Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ask A Professional: Damien Puckler

Recently, Murderboarding got a chance to sit down with Damien Puckler and talk about European countries, stunt work, the life of a TV actor, and the most interesting scene he's filmed on Grimm. It took us a bit to get it cleaned up for publication, but we hope you all find this illuminating about some of the things that go into stunt work as well as TV acting. In typical magazine format, we've declined to place attributions on the questions, because we are, after all, Voltron.

Many, many thanks to Damien and Björn for their willingness to sit down with us and play guinea pigs for what we hope will be a new recurring segment on the blog! As always, you can reach us in comments or on Twitter if you want to schedule an interview, though we have a few people we plan to reach out to in the near future.

We started out discussing Portland, our visit, and the beauty of the city: And, well, it helps that the sun comes out pretty much every day, it just also rains pretty much every day.

Yeah, exactly. It's very German, it's very European. But somehow, I don't know. Germany has a little bit of it, London is too gray. Portland doesn't have that, Portland is still beautiful even when it rains, so.

I remember London, London was very gray and very wet.

Yeah, very wet and very claustrophobic. Have you been to London, Anna?

No, I'm trying to think, the mountains are very noticeably different but I've been to Bern, in Switzerland, so it reminds me a little of that.

Oh yeah, yeah sure, it looks very German or Swiss, that's why they chose it for the show.

Yeah, I think someone on the cast tweeted that they did filming in Salem for the Alps?

Yeah. So you guys did that Unspooling Fiction thing!

We do!
We can be good. Mostly. Sort of.
Define good.

What made you decide to get into stunt work?

I kind of fell into it. I was a pro fighter when I was very young, I was fighting for six years at the time and I had to retire 'cause I had a motorcycle accident. I then wanted to do some kind of stunt or fight choreography, and my then-girlfriend was an actress and a model, and she got me some jobs as a stunt guy and I did a lot of fight stuff, and then when you're a stunt guy they usually ask you do something different that you don't usually do. They ask you to fall off a car and all that stuff and you just go yeah, sure, so you do all sorts of stunts, and then they ask, hey, can you deliver a couple of lines as an actor and then do the stunt? It costs them less money, they don't have to hire two people for the scene, and that's how I fell into the acting bit. Everything just kinda fell into place from there.

Yeah, the transition from stunt work to actor we were pretty clear on, it was from MMA to stunt work that we didn't exactly know. We've looked you up some, so.

Alright! Which site did you see?

Your homepage. All of them. No, we do some background work just to see who our actors are and what they've been doing and what informs their performance, so we looked you up.

Did you talk to the FBI at all?

I cannot confirm or deny that.
We at the FBI do not have a sense of humor as far as we are aware.

You've done film work and you've done choreography, what is the difference between stage combat for theatre and filmed stunt work and TV stunt work, where you might be working on a more compressed time schedule?

TV and film are more similar, stage is very different. Because stage, everything is a lot bigger and more theatrical, you don't really have the - I used to do this on the martial arts shows, which you can kind of compare to the stage shows, they're a little bit more intense. But you still make it more theatrical, the punches are more elaborated, slower, and the kicks. And you don't really have much contact. Whereas in film and TV, especially nowadays because everybody wants it to be more real, more real, more real. An actual real fight would not look good, that's the irony of it. So you want to keep that theatrical side to it, the dramatic side to it, but you have to be fast, you have to be very choreographed, and you have to be very very precise. Those two guys I worked with were top of the notch, I mean, they're pros, they've worked forever, and you do hit each other, you have contact. And they're good enough and I'm good enough to be able to pull the punches and the kicks as much as we can, that's how it comes out being real.

The difference between TV and film is time. Take Jason Statham's film Transporter? They shot a fight scene in three weeks. We shot our fight scene in forty minutes.

Oh, wow.

In film, they take the time to light every different technique, every angle, separately. Whereas on TV, they had three cameras shooting us doing the fight scenes over and over, it's like a dance, you just have to keep going, you know, twenty times. Over and over again and they just kept shooting it. And then in the end they cut it. Which is very exhausting, and it's definitely more stressful because you know you have to get it in, and you don't have time, you're just going to have to do it and go for it. So you need people who know what they're doing, because at the sixth or seventh take, even those guys were like "man whoo boy." It's exhausting, and when you get tired, and you're exhausted, and you make a mistake. Things always happen, you always twist your ankle or your hand a little bit, do something, but major things should not happen, professional people should be able to not get tired and all of a sudden kick your ear. Because that happens, I've had it happen, doing a low-budget film and somebody doesn't know what they're doing, suddenly they hit you with an axe, and ow. I've been there, you know?

How much rehearsal time did you have for that scene before they started filming?

I met with one of the guys down here in Los Angeles for an hour, and the fight choreographer, and then when I was up in Portland we took a day before, about two-three hours. We changed the fight scene completely to what we came up with in Los Angeles to Portland, because, as it always is, you have an idea of what you want to do and then you go to the area you want to shoot it in. You guys might not notice when you see the fight, but it was literally this much mud [holding up hands about 6-8" apart].

There was a lot of mud, yeah.

There were [originally] all these jumps and all these falls, and first of all, if I'd thrown him and he'd fallen into the mud, it's going to take half an hour to clean him up again, so we're not going to be able to do that. And the mud was very complicated, because there's a lot of spins and a lot of jumps, and you can't elevate, you can't push yourself off, you get stuck. Your boot gets stuck in the mud and you spin and you get stuck, and it was in the forest and there was a lot of boots underneath the mud, which again was kind of tricky because you don't want to twist your ankle while you're doing that. So we had to kind of rework it a little bit. So we rehearsed about two, three hours with everybody in Portland and changed it completely and of course, you rehearse in a hall with a cement floor and you go outside into the mud and it's a whole difference. That, again, if you're a professional, it's all about adapting and changing, realizing what environment you're in.

And at least getting the few hours in with the guy down in LA, you got used to each other, how you move, how you work together, which helps.

Exactly, exactly, it's like a dance. You need to know the other person's rhythm, and sometimes you get thrown in the deep end with somebody you don't know.

We both come from dance backgrounds, so we know a little bit about how it works. Ballet and jazz, and she did partner dancing, so.

Oh nice, cool. You guys gonna dance for me now or?

With what partner? You wish. Maybe if we ever meet in person, maaaybe. Then we'd have to argue about who's leading.

Yeah, okay.

Is there a difference that you've observed over the years, you mentioned that things have changed and people have gone more and more realistic, and one of the things I am a fan of is the old '80s actions shows, Knight Rider and A-Team. And you can see the difference. Is there any kind of difference just from the limited time you've been in the business?

Big, big difference. I've actually done this for twenty years, so I've only now been in things that you can see, but when I was in London on the West End theatre there was a big difference. I used to be - still am - a big fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme, I know, he's a cheesy martial artist but I love him because it looks like ballet. You see his big kicks, big punches, even in his leap-downs there was always the punch-punch-kick-pull-dramatic-pause-bam-bam, now it's all… the fight scene we did in Grimm, Mike, who choreographed the fight, he did not want me to punch and kick one guy, the guy goes down, turn to the other guy, kick and punch the other guy, and guy goes down, 'cause in real life that doesn't happen. He wanted it to look like they're both attacking me at the same time, and I have to react to the onslaught of punches and kicks. And that was his thing, and that's the thing right now, like Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, all of that, where everything's very fast and it's also shot very closely. They used to pull out a little bit more, it's actually made it harder for the stunt people. Before you could do it at a slower speed and get away with it because the camera always makes everything look faster, so if you go half-ass speed it looks pretty fast on camera, but now they want you to go full speed, and that is not easy if you have a fight scene of, say, a minute. Because there's a lot of stuff happening, you can do a lot of moves in a minute.

Yeah, no, a real fight lasts, what, like 15-30 seconds? Two minutes [if it's MMA].

Exactly, exactly. So it's changed a lot, I think. I think it's also opening up again to a lot of different things now, because of the UFC and MMA and all the different martial arts coming together, they want to see everything. Again, in the fight scene we did for Grimm, I actually liked the short exchanges and the hand moves, but they also showed my kicks, me jumping, which is just cool. I guess because I can do it, that's why they showed it, because sometimes they just show a foot, so you think the person jumped. Because I did jump, they pulled out a little bit and showed me jumping. I've done other fight scenes where I go "well, I could've just faked it."

It does seem like they've been doing that lately, training actors more and more so that when they do a kick or a punch or a move, it looks like they do know what they're doing, or hiring actors like you who are already trained.

It's all about the editing, fight scenes are all about the editing. I mean, sometimes you do a fight scene that you're really proud of and then you end up going to see it and go "ohh dear."

What was that one scene we were discussing - no, that was in second season Human Target where the editing, they edited it in such a way that it made no sense, you could see where they had cut parts of different scenes and spliced them together, and there was no way that this person could have done that. And Jackie Earle Haley's a black belt in a couple different disciplines, so [there was no call for that].

And that happens a lot, someone shoots the fight scene, the director then gives it up to the editors, some of the editors have no idea about movement and fighting. I remember doing a fight scene and I'm doing a front kick and then I move down to do a jump spin back kick, and I did the front kick in the edit and I moved down and then all of a sudden they cut to another angle and I was doing a completely different kick which made no sense. I hadn't even ducked, but only I noticed, because I know my movements, what I do when I have to do something, so other people might have just said "oh, this is kind of weird." I mean, it's important that the editor knows a little bit about fight choreo. Grimm is pretty good, though, they have people who've been doing different kinds of fight scenes a lot. Totally standard, but many different kinds.

Yeah, there's usually one at least every other episode if not every episode in Grimm, so they've got to have good people. There's always at least one Nick kills someone or Nick takes someone down.

What's your favorite stunt to do?

Absolutely fight scenes. [laughter] No, because when I started doing stunts I started doing fight scenes, and then I ended up doing all these other stunts, and I rock climb, but I do not like heights. And ironically, throughout the years, I always end up doing the big falls off a building, into a pool, blah blah blah blah blah. So my manager would call up, "hey, do you want to do this fall off a building?" and I'd go "well, does it pay?" "Yeah." "Well then I'm good, I guess." And it ends up being all this stuff you don't want to do, but I personally love fights because my passion is the martial arts, that's how I got into it, I love anything to do with the martial arts and fighting and anything like that, so for me to do this now, it's great. It's like a kid playing, it's awesome. And you know, I'm glad that I'm getting to do more and more of it - I'm not getting younger, either, so. Those are definitely my favorite. I like doing motorcycle, too, but I'm not good at it. I love riding my motorcycle, I love doing motorcycle stunts, but there are people who are great at it, so I don't think I should do that.

What sorts of equipment do you use? I mean, I assume you use some safety equipment, there's the straps and ropes and pads and everything.

It's always different depending on what fight we did. The one in Grimm just now? We had nothing, they just had some gators on, on the front? Lateef had a gator on, he's the guy with the dreadlocks, because when I jump up and I knee him in the chest it's hard to pull that because your weight goes into it, so you get a pretty big impact. So he put a gator on, that was it. I mean, Freddy, when I toss him over my shoulder? He landed pretty hard, quite a few times, because he told me, you know, you talk to each other and rehearse and ask how much, how hard, how high can I push you. Where's your comfort level? And he said "oh just go for it!" So six foot, come straight down, I mean, that wasn't easy, that was hard.

"Just go for it" doesn't seem like a good thing to do, so much. [laughing] But you don't exactly get into stunt work for protecting limbs.

It's also, honestly, it is guys get together doing the fight scenes, there's a bit of "oh, don't worry about it, just go for it!" And so you go "oookay, never mind, not going to say don't do it."

Machismo. Tan machismo - that just introduced our next set of questions, didn't it. So we looked into your background, some, what do you think of the internationality of Grimm? That's one of the things in our background, my background, obviously, is bilingual English-Spanish, and then I just sort of started picking up languages because I got bored. And Anna speaks, how many are you up to now?

Can we not talk about that? It sounds so much less compared to your list. [sigh] Je parle français, y también español, and very bad German.

You guys just studied it, both of you?

Yeah. I studied French in school, she grew up bilingual and studied French and Latin in secondary school.

Japanese and German on my own, and then Russian and Irish on my own.

And I picked up Spanish and German, and started Russian this year. Anyway!

The question was, how do I like the internationality of it? I love it. I love the fact that there's a show with the internationality, especially now, the German side there. They had a Russian side, I like that. I like the fact that they also - although it's called Grimm and it's based on the Grimm brothers, the stories of them - they introduced even the Filipino kind of fairy tales, and other nations' fairy tales, which is great. People get to know about different cultures' fairy tales, and it's kind of funny because you realize that there's always something that they have, like the boogeyman and the one about the Filipino, the Aswang? It's different, but it's the same general thing to be scared of, you know? So it's interesting to see that, I find that really cool. Did you understand my German?

Little bit! We're not as practiced with picking it up as with Spanish and French. It also depends on the language family, I'm better at picking all the Romance languages, but the German and the Russian it takes a second. I have a slightly better ear, so she always pulls me in for the languages, but she also decodes the French much quicker than I do.

Yeah, I can't count the number of times I sat there going "oh, hey, did they just use tu instead of vous? because that's very interesting!" Which is one of the things that we get into discussions with our readers about, what it means for somebody to have said this instead of that, which the subtitles don't pick up on - they can't, in a lot of cases. English is limited in some ways.

Yes, and the way you say the line makes a difference sometimes too. That's why a lot of people have difficulty when they're texting each other, it comes across as something completely different than they were trying to say. Same difference.

What's the most interesting time you had on set?

The birth.

[laughter all around]

It was, to be honest, very nerve-wracking. Not because it's giving birth to a child, it's nerve-wracking because you want to make it real, and you're working with a fake child, a dummy, and you're supposed to be in the moment of someone's giving birth, so everything's kind of tense. On the other hand, technically you have to lean in a way that feels not quite natural because the camera can't pick you up otherwise, the light's shining on you in a different way, you're picking up this baby doll which they told me to shake my hands, but not my shoulders, to make it look real. So you lean to the side, and you try to look like you're in the moment, that was definitely the most interesting moment. It was just funny. I think both Claire and I had a lot of fun doing that. Claire was really really sick that day, actually, and it was a really exhausting scene for her, she had to really get into it, and she was so sick she was wiped out halfway, but she did awesome. So it was fun but nerve-wracking for me, yeah. I didn't want to drop the Hexenbiest's baby!

It might've strangled you with her hair.

You never know, right?

She mentioned you, actually, in one of the live-tweets, the plane-side fight scene where she was all shivering in her jacket and you were all "yeah, let's go, let's fight some people!" was how she described it.

Yeah, the day started cool and then it kept getting colder, and then it started snowing. We were out in that field where we walked up to the plane for a long time, and she had, you know the costume department, they want us to look good, but they don't think about the fact that it's going to start snowing. Her feet got really cold, and it was hard, it wasn't easy, it got really cold. But I was looking forward to doing the fight, so kinda warmed up then. I've been waiting for a long time, you know? It's exciting.

What's something that you haven't yet told us about your job or the industry that people who aren't in it don't know, but you wish they did?

I think the one thing that people might not actually know - I don't know if they do, but I wish they did - but I think that it's really a strange business. You do something and you get a lot of attention and then there's always a little bit of the fear that you might not be going on and doing more stuff. I've done this for twenty years, I worked in London in the West End, and you always think as an actor, not as a stuntman now but as an actor, you always think this could really move me forward, this could be it, maybe this will actually save me from having to struggle so much. Because it's the old cliche, you struggle a lot. And a lot of times you get a job, you get a lot of money, you go "wow!" Now all of a sudden the money starts fading away and you go "I'm looking for a job, I need a job, I need a job," and you're eating peanut butter sandwiches and feeding your dog more than yourself, and you go, okay. Interesting. What am I gonna do next? It always does come back and you always seem to be able to do something, but the struggle with the fear a lot of times, people think you do something and you just kind of enjoy life. A lot of times you sit back and you think, okay, what's next, is there something next? Are people gonna remember what I do, are they going to be interested?

And it's great, going back to Grimm now, Grimm was definitely special in the sense that not only is it a cool show, it's also really really cool people. A lot of jobs you do it, you get a paycheck, oh, that's nice, that's cute. But Portland is very different from Los Angeles. Los Angeles is very hard when you shoot here, hectic and stressful. In Portland, everybody seems to be laid-back but very professional. They get everything done, but there isn't that tension there. The actors in Grimm, they really surprised me, they just come up to you, just come over, they're like family. Whereas a lot of times you go do some other show and people are like "oh, well," they stay on their own side. People just talk to you. I remember the first time I met Sasha, when I was going to do that scene in the basement, he walks up and he goes, hey. It was lunchtime, I remember, and so he walked up and he goes hey, you're Damien, right? Come on, let's have lunch together. Who are you, what are you doing? And so we had lunch together. But it was great because as an actor coming into the show, you're always a little bit nervous, you don't know these other people and you have to do a scene with them and you have to act as though you know these people very well and you don't know these people at all. So we both broke the ice together and after that it was great, doing the scene.

So all of the phone calls you did, those were with stand-ins?

Yep, phone calls are always somebody reading with you, not Sasha. It's down to the scheduling, they never do them - I've never done one - where you read with the actual person. Which is funny sometimes, because you have to be really intense, in the moment, say something like "yeah, Sebastien died" and the other person [affecting robot voice] "okay, that's not good, what are we going to do next?" You have to stay in that moment.

I have one funny story! I don't think anyone minds if I say that, but I had to do a phone call in the car, and they had one of the guys lying down in the backseat to read with me. And I said my line, and then he was supposed to say his line, but he had his iPhone on because he needed the light to read the script. But his Siri picked up my line and goes "I'm sorry, can you repeat that again?" So Siri didn't actually pick up what I was saying and thought I was asking her a question.

There's no way that's going to make it on the gag reel, but I wish it would.

I know, right?

We did go to a set visit and meet some of the actors, and at least one of them had heard about us. Dare I ask if you'd heard about us before we started approaching you and Björn and asking if you wanted to suffer through some of our questions?

D: I have heard about you because of Björn, because he's on the ball virtually.

B: Actually, maybe I should cut in here. No, obviously I do some market research to see what the reaction's like, and as I mentioned in the email, what I like about your blogs (which I'm sure that might not be everybody's cup of tea), but I like that it's not so dry, it shows emotion. And that's why I really like it, I think it stands out from some other things. There are a few other sites that publish other breakdowns, like Top10 and such, I like them very much as well, but there are a lot of reviews that just basically summarize the episodes. So I do that, and obviously I saw your blog and then also I think one was from China, strangely enough, which we didn't expect. I didn't even know that they showed it there, it might not necessarily be official.

D: So Björn told me about you guys, and I have to say I'm one of those actors, I don't necessarily like to look at all the stuff online, and stuff like that. You know, there's a lot of good stuff and a lot of bad stuff and you just start thinking too much. Not in the sense where I have people say "oh, he's crap" or whatever, I don't mind that so much. There's people who like you and people who don't like you, that's life. But sometimes you start thinking, oh maybe they have a point, and then you want to do something different. You've gotta, as an actor, stick to what you're doing and go with the scenes and how it's developing, and that's hard enough because in a TV show things change all the time. I mean, when they first told me about Meisner, he's from Vienna, and then all of a sudden during the show it comes out he's from Berlin. Technically speaking, that's a huge difference.

Yeah, no kidding.

B: Can I cut in here with respect to that? I don't know how much you already know that he is from Berlin, now.

Yep! We mentioned that I think on the blog, or maybe just to ourselves a few days ago. The conversation between Sebastien and Renard that they said he was from Vienna and there were "methods" which we picked up on because Meisner was also an acting teacher. So we assumed there was some kind of hilarious in-joke going on in the writers' room when they wrote that.

You know, when I first heard the name I was all, huh, does that have anything to do with the Meisner Technique? But no, it's just a German name as far as I can tell. I don't know.

Might just've been in their heads, yeah. I know, they've still never elaborated on these distrustful methods, either. Hopefully you'll come back next season and we can find out!

I have no idea, and that's the honest truth.

I'm not sure they have any idea, either.

Exactly, exactly how it is in TV shows.

Your turn to be publicly embarrassing, Anna! I've been the one over here asking if we're the creepy fangirls who talk too much.

No, no, that's another thing I like about your blog, you just say it how it is. I think there's people trying to be too politically correct, and you just say it how you feel.

It's true, we don't like beating around the bush at all. We have very few filters, you may have noticed. Do you have anything other than Grimm coming down the pipe that you can tell us about?

Well, it's actually out already now, I think it's coming out in the States? A video game, horror stuff, actually called Death Factory but in the United States they renamed it to The Butcher, I don't know why. I know they change names all the time because of distribution rights and stuff like that, because there's some other film with the name. There's a few projects I'm in talks about at the moment, nothing concrete at this point. We're waiting to hear, so we'll see. It's that time of the year when the actors all go "okay," because everybody's usually on hiatus. Grimm has a fourth season, that's fantastic awesome, and I'd love to be back, but you never know. If, what, which, where, how, why, and that all said I've had great feedback from the fans and the crew and everybody.

Yeah, I remember one of the writers was threatening to kill you off on Twitter, and that raised a huge fan outcry.

They're awesome, though, they're really funny. I went to their offices, they tease you all the time. Beginning of this last scene, I'd just filmed the basement scene and all that, I didn't even know that the whole baby thing was coming up, and they said "you know we should really make you have a fight." And I looked at one of the other guys, he goes "yeah, we should really do that before we kill you off." With a big wink. They joke, obviously, they have to come up with their own ideas, they have some ideas but everything develops as it goes. They look at the market research, they look at stuff and go, okay, maybe we can do this or the other.

[After Björn comes to give a ten-minute warning]: And see, that's a part that's not so fun, when you do get attention you have to run from one place to another, you know? I have to ask you, Kitty, one question. I know that's your boyfriend playing in the background, what game is he playing?

Dragon Age, I think. Dragons Dogma. I have no idea, it's a medieval fantasy roleplaying/exploration game. It's one of those roleplay do-the-thing, solve-the-quest things.

No, neither one of us plays video games, I'm just glad that my husband isn't here playing games and crashing his plane. He loves playing flight sim games! He's terrible at them. What, do you play Call of Duty or something?

I actually play absolutely no video games, but that's because I was once given a Playstation 2, many years ago, and I literally don't remember that three days passed because I was playing.

That's a good reason!

I gave the Playstation away because I went, oh my god, I cannot do anything but just play. I get so caught up, if you're into that, you know, I think I could be. And that's why I just said nonono.

I did that exact same thing myself with a game, not too long ago. Before the man comes to drag you away, what martial arts styles do you think translate best to film?

Probably very traditional martial arts, like wu shu, kung fu, karate, tae kwon do. The more serious martial arts, which I then did later, and used to fighting, muay thai and Brazilian jujitsu, they're not as suited because they're more real fighting. Especially jujitsu is an amazing martial art, and it's become really famous now, but it's done while you're on top of somebody, on the ground, and you're making really small little moves that you can't even see, so that doesn't come across in film, it just looks like they're lying there cuddling, you know what I mean? So the bigger, more elaborate, more flamboyant martial arts, again with the karate and big kicks and everything, so I think that translates better in film.

The difference between taking someone down in combat to demonstration.

Yeah, yeah, again, as I said, fighting in the film has to look dramatic and great. You would never fight like that in real life.

I think this means I do need to get Kitty to watch Ong-Bak with me tonight, though.

There you go! Which one, the first or the second?

First, with the long tracking shot.

Second one has Lateef [Crowder] in it, he's the guy that got the water scene.

Yeah, I showed her clip, which is - it's such a gorgeous fight scene.

He used to be one of my idols, and then I show up and he's the guy I'm fighting with, I was all "yeah!" He's awesome. And Freddy, he choreographed with the 300 films so he's just as experienced.

What do you think is the most valuable or instructive thing for somebody looking to get into stunt fighting and show combat for them to do?

To get work, or to be good at it?

To be good at it.

Well, obviously really practice your martial art, but even more important, when you practice, put all the emphasis on precision. Because I just had a journalist here doing an article on my stunt fighting stuff, and I told them, they will say action and you'll have to do the kick twenty times, one inch away from the camera, over and over again. So if you're imprecise and you kick that camera that's worth $200,000, they'll never hire you again. Work with a stuntman and you kick him thirty, forty, fifty times, if that kicks becomes harder or you're not staying precise, then they will never work with you again. It's precision. And coming from the actual fighting, I used to train to go through the body, to damage as much as I possibly can with the impact of my kick, then go back to the stunt work and do the exact opposite. You have to make it look like it's extremely hard and powerful, but you have to kind of pull that kick and keep your leg nice and loose so it hits the body, gets a little snap and a clap, but that's it. Complete opposite, it's very difficult to change sometimes from one to the other.

The real pros are aware of that [need for precision] already, and they're training for it. The stamina is very important too, because as I said you need to do it over and over and over again. You can do it twice beautifully and then the third time breathing like [gasping]. Because it's literally action, cut, kick, set up again, action, cut. Now, it's one thing if you have twenty minutes in between the scenes, but if you have to go action-cut and do it and action-cut and do it and you get to the third take and you're standing there [panting for breath] it's really not the same. You can't look like you've already done it thirty times, you have to just go calm and collected and ready into it.

That was one of the things we noticed on our set visit; we got to see Norberto Barba directing. He was very snap-snap-snap. He did a lot of takes very quickly and very precise.

And it's TV, you know? I mean, film is quick too, but TV is especially quick because you have to get it done that day, there isn't any of "oh, we need a bigger budget and we're going to extend the shoot." No. It has to be done because they have to pop out episodes.

Week to ten days per episode, yeah.

Yeah, there is no messing about, you have to get it done. And you have to be a good director to know, not cutting corners, but to know, alright, we have this, this is it, maybe it's not exactly how I wanted it and it's not going to be my Oscar nomination piece for film, but it's going to be good.

It's solid, it's competent.

It's solid, it's done, they're going to get what I wanted from it, let's move on.

I think that's all we've got time for. Thank you so much.

Thank you, and as I said, next time you're in Portland, not only do you have to dance, but we also have to meet.

Alright, we'll have lunch at St Honore or something.

Thank you for your interest, all the best, and keep the blog going!

We certainly will.

If you want another iteration of stunt people being awesome, there's also this ten-minute clip of the stuntwork on Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, which we have no affiliation with but found very timely and interesting. 

[This post was originally published with two misprints: Steve should have been Lateef, and USC is UFC. We have made corrections, with our apologies. 5/5/14]

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