PODCAST: THE CODE OF ACTION (Selected Episodes)
EPISODE 02: ANTAL KALIK (Captain America, Logan, Wonder Woman)
Ever wonder what it's like dangling from a helicopter 1500 feet above the ground? This week Lawrence talks with Antal Kalik, one of the most in-demand stunt performers in Hollywood (Captain America, Logan, Wonder Woman, American Sniper, Jupiter Ascending, 22 Jump Street - for which he recently won a Taurus Award, and the upcoming Ant Man, and Captain America: Civil War). Antal discusses his humble beginnings growing up in Michigan, his journey to achieving his dream of becoming a stunt performer and the value of leaving your ego at the door. Antal is the real deal, he shares his thoughts on how to stay in the game, the current state of action in movies, CGI vs. green screen, and what it’s like working as the stunt double to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (including Channing Tatum and Chris Hemsworth). Get ready for an inside peek into the world of the Hollywood stunt performer.
EPISODE O3: JEF GROFF (The Fate of the Furious)
Need someone to ride a motorbike, shoot a machine gun...on one wheel? Lawrence talks with stunt performer Jef Groff. Jef is one of the hardest working stunt performers in the business, and he’ll be the first to tell you that hard work is the very least you need to make it.
Racing motorcross at 8 years old (balance is a natural gift), Jef is a master of motorcycles and all things automotive. Jef discusses what it’s like to drive a brand new car through an operating Target department store, why it doesn’t matter if it’s a $200 bike or a $1 million bike, that you still need to perform, why you need confidence, skills and credits to make it in Hollywood, and how the original Point Break film is a major influence on the current regime of top stuntmen.
Jef shares his thoughts on the concept that there is indeed no "I" in team, how everyone involved has to be in sync for the stunt to go right, and the value the work that Stunt Performers do, because without them we don’t get movies like Furious 8 or Mad Max: Fury Road. Stunt Coordinators will always hire the best to push the limits and add to the brain trust of any good stunt team. Being the best at what you do and staying on the cutting edge means to constantly be evolving, always staying relevant, always bringing something to the table. Jef Groff is living proof that hard work and dedication pay off.
EPISODES 01 & 05: JOHN KRENG (Fight Choreography: The Art of Non Verbal Dialogue)
"A Journey into the World of Hong Kong Cinema" Lawrence talks with noted Martial Arts expert John Kreng about his life and career in the stunt world, how growing up going to grindhouse movies influenced him, the history of Hong Kong cinema itself, how the Shaolin Warriors and Chinese Opera affected the different fighting styles in the movies, what Bruce Lee did for Martial Arts Cinema, why the fight director has equal billing to the director in Hong Kong, what happened to John Woo, the average life span of a Hong Kong Stunt Performer, not to mention John's first on screen fight with none other than Jet Li!
There is fighting... and then there is fighting for film! A session on non-verbal dialogue. Part 2 of Lawrence’s talk with Fight Choreographer John Kreng. In part 1 they covered the history of fighting on film, now they discuss the meat and potatoes of it all including how on-screen action serves the story and characters of a the film, assessing the skill sets of an actor, the relationship between the Stunt Coordinator and the director, and when to involve the DP (hint: always). They also cover film school vs. real life, the value of Stunt Coordinators and 2nd Unit Directors being involved in the edit, the value of pre-vis, and why all departments have to be in sync. The bottom line to all of this being audience emotional satisfaction vs. box office success (they need not be mutually exclusive), and why the action must support the story and the story must support the action.