Geekery: The Action Hero’s Guide to Saving Lives
This hilarious short takes on the most overplayed action movie tropes and clichés… with Patrick Warburton!
This short was produced from concept to what you’re about to watch in about 6 1/2 weeks with a tiny budget and was shot over four nights, which is a feat. Go behind the scenes of Ace Mulligan’s mission to stop the bad guys; it’s not always successful, but it’s always dangerous. Being an action hero boxed in by tropes isn’t always easy.
When lives are on the line… When there’s danger at every turn… When clichés run amuck… Sometimes the best thing to do is call Mulligan! Ace Mulligan!
Since we’re on the topic of action movies (and because I will take any opportunity to write about them as I’m a sucker for a great fight scene and in awe of the folks that make them)…
Chad Stahelski is one of the minds and directors behind the John Wick franchise. He’s worked as a stunt performer and coordinator since the early 1990s – his credits include Escape from LA, Bloodsport III, 300, Alien: Resurrection, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, and The Matrix Trilogy (he was Keanu’s double). He co-owns a company, 87eleven, with stunt man David Leitch has done choreography, training, and stunt coordination for major studios like Marvel. They also do mocap for video games.
He recently did an interview with Rossatron on YouTube that is well worth watching. He talks about everything from what it’s like to work with actors to create scenes, creating movies in ways that are as safe as possible, the handoff between the action scene created and the one the director decides on, and a bunch of behind the scenes about developing John Wick.
Another stunt performer turned director you should keep an eye on: Sam Hargrave. He’s been in the business for about 15 years and has appeared in a ton of movies – including being a double for Hugh Jackman/Wolverine and Chris Evans/Captain America. Hargrave is worth following on Instagram if you’re over there. His directorial debut was Extraction, and he was really really hands-on.
About halfway through Netflix’s “Extraction,” there is an action scene shot to look like one long, 12-minute take. To sell the illusion, Marvel stunt coordinator turned director Sam Hargrave strapped himself to the hood of a car to follow multiple car chases and then attached himself to a rope so he could capture a moment where two characters tumble off a balcony. Because there are no cuts, actor Chris Hemsworth had to do some of the most intense training of his career. Meanwhile, if you look closely, you might find the invisible cuts, or “stitches,” that attach each shot of the sequence.
I can’t wait to see new projects from these guys once Hollywood is able to start rolling again. Stahelski is already signed up for John Wick 4 and the Highlander remake (no Christopher Lambert or Queen soundtrack, but the sword fights are going to be epic).