CHATAction choreographer Colin Handley on the dynamics behind orchestrating a stunt
Colin Handley, the Australian fight choreographer and stunt performer who has worked in over a 100 Hollywood movies and television shows, recently gave a lesson or two about fight sequences to the students of acting at the Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT) in Noida.
Handley, who has worked with actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Van Damme, said, “Stunt is an important aspect of filmmaking. It is important for an actor to know how to express actions such as slap, jump and tumble."
He taught the technique behind a stunt to the students through this workshop. He said stunt is a specialised technique, and training, a must to learn these techniques.
About the response to the workshop, he said some were quick learners.
Handley, trained in martial arts and taekwondo, has been in the profession for 30 years. He said, “Fitness, attitude and courage play a very important role in performing stunts. We keep training all the time.”
Stunts have taken huge leaps forward, especially in Hollywood. New technology, special effects and CGI (computer generated image) help stunts look real and bigger, said Handley. “A stunt is teamwork and good preparation gives the desired effect.”
On his third visit to the AAFT in the past five years, Handley said he was trying to understand the stunt culture in the Indian film industry.
“I have not seen many Indian films, but I am beginning to do so. I love to watch actors such as Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan. And I want to work in India. I have met some people. But, I am still waiting for an offer,” he added. About the Indian filmmakers' fascination for Hollywood action directors, Handley said, “There are some good action directors here, but there is a paucity of experience. Further, filmmakers don't give them much opportunity to show their talent. I think, in the coming years, Indian action directors and stuntmen will do a good job. Akshay Kumar performs his stunts himself and if I am not wrong he also knows martial art.” Asked about the risk factor in action, Handley said, “There is always a sense of fear. But, we enjoy it when action is executed according to the demand of the film and the script.”