Action choreographer Larnell Stovall Jr. on how punches and kicks can be made to look real
The Indian cinephile has always been left wondering why the action sequences in our Indian movies are light years behind the ones made in Hollywood and other Asian countries such as Korea and Thailand. According to action choreographer, Larnell Stovall Jr., who has worked in films such as Undisputed III and is in the city to choreograph the climax fight (read boxing) sequence between WWE star Nathan Jones and Jayam Ravi for Bhooloham, the difference in quality is not much due to the lack of skills but approach.
“You cannot keep throwing punches, the audience will eventually get bored,” he says. The job of an action choreographer, he points out, is not just choreographing the action. “The action choreographer should have knowledge about shot composition, the kind of lens that is being used to shoot the action sequences, the emotion in the scene and how to use the dialogue. Only then can you get a great action sequence,” Larnell explains. What does he think of action choreography in Tamil films? “I liked the stunts in Robot (Enthiran),” he says. As more and more Hollywood films get dubbed into regional languages, how does he think stunt directors can cope with rising expectations?
“The best way is to imitate,” says Larnell and adds, “ It is important that action choreographers try to reach the level of work achieved in movies such as Fast and Furious 6. You can only improve step by step.”
What plans has he drawn up for Bhooloham? “I am trying to get the director, the cinematographer and the actors on the same page. Apart from choreographing the action sequences, I will try to convey the emotions in the sequences in the best possible way. That’s my job,” he signs off.