Magazine article Variety

Careful Planning Creates Action-Packed Thrills

Magazine article Variety

Careful Planning Creates Action-Packed Thrills

Article excerpt

TELEVISION STUNTWORK HAS come a long way in the past decade and half, both in the quality and quantity of the action sequences seen on the small screen and the appreciation they get from the Television Academy. The first Emmy for stunt coordination was handed out in 2002; in 2013 it was split into two awards categories: one for drama, limited series or movies, and another for comedy or variety program.

While small-screen stunts are now arguably of movie quality, TV shows aren't as action-packed as their big-screen counterparts. Typically, an hour-long episode has one or two big stunt set pieces and a fight sequence or two. But those episodes are shot on eight to 10-day schedules.

Season two of Netflix's "Jessica Jones" had the title character, played by Krysten Ritter, doing everything from running out of an exploding building one step ahead of a fireball, with her best friend on her shoulders, to taking a high dive from a Ferris wheel. For the latter, Ritter's stunt double Dejay Roestenberg did a 35-foot controlled fall to the ground on a single line of rope.

Both stunts were rehearsed and tested for only one day prior to filming and performed without aid of digital trickery, apart from CGI to erase the rope assisting the performer, but before they were executed they were pre-visualized and discussed in detail with other departments.

"Everyone has to be on the same page in order for the illusion to be created and for everyone to remain safe," says the series' stunt coordinator Declan Mulvey

Fox's first-responder drama "9-1-1" also featured an amusement park stunt, but it involved a roller coaster stuck at the top of a 360-degree loop. …

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