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Posts Tagged ‘stunts’

Stuntwoman Gaëlle Cohen Interviewed by BlogTalkRadio

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 18, 2013

Gaëlle Cohen is an internationally acclaimed stunt coordinator and performer who has worked on over sixty film and television Gaelle Cohenproductions. A native of France, she was recently featured in the award-winning smash ZERO DARK THIRTY.

Her stunt credits include ZERO DARK THIRTY, SAHARA, RUSH HOUR 3, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF; BABYLON AD, OSS 117, MARTYRS. and the upcoming disaster thriller BLACK SKY. As stunt performer, Cohen has doubled for such luminary figures as Sophie Marceau and Penelope Cruz.

Cohen earned a law degree, then, as member of the French National Fencing team, she got her showbiz start performing fight sequences for the television show HIGHLANDER in 1995.

Gaelle speaks French, German, Italian, and English; and among her stunt and athletic skills are Ratchets, High Fall, Squibs, Air Rams, Horseback Riding, Fight-Guy/Gal, Reactions, Wire Work, Hong Kong Wire Work, Fire Burns, Weapons, Car Hits, I Ground Pound, Motion Capture, Motorcycle Falls, Medium and Low Falls, Martial Arts, Weapons, Horse Transfers and Falls, Camel Rider, Descender, Golf, Swimming, Tennis, Fencing, Snow Skiing, Yoga, Rock Climbing, Archery, and Jousting!

As stunt coordinator, her signature action sequences have captured attention within the industry for their earthy realism. THE TALL MAN, a suspense thriller starring Jessica Biel, marks her second collaboration with acclaimed French director, Pascal Laugier.

Listen to the interview here.

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Interview With The Incredible Stunt Driver Robert Nagle

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 10, 2013

By Michael Muire Robert Nagle Rig

Robert Nagle studied mechanical engineering and racecar design before becoming a professional race driver. But when he found out that some of the other drivers were working in the film industry, it piqued his interest. Said Nagle, “What I found was that it fulfilled a creative side of me that I didn’t really realize was there.” He left the racing world and hasn’t looked back, doing stunt driving for a number of films, including The Dark Knight Rises and Drive.

One piece of equipment he’s been driving lately is the Biscuit Rig Jr., a driveable platform developed by Allan Padelford Camera Cars. In this interview he describes the origins of the vehicle and its operation and uses.

Filmmaker: What is the Biscuit Rig?

Nagle: Allen Padelford originally built a rig for the movie Sea Biscuit, and it was a giant driveable platform they put mechanical horses on to film the actors up close.

The vehicle was also used on Aviator, and they mounted an aircraft fuselage on it for Leo [DiCaprio] to sit in for a crash sequence. During that time there was a huge brush fire in Southern California and the rig was caught up in the brush fire and was lost.

Fast forward a few years later, Allen and I got together and started collaborating on some projects and we decided to build a different version of what he was calling the Biscuit Rig, and we came up with the Biscuit Jr.

We engineered this thing from the ground up; it’s powered by a V8 Cadillac Northstar that’s about 400 horsepower. It’s front wheel drive and there’s a pair of wheels at the back. Six wheels in total.

There’s a pod that is the driver position that is moveable around the rig. If the cameras are looking towards the back it can sit toward the front of the rig, or if the cameras want to face forward we can move the driving pod to the rear of the vehicle to be out of frame. That’s what makes this design unique.

Filmmaker: It can be modified?

Nagle: The whole thing is modular so we can really play around with what the bed looks like and how many axels we have. ForTotal Recall, we added another set of axels because of the amount of load that was on it.

Filmmaker: What’s the advantage of this over a typical trailer?

Nagle: You can drive over 100 miles an hour with it, we can high-speed through traffic, we can slide it, we can spin it.  It’s heavy. Not super responsive, but it handles extremely well. It’s very fast.

Filmmaker: How do you slide it if it’s not very responsive?

Nagle: Well when I say it’s not very responsive, it’s not like a sports car. It is heavy, but most people walk away quite amazed at how well it gets around.

Filmmaker: It must be a very odd feeling to be driving from the back?

Nagle: It really is because all the sensation and everything you feel is completely off from what you are used to. I acclimate to it pretty quickly because I have done it so much, but it’s definitely an odd sensation.

Filmmaker: What’s the most amazing bit of driving that you’ve done with this?

Nagle: One would be in Drive. Almost all of the sequences where Ryan Gosling is driving, he’s on the Biscuit Rig. We did a chase sequence where……..

 

Click here to read the rest of the interview.

 

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Stunt Woman Gaëlle Cohen Kicks Through The Glass Ceiling

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 9, 2013

By Victoria Lynn Weston

Gaelle CohenIt’s a cold rainy day in Atlanta.  And I’m trying to visualize how someone walks out of a fiery explosion in the Middle East desert and survives.

 

Today I am on the telephone with stunt woman Gaëlle Cohen, one of the most in-demand stunt performers in Hollywood.  She has worked on over sixty film and television productions including; Rush Hour 3, Babylon A.D., Brotherhood of the Wolf, most recently Zero Dark Thirty.

Born and raised in France, Gaëlle Cohen started out her career as a lawyer, “but I really didn’t fit in,” she tells me.

Maybe it was fate, one day she got a call from a friend who was a movie agent and asked her to fill in for an actress. “I arrived on set and saw other actors practicing fencing and since I was on the French National Fencing team and a champion fencer,  I helped them.  They liked my work and I met stunt performers who invited me to audition.”

Gaëlle launched a new career as a stunt performer for the Highlander show in 1995.

“I started out doing sword fights and performed all the bad girl stunts on the show.  It was like a flash –  this is what I want to do!

Cohen has a beautiful French accent and it takes me a few seconds to take in all that she is saying; “This is me – combining athleticism and artistic creation. I did extensive research and trained full-time……

 

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

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Topless Robot Interview: Zero Dark Thirty and Highlander Stuntwoman Gaelle Cohen

Posted by Levine Communications Office on March 15, 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson

I’ve interviewed many a director and actor in my day, but when it comes to so many of the movies we like, there’s a key reason they kick ass figuratively and literally that I’ve never really been able to explore: the stunt people.

It’s a fascinating world they inhabit, in which life and limb are put on the line every day, not for queen and country, but for the sake of entertaining us all. So when the chance came to speak to stuntwoman Gaelle Cohen – whose credits include Zero Dark ThirtyBrotherhood of the Wolf and Martyrs – came up, I took it. I think you’ll be glad I did. Read on to learn about the differences between realistic and stylized action, the superheroes she likes and would like to be, and how stuntwomen really feel about Quentin Tarantino turning Zoe Bell into a lead actress.

Luke Y. Thompson: You got your start on Highlander: The Raven, right?

Gaelle Cohen: Yes, I did, in Europe. It was shot in Europe. It was shot in France, mainly, and that’s how I started with swordfights.

LYT: Did you always know this was what you wanted to do?

GC: Not at all, total coincidence! I had finished law – to become a lawyer – and then I worked on a show where stunt people were working, and they were rehearsing a fight, a swordfight, and we became friends. I said, “If you want I can train you. I can put a fight together for you,” because they had an audition; they were preparing for an audition. So they said “Yes,” we put up a fight together, and train them, and off they went to their audition. And then one day I received a phone call, and it was the coordinator of their show who wanted to meet me, because he really liked what I did. So I said “OK, I’ll meet you, but I have no idea what your job is. I’m not at all in the movie industry.”

That was 16 years ago already. I met him, and he said “I’m doing a show called Highlander, and there’s a lot of swordfights. Would you like to work with me?” I said, “If you think I could do a good job, yes. Otherwise, no.” So I started doing fights, doing all the bad girls in there, all the females who were killed, and so I got addicted. I thought, “My god, this is what I want! This is really what I want to do.” So I trained for a year and a half. I learned everything and anything that could be useful for stunt work, like, I did the national circus school; I was already a very good horse rider; I was doing shooting and stuff like that. I trained martial arts, trampoline, all that, diving, then after a year and a half, I started working and I never stopped.

LYT: How did you know how to put together that first swordfight? Did you just make it up?

GC: Well, I was – that’s the thing I forgot to tell you, I should have started with that – I was on the national fencing team for many years; I’m a national champion. So fencing was natural for me, I was doing it every day, five hours a day, so that’s why it was natural for me.

LYT: Is there a gender bias? Do you mostly work with guys, or has that changed?

GC: In the past, many, many years ago, there were not so many stuntwomen; in the ’60s, not so many stunt women. So men were doubling for men and women. And then women became more interested and started training. So then it became, why wouldn’t women be able to do what men are doing? So they started training, and they started being respected by coordinators who thought that finally women could do the job, and it actually looks better than the men with the wig, because he’s not shaped as a woman! So it became natural for woman to double woman. It’s still a very manly world, but women have a big place, a big influence. In the stunt coordinating world, I read that there’s not, there are barely women, so I’m super happy to be one who is coordinating, which is really rare, because it’s still very manly.

 

Read the rest of the interview at Topless Robot

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