So a great bit of happenstance happened to me recently.
I’m a big fan of the Starz TV series “Spartacus“. I recently saw a special feature on the show’s cast going through the training needed to perform the series’ many action sequences. Secretly, I wished I could be a part of something like that.
Little did I know that some dreams do come true. I was recently cast to be part of a stunt team that would be filming the longest single take action sequence in film history. If we pulled it off, it would be a world record.
Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with this particular twist of fate. Not only was I training to be in an awesome action fight sequence that watching “Spartacus” had inspired me to want to be in – but I was going to be fighting with Crixus himself!
Manu is a very cool guy in person. His thick New Zealand accent is a cross between Sean Connery and Crocodile Dundee. You couldn’t have a better action hero accent if you tried. He also punches and kicks pretty hard for a “movie star” – he basically told us you’re not doing action films right if you don’t walk away like you do after a rugby match, with a few bumps and bruises. Lesson learned 🙂 And I must admit, the fight turned out pretty damn spectacular.
It was pretty ambitious this attempt at film history. The previous record went to Tony Jaa in the Protector – with a 4:09 long fight sequence. Nicholas Gyeney, the “Beta Test” film director, wanted a 6 minute long take – and we only had enough squibs, pyro, glass, and ibuprofen for about 5 takes to get it in the can.
I wore my “Guiness” beer shirt for good luck – I predicted we’d do it in one take. Nobody believed me.
But we did it! Not only is it the longest single take fight scene in film history, but we got it on the first take! I believe it’s around 6:30-7:00 minutes long.
My hats off to the whole Beta Test team. The film will be out Summer 2015.