic fight sequences keep the action moving and the audiences hearts pounding .
Action reigns supreme in this box office smash – as is the case with nearly all of the top grossing films in history.
Stunt Coordinator TJ White with Stuntwoman Boni Yanagisawa
Stunt training actors and actresses is something that elite stunt coordinators and stuntmen do quite often on set. The reason there is an industry in stunts is because in most cases it is impossible for an actor to be able to act and have the ability to perform all stunts. Although in many cases there are a few that insist on doing some of the labor and in more cases the directors are the ones that require the actor to enlist in stunt training so they can get their shot for their action sequence.
Using the Bourne film series as an example of why stunt training actors can increase profit in the box office. These films wouldn’t be as thrilling if you didn’t see Matt Damon speeding through the streets of Paris in a Mini Cooper. The fight sequences wouldn’t be as brutal if you didn’t see a glimpse of Damon’s face versus just the back of his stunt double’s head. Of course his double is there to do more of the extreme and technical aspects but directors know what audiences want and they want to believe their favorite action hero can actually do most if not some of the stunts.
As filmmaking advances with new technology there is an advancement that is happening within the actors as well. With new creative ideas of how stunts can be done and how far the line can be crossed the evolution of stunt training actors has to forge ahead.
Today, it is a fact that stunt training has elevated the action actor into another realm of fame and glory. Tom Cruise’s ability to train and do many of his stunts in the Mission: Impossible film series is due to the hard efforts of the stunt department training and perfecting his proficiency in stunts. Audiences flock to the theater to see Cruise be Ethan Hunt because they believe the action. Fans don’t like to be fooled so when they see their action actor performing alongside their doubles it gives them a sense of relief to know that their badass hero that they just spent $20 dollars to go see at the theater is delivering the goods.
Training begins many weeks and even months before any director ever yells “Action!” In pre-production the stunt training can include motorcycle driving, stunt driving, and various forms of fighting to make sure that the actor is believable when it comes time to film. When the actors have gone as far as they can go then the stuntmen and stuntwomen come into play. Many stunt performers include: college athletes, cirque de soliel performers, high divers, Olympic athletes, MMA fighters, NASCAR drivers, and even sensi’s themselves. These experts will work alongside the actor to create a reality that then can be taken on screen and be creditable.
As always safety is rule number one and stunt coordinators and stuntmen will always be sure to use proper stunt equipment and pads to reduce the risk of injury. It is important to have well qualified coordinators on set and involved with the stunt training because if your lead actor gets injured because he or she thought she could do the stunt, well then your whole picture is postponed and all your momentum becomes deflated along with the studio’s pocket book.
Stunt Driving got its start during the Prohibition Era when bootleggers would make illegal whiskey and moonshine deliveries throughout the US. These drivers were notorious for using modified high-speed cars to transport their goods and for using daring driving maneuvers to escape authorities. Drivers would modify their cars for speed, handling, and increased cargo capacity, and most came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads. When Prohibition was repealed, the love of aggressive driving and modification spawned the first Stock Car and NASCAR races.
Shortly after, Film and television audiences became infatuated with America’s need for speed. In the 70’s and 80’s, Hollywood developed their version of stunt driving while filming shows like Dukes of Hazzard and films like Bullet with Steve McQueen. This type of driving has tested the limits of vehicles and the skills of drivers for years.
Stunt Drivers are like puppeteers who perform a choreographed dance with their vehicles. Modification and precision control make the vehicles perform in a way they are not designed, yet on camera it looks like a creative, smooth, skilled movement showing off the lines and performance of the car.
To capture the raw adrenaline of these stunts, Hollywood destroys thousands of cars each year. To safely and precisely execute these stunts, drivers train their entire lives. Even the smallest of mistakes by a driver can cost a production thousands of dollars. Car damage, cast/crew overtime and insurance expenses inflate if the driver is not able to get the shot the first or second take. T Minus Productions works with the industry’s best professional race car drivers, stunt drivers, stunt driving teams and precision driving teams. We mix and match to efficiently meet all vehicle sequence needs while saving production money. Our safety record is second to none.
Generation X Drivers
A Stunt Driving Team located in Los Angeles California