The British Action Academy runs several courses in high-octane stunt work. ‘Gun Rush’ is a popular course aimed at rising stunt performers who want to learn how to safely handle firearms for use in action sequences. We took the full-day course outside of Woking, west of London, to find out how firearms stunts are co-ordinated.
Founder Andreas Petrides has been working in the industry for over 28 years. He has worked on “Gladiator”, four “James Bond” movies, “Band of Brothers” and “Star Wars” to name a few. As part of the course, Andreas runs through safety drills and shares his industry experience. Training is done with rifle, 8mm hand gun, Uzi and M4.
Movies use a range of weapons during filming. ‘Blanks’ are working weapons loaded with blank cartridges. These produce a big muzzle flash or a loud ‘bang.’ There are replica guns, or for less detailed dummy guns — ones made of rubber. Actors need to know how to adopt a convincing gun stance. Two of these examples are a Boxer stance and a Weaver stance.
The prop guns themselves go hand in hand with sound design. When a gun fires, you’re hearing three acoustic elements. The muzzle blast sound, the impact point, and the ‘crack’ sound of the bullet traveling through the air. Without this layering, a movie just doesn’t seem as realistic.
Find all the British Action Academy courses here:
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