Finding Film History Information and Gaining Knowledge has never been easier than it is today, so are you really studying as much as you could?
Nowadays, there is so much great film history available online for all to see. One night on google, you'll be able to read up and learn from directors, learn their history, what they like, and even what they dislike, etc. (Which is especially important to know should you find yourself WORKING for that Director)!
But you can also look a little deeper and start seeing a pattern. Learn what genres certain studios you may be working for tend to lean toward or produce. For example, do they use blood & gore, or are they normally pushing out more PG rated content? These are all important things to look at as you Study and Learn about your next project, or a project you may be interviewing for.
You may also learn about all this, even the development of Action Sequences, by taking the time, turning off re-runs, and watching the behind the scenes, to “B Roll” Interviews, etc.
No matter what, the important thing is to LEARN.
TO NOT KNOW HISTORY, IS INEXCUSABLE
All serious players within the Action Film Making Realm need to train themselves to STUDY, constantly, before and after every film they work on.
From horse sequences to train sequences, or basic car sequences, whatever action it might be, big or small, start looking at the history of sequences with that very same element. If you find something interesting, take the time to watch the whole movie to see how & why the action was placed there. Notice how things were done and take hard notes for later reference! Not only is this process FUN, this is how you will truly grow in your craft! It’s just like studying GAME FILM as an athlete, by watching things from the outside, you tend to notice far more!
Also, remember that there are always elements in action sequences that you can hone & improve upon. However, to hone, you need to first expand your knowledge of such sequences by viewing the history of a particular Stunt or Action Sequence!
Again, at that point, once you have all that knowledge in your head - your personal touches can be added and your similar sequence, improved.
"It can be pretty embarrassing to put together an action sequence and feel you’re the first to do it, telling everyone and bragging about it, only to find out later that it was done a dozen other times in the past." Yes, that has happened! A better way is to just study, thus knowing your history which in turn will help you make things better and your own touch & vision, more noticeable.
To start, google Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd & Charlie Champlin.
Watch their scenes on YouTube and see how creative these men were and how they did things in the past without all the tech and luxuries we have and take for granted, today. These artists & even Action Coordinators had to exercise extreme creativity! not only to bring the action to life, but to also keep themselves ALIVE. Watch and be in awe of the many things they’ve done, as they certainly paved so many paths that we all walk today.
Information & Education is EVERYTHING when it comes to advancing your appeal.
Again, if you are an Action Filmmaker, there are NO Excuses to being ignorant to Action Film Making History, that is, if this is the career path you wish to continue on. Nor are there any excuses to not knowing the history of Stunt Sequences you’re film may need a ton of! If you are working for Warner Brothers or Marvel (for example), and are going to be working for them on a new project, it is important that you rent a bunch of movies FROM Warner Brothers or Marvel and learn as much as you can!
See their style, notate the style that they, the studio, have kept & allowed in their Finished Product. Learn from such things to make better decisions and you can be sure that referencing a Studio Movie in a meeting, or an iconic scene can win you some points as they know you've done your homework and respect their position or demographic.
Even modern movies though, with all the high-tech special effects, can still have really important information or insights given to them by watching & reviewing Black & White movies. Maybe its set up, or a cool camera trick. You NEVER KNOW, so NEVER bypass those old ‘Westerns’ or even silent films. Learn, Learn, Learn. Again, IT CAN BE FUN! Make it part of the process an enjoy it! There is a lot of Gold laying around those older films, LONG SINCE FORGOTTEN! So watch as many action sequences as you can from different eras and see how you can change it to make things more relevant in your film or tv show’s action sequence.
OBSERVATION: It’s amazing to see people who train their bodies constantly, hitting the gym daily, but, when it comes to their minds or craft, they study only a couple per year, if that. Sadly, that happens to be the habit of a VAST majority, both in our stunt industrry and out. Everyone could get much further if they really focused and dedicated time, to learning! This is a HUGE reason why StuntEducation.com was created.
So are you a Dedicated Stunt Professional or Action Film Maker? If so, remember this quote: “People dedicate time to learn and study what they are truly dedicated to.” – J. William
NO MATTER YOUR LEVEL TOO, RESEARCH SHOULD NEVER END, NOR SHOULD EDUCATION & LEARNING. FOCUS ON MASTERY!
As Andy Armstrong states in one of his videos relating to this subject, he still learns a lot from the past & present. So with how established he is, why would you think you do NOT need to study? He still learns and so can you. Again, the Stunt & Action Film Professionals of the past did not have the luxuries we have today, yet somehow, they figured things out to trick the viewer, thus giving a better experience to their audience.
In modern times, this study & education can help you save on the budget & bring something cool to your action. If they could bring creative ways of doing something or portraying action, of course, so can we… and as Action Film Makers, or Stunt Action Coordinators, we really have no excuse in this modern age.
To learn more NOW and to dive deeper into many other subjects, click this link: Stunt Coordinator, Monthly Mastermind here.
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