In the second season of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” long-time friends Trish (Rachael Taylor) and Jessica (Krysten Ritter) are falling apart, as a spiraling Trish becomes entangled with the mysterious organization IGH. In a pivotal 11th episode scene, Jessica finds Trish in a parking lot, and attempts to reach out. However, Trish gets in a car and takes off, leaving Jessica to chase after her — including jumping on the parked cars in her way.
“Scenes like this are a lot fun to break down with a director, especially when you are working with someone like Jennifer Lynch. We had to find a garage that had height to it for Jessica to be on top of the cars, and the ramp that led to the street was a bonus. We scouted this garage first and never looked back. It just had elements that let Jen and others really be creative and think outside the box on how to make this a dynamic scene.”
“For key action scenes, the stunt department goes to the location prior to the shoot day and films [and] edits a scaled-down version of the entire sequence. The parking garage would not allow for any stunt rigging, so right off the bat we knew we would have to be more creative with Jessica’s leap in this location. … We began filming the action of the scene with Krysten chasing the car down through the garage. Then her stunt double [Dejay Roestenberg] ran over the cars in a different camera setup — we had cameras positioned at the bottom of the exit ramp looking up at Dejay as she jumped down about 18 feet. At the same time, the car driven by Trish’s double sped down the ramp. It’s a very quick shot, but it ties together all the elements of the chase. Without the aid of any elaborate stunt rigs or vfx, we created this superhero moment with basic filmmaking techniques: camera angles and edits.”
“For chase stunt sequences, I strive to keep the action as fluid as possible, with fewer, yet thoughtful setups, allowing for longer takes to ensure a more immediate and suspenseful time-continuum. …For me, it’s more about joining elements together rather than cutting them up. When the action starts, all shots contain both the car and Jessica within the same frame, to best create a convincing sequence — and also an illusion of seamless realism — even when we have to cut to a stunt double. Shooting the rear-view mirror not only maintains the visual duality of subject and object, but also established a distinct point of view, which gets the audience more involved. To achieve the shot, we set the camera on a selection of apple boxes, resting on a cinesaddle, held in place by the camera operator. The slight wobbly feel that we achieved makes the shot feel more human, and less mechanical.”
“This sequence was storyboarded and well-planned out, so it was pretty seamless from the beginning. It’s a great scene because there’s a combination of emotions, stunts and interesting shots; I like the shot of Krysten in the side-view mirror. … Dejay did a fantastic job. She jumped from a very high ground, as you can tell from the shot that pans from the car up to her jumping down. That particular shot required a lot of coordination between Dejay, the stunt coordinator, the driver of the car, and the camera. My job was to use all the pieces to make the transition between Krysten and Dejay feel as fluid as possible.”