How to SHOOT a Fight Scene: MOVEMENT, CHOREOGRAPHY (taught by stuntmen

– Hey, guys, what’s happening? My name is Rustic, I’m
a professional stuntman, and today I’m gonna
give you some more tips on filming fight scenes. (grunting) Also, hit subscribe if you wanna see more videos like this. So today we’re gonna cover some basic movement tips for actors. These are pointers that
you can use yourself or that you can give to actors as helping tips on set. So, number one is being aware of where the camera is at all times. Start practicing using
your peripheral vision to feel where it is so you can make adjustments during the take. So for example, if you’re
the person attacking and you can see the camera
with your peripheral vision, you can make the adjustment for your hit to make sure that it sells. Likewise, if you’re the
person doing the reaction, and you can see the camera
with your peripheral vision, you can move your face to
be just in the right spot to make sure that the reaction sells. Film fighting is all about control. Your fight choreography
is gonna look better with precisely placed hits and reactions, and you’re not gonna
have to do as many takes. When I was starting out
as a stunt performer, I would catch myself
going faster and faster throughout the choreography, but what that did was make
me sloppier and sloppier. Pace yourself. You can still make your fight look messy while being precise and not
rushing through your hits. So even though you may not know this, but when you see a really good fight, there is always an irregular tempo. This means that the fight isn’t just one long exchange of beats,
hit after hit after hit, but rather that it’s broken into pieces, depending on the choreography. So you can have like a hit,
hit-duck, one two three, so you wanna keep it irregular, because that keeps it more
interesting for the viewer. And the way to do this is
you figure out the tempo with your partner before you start recording the choreography, and you walk it through a couple times and store it in your muscle memory, even with all those pauses. As I mentioned in the
first video of this series, you don’t need to be that close to your partner to sell a hit. And this is especially true for longer pieces of complex choreography. The most common mistake we see in fight choreography is when
actors start crowding in, they start getting too close. This doesn’t give you space to throw your punches and look good, so you wanna be aware of the distance depending on what your next hit of the choreography is gonna be. Being aware of your
footwork and your distance is really important when
doing fight choreography. If something doesn’t feel right, it can usually be traced back to one of those two being off. You should learn some basic martial arts and boxing stances and practice
moving in between them. If you watch a really good screen fighter, you will see that they
switch their stances often, and they look really crisp while doing it. Now another guideline to be aware of is the fact that you can use “45s” to control the distance
between you and your opponent. This means that you can
walk between your stances while switching your hips to point slightly away from your opponent, and that’ll help you move forward and back while controlling your distance and still looking good
for all your punches. So we have an expression for someone looking awkward on camera during a fight, that’s called having “egg on the face”. This pops up in every fight scene, as we always are making
constant adjustments, and we’re gonna have new
spaces that we need to fill. What you can do in these moments is to use your acting and
throw in a ghost beat to help you fix the problem. So a ghost beat is an improvised movement that you throw in to
fill in the extra space during a fight. You can see the guys in the ray doing this well by moving their hands, which keeps them from looking awkward as they wait for the next beat. You can also see it here as I throw an extra left punch while
Aaron sweeps my leg. Another tip to help your reactions is to actually remember
that you’re acting. Don’t forget about the story in favor of just remembering the choreography. Take your time to really
feel the character. Are you exhausted by
the end of your fight? Story should be your main motivation. My last quick tip to
looking better on camera is to try and stay open to camera. This means that if you see
two fighters facing off, one of them will usually
be in the left stance, and the other one, for my tastes, is usually in the right stance. So they’re both open to camera, and you can see what’s
happening right here. If you make this adjustment on set, your choreography might
have to change a little bit, but the audience will be able to see what you’re doing a lot better. And that’s it, guys. Remember, these are just my personal tips from my experience, and I believe that they make my fights look better. Alright, guys, thank you
so much for watching. Leave a like. Subscribe if you wanna
see more videos like this, and check out our whole playlist below. (light music)

39 Replies to “How to SHOOT a Fight Scene: MOVEMENT, CHOREOGRAPHY (taught by stuntmen

  1. I love how you talk about the little things that sometimes people may forget. My pro wrestling trainer once told me to never forget the little things because they make a huge difference in how your performance looks.
    This was very insightful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. This may inspire me to do tutorials on pro wrestling.

  2. Dude this is great! Can't wait to start using these tips and tricks in my future projects!!! Check out our teaser for our debut short based on a group of comic book heroes from Valiant Comics:

  3. so solid, we were waiting for someone who knows what theyre doing with stunts to upload stuff like this… finally!!!

  4. Spreading some good knowledge. I really hope you get people inspired to create more cool fighting scenes. Nice video mate!


  5. Another great video, especially the section on ghost beats. The main thing that really bothers me in a lot of indie fight stuff. Even if they have great choreography and camerawork, they end up over-editing to keep it feeling 'fast', without really realising that using the 'ghost beats' would fill that space.

  6. This is so damn helpful. Especially about camera awareness– you're basically cheating to camera to sell it. 45's is so damn helpful as well. It's crazy how much movement is required to keep it visually interesting. Solid work– you've saved me so much time.

  7. I know you have (logically) started off this series as basic, hands on tutorial, and build complexity from episode 1-3. So forgive me for asking, but which role do you see being the most critical in filming complex scenes? Like the amazing hallway scene in Old Boy, or Uma versus the crazy 88 in Kill Bill? Director? Editor? Stunt team?

  8. Can anyone let me know how villian s are kicked and punch far away. Something like tied rope n pull away n edited in chroma key…pls want to know in details

  9. OMIGOD THE RAID!! THAT'S WHAT INSPIRED ME TO MAKE FIGHt SCENES. The choreography is beautiful and flawless, it's such an inspiration. My channel's called scimitar films, also inspired by the riad.

  10. Found your video on my feed. Subscribed to your channel and thank you for taking the time to make the videos!

  11. This is awesome. Do you teach fight choreography? What do you think of our video?

  12. This is really good! Ive been wondering what I can do better in my fight scenes. I can't wait to watch the rest

  13. I'm making an action video this Saturday but it may not come out until a couple of weeks. I'm using some of your tips for it. Thanks! I love ❤️ your channel

  14. I'm an amateur animator and your videos are helping me spice up my fight scenes. I am currently animating one and your tips on camera angles are very helpful. Even though I don't have to be worried about injuries to my fighters as a motivation, it IS the motivation in the movies people watch so it makes sense to me that I should use very similar angles to give my audience something they are familiar with. Something I am doing I picked up from the TMNT 2012 animated series. In a kick/ punch, I replay the action at normal speed but I break the action just before the kick/ punch is thrown and right after it's recovered. I then speed up the bit in the middle where the kick/punch is landing to 110% which gives more power to it when it lands. Anyway your real life work translates to my work very well and I want to thank you for the tips. Liked, subbed and rang the bell.

  15. Could you compare fighting styles and ways to replicate those styles from movies? Maybe compare Raiders of the Lost Ark and a Bruce Lee movie?

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