×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Daredevil,’ ‘Black Sails’ Take Movie-Style Stunts to TV

TV shows increasingly serve up bigscreen-style action, but that doesn’t mean they have cushy movie schedules to pull it off, as this year’s Emmy contenders in the stunt category can attest.

On Netflix series “Marvel’s Daredevil” (pictured), stunt coordinator Phil Silvera had only two days of rehearsal to prepare for a sequence in which the title character (played by star Charlie Cox and stunt double Chris Brewster) takes on a hallway full of bad guys. Adding to the challenge: it had to be captured in a single continuous take.

“We had guns going off, doors being smashed and props being thrown, along with multiple fights,” Silvera says. “For a sequence like this on film, most people would get two to three weeks of rehearsal.”

On Starz pirate drama “Black Sails,” stunt coordinator Franz Spilhaus was told two weeks prior to filming the season two finale that they were going to capture a large scale amphibious assault in a single shot. He had only four days to rehearse the sequence, which took another four days to shoot. Between each of the six takes it took to get it right, the crew had to reset the 52 mortars and repair what the faux cannon hits had destroyed.

“We had 60 stunt performers in the sequence, and everything had to be timed out perfectly. Camera had to be exactly in the right place every time,” Spilhaus says.

But TV stuntwork also has its advantages. Because stunt coordinator Rick Le Fevour and the rest of the cast and crew on NBC’s “Chicago Fire” have been working with fire for three seasons, they can pull off complicated scenes with a minimum fakery— as they did on a recent episode where stuntman Kenny Richards got blown by a fireball through a glass window down to an airbag 35 feet below.

“I’d say it’s about 99% real fire on the show,” says Le Fevour. “There are only a few occasions we’ve added fire through visual effects.”

More Artisans

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • READY PLAYER ONE

    How Writer-Crew Collaborations Are Changing the Script for the Creative Process

    In traditional filmmaking, once a script is written, the director and department heads break it down and figure out the costs and logistics of production. But if the screenwriter collaborates during the creative process with key crew members, the entire production can benefit.  Such collaboration offers the prospect of help on many fronts. For example, [...]

  • avengers infinity war

    'Avengers,' 'Lost in Space,' 'Ready Player One' Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations

    The Visual Effects Society announced nominees for the organization’s 17th annual awards on Tuesday. Leading the way in the film and TV fields, respectively, were Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and Netflix’s “Lost in Space.” Each picked up six nominations. Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” received the most nominations among animated feature contenders with five. “Ready Player One” [...]

  • Dynasties BBC Vundu Pack

    Bush Guides, Night Cameras Help BBC America’s ‘Dynasties’ Catch Unique Moments

    Just getting to one of the locations of BBC America wildlife documentary series “Dynasties” — presented by David Attenborough and following the lives of endangered animals — requires an 11-hour flight from London to Johannesburg, a two-hour connection to Harare, Zimbabwe, an hourlong chartered Cessna 206 trip to Mana Pools National Park airstrip and an [...]

  • The Masked Singer Costume Designer

    Meet the 'Masked Singer' Costume Designer Behind Those Elaborate Looks

    Fox’s “The Masked Singer” is a talent competition with a difference. The series, which drew 9.2 million viewers in its Jan. 2 debut, is not looking to find America’s next big star. Instead, it’s about hiding them as they perform covers of chart-toppers in masquerade. Twelve celebs compete, with one singer eliminated each week as identities [...]

  • Black Panther Production Design

    Editing Duo Worked Together to Raise ‘Black Panther’ to Blockbuster Status

    Debbie Berman brought Marvel superhero experience to the table. Michael Shawver contributed his longstanding relationship with director Ryan Coogler. Together, the duo edited “Black Panther,” a cultural phenomenon, critical success and, oh, one of the most successful films of all time, which has grossed over $1.3 billion internationally and is now a major Oscar contender. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content