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Condren at World Stunt Awards
12 May 2004 :
Patrick Condren has been telling IFTN about what the jury at the Taurus World Stunt Awards will be judging for his work as Stunt Co-Ordinator and Second Unit Director on 'Intermission':

Patrick Condren designed the action sequences on ‘Intermission’. The stunts were calculated to deliver the specific dramatic nuances required and specified by the director. Additionally they were devised to be sympathetic to the production design and locations, and also to deliver the best effect for the camera. At all times safety was the first consideration. All of the Stunts performers on ‘Intermission’ are members of Irish Stunt Register, a section of Irish Actors Equity.

"Intermission is not your typical action movie. It is an exciting interwoven montage of stories and characters, it was imperative that the visualisation and enactment of each stunt was appriopriate and develop each individual character and advance the story line, while the style and execution of the stunts were identifiable with each character.

"It has all of the usual action types; fights, car chases and a bus turning over, but what make Intermission stunts different are the context and the dramatic look and feel for each stunt. From the ‘larger than life’ bus roll to the punch that never was."

Some unusual instructions regarding the action were:

  • For the Bus turnover (performed by Joe Condren), the instructions from the director were that there should be no visible justification for the turnover, it should happen almost as a ‘throw away’, at one point the whole action was going to be staged entirely as background action only. The real justification and importance of the turnover would be revealed later in the movie.
  • Similarly the car chases were given unusual parameters, ‘we need a high speed, high energy chase; think Hollywood’, but then we were told that there could be no crashes and that the speed of the chase would be set by a 10 year old boy on a bicycle! Yet the direction was clear, the chase must not in anyway be reduced in impact by the pace being set by the child!
  • The movie also had to feature a lady so enthusiastic about her love making that she unintentionally delivers a killer punch that knocks her young lover up and off, both her and the bed.
  • There was also the punch ‘that never was’, as thrown by Colin Farrell in the opening sequence. In this scene the movie opens with Hollywood Irish heartthrob Colin Farrell appearing to chat up a young lady, only to badly punch her in the face to steal money from a cash register. The conundrum here is that the movie needed this action as a statement of ‘if Colin Farrell will do this in our movie, you can expect anything’, while the ‘powers that be’ did not want to tarnish Colin’s reputation with punching a lady full on in the face.

No stunt on the movie was designed or enacted without very detailed consideration of script, character, location, the credibility of the characters actually processing the skills and technique required, and impact of the stunt on the audience’s identification with the characters. Examples of this are Colm Meaney being required to look like a serious pro-am boxer (with nasty street fighting extras), while Cillian Murphy needed to look like he had never clenched a fist. The stunts in intermission existed to serve a very specific purpose. That purpose was to advance the plot and to develop the characters. No stunt was larger than its perpetrator or smaller than the story required.

The Taurus World Stunt Awards will be held on May 16th in the Paramount Pictures Lot in LA.

www.worldstuntawards.com





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