Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Making it Big with Little


I got a phone call from a production company. They were shooting a new crime drama TV show. Most of the work had been already done but they still had one action scene to do. They offered the fight coordinator's job for me. Before I said yes, I had some questions

Q: When are the action scenes shot?
A: After two weeks.
--> Tight schedule

Q: Who are the actors
A: 2 male actors.
--> Guys are more eager for action but because of that, there's more risks for injuries

Q: Do they have time to train the choreography before hand?
A: Unfortunately, not.
--> Demands a lot from everyone in order to get good quality

Q: Is the scene outdoor or indoor scene?
A: Outdoor
--> In the middle of the winter it'll be cold


With these answers I got the picture that 

  1. the scene is important,
  2. most of the choreography work has to be done beforehand and 
  3. I have to develop alternative solutions just in case as no one knew exactly what kind location we had for the shooting.


As the shootings we're going on nearly every day getting in touch with the director was difficult. When we were able to discuss about the action scene I had to get clear answers in a fairly short time in order for me to get the information of what was expected.

I was fortunate to have a talented assistant Jesse to help me with the choreography. We had couple of challenging moves that we needed to practice together before we could teach it to the actors, so that they could perform it in a safe manner. I could've managed to plan and teach the choreography to the actors all by myself. But with the two of us we were able to show the choreography as many time as needed to the actors, director and to the director of photography. This saved lots of time, and everybody had a better image of what's to come.

The actors had a long and cold morning shooting outdoors. Before the fight scene they had lunch. Their energy levels were very low. Again, it was good that me and Jesse were there to help the actors memorize the choreography. Some amount of repetitions were necessary but if they forgot something either me or Jesse could tell them the next move instantly.


Even though the scene was physically tough to perform due to the coldness and tiredness, the actors performed well. Huge respect to them for that. They were thankful for the help we stunt guys could provide. Director of photography saved some time by planning ahead what kind of pictures he would shoot (lens, shooting angle etc.). The director could focus mainly in directing the actors, instead of focusing in how the action should look.


Big can be made with little amount of resources (time, money, people etc.). In my opinion the less resources there is, the more planning work needs to be done. The higher quality the planning is, the better the end result can be. Though, even if the plan is awesome there's tons of work required from everyone. Pressure keeps you going ;)

Another example of Making it Big with Little is my new born nephew. Everybody starts small but we all have huge potential!

'Perfection with Passion'

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Real-life Gamer

I was invited as a guest speaker to a Youth Center Happi. This youth center's focus is on game playing youngsters, therefore it has multiple PC's that are connected to the internet. People can play internet based multiplayer games for free as long as there's room for everyone.


I went there to give a presentation about 'How I've applied games in real-life'. I have played games since the first Atari's Ping-Pong game with two white sticks and a rectangular ball on the screen. It was tremendously fun game back in the 80's ;) As I've grown older the role of game playing in my life has change dramatically. For example in the year 2001 I decided that won't play games at all. I also decided not to watch television anymore. I still don't watch television but games I started to play again on the Christmas of 2007. For the last few years, Christmas has been a period of 2 weeks in my life, when there's nothing going on. I've decided to use that free-time efficiently and play through games that I'm interested in. Once a year I get a quick overview of how games have evolved, and in addition I get a good feeling that I've managed to play through a challenging game (or non-challenging)!


My favorite game type is the role-playing game (Final Fantasy, Fallout 3 etc.). I usually choose to play the good guy, and I try to develop him to become even better as person. In a similar way I build my own life in reality. I learn and develop new skills constantly, and I try to put them in good use. Every now and then I might also play 3D-shooters, 3D-action games and racing games. My last exceptional experience was the Lips sing-along game on Xbox 360. I first practiced singing with that game and after few weeks I had the guts to go sing karaoke with few of my friends. At some point we managed to go sing karaoke once a week. I think I developed as a singer quite well, although I'm very, very, very far away from being a talented singer :) But it's fun skill, and I feel successful when my friend's don't have to cover their ears when they hear me singing ;)


In my case games are a good way to learn new things. In role-playing games you can even try out your moral beliefs. It's easier to do bad things in a game but these days some of the games are so well made, that if you do a bad thing, it might really get you depressed. At least they affect me, therefore I also try to be as good as possible even in games.

Sometimes I also use games as a hiding place from reality. But again, advancing in a game makes me feel better; Like I've achieved something. And when I bring this confident, good feeling back to reality, my real-life seems to be advancing in an easier way as well.

For some game playing can be an addiction. As with any kind of addiction, if it controls you, it's not good. But if you control your addiction, then it's okay. Everything done in a moderate level is usually sustainable in the long-run. Top-athletes are always on the edge of going too far. But I bet they understand it better than an average person, when enough is enough.

You are the only one who can live your life to the fullest. If some addiction controls the direction of your life, then you're not necessarily making all the decisions in your life. Know who you are, and then maximize your potential. It's not an easy path but I bet it's damn worthwhile in the long run!

'Perfection with Passion'


My friend Riku who invited me to event.