Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ironically, the punch went quite well.

Mark, the young man engaged in fisticuffs with me, landed his punch right on target: several inches away from my face, at a convincing angle for the camera. I jerked my head in an appropriate response and staggered out the door with suitable grunts of exertion and pain, falling to the floor outside the room. We did this ugly dance several times.

On yet another take, the punch flew, I reacted, out the door I went, stagger stagger, grunt grunt. Mark came out of the room as choreographed. And then something different happened. My scene partner lost his footing, and his balance along with it. Time elongated, in that way it does when something unpleasant and dangerous is taking place, something that is likely to cause someone to feel sore for a long time.

Mark's weight fell on me -- on my face -- and pushed my head into the wall. There was a dreadful crunch and immediately I saw stars. Blood swiftly began to flow and I called, "Hold please."


Within sixty seconds, the crew had brought me ice as I assessed. Nose broken? Other injury? We broke for lunch and I reclined. The blood stopped and what little swelling took place went down quickly.

After lunch, back to the roughhousing. Got a movie to make, by gum. The morning after this incident, I am still sore. This was not, however, the end of this scene -- or the folly.

We were shooting the scene from a different angle, adjusting our fracas suitably for the camera's line of sight. Out I went, again and again, hitting the wall with my open hand to make a loud sound (in stage combat, this is called the "nap") and making with the appropriate "ooh" and "gah!" sort of sounds. As you do.

One take too many, perhaps: I lost my own footing, and instead of "napping" the wall so nicely my body twisted and my shoulder went through the wallboard. Another bad sound, another jolt of pain, and a visible hole in the set.

Crap again.

And oh, the jokes. The jokes flowed like blood for the rest of the day.


Nathan said...

man, acting sounds dangerous...

Algernon said...

No joke, that!

Kyle Lovett said...

Hey man, a little more acting and a little less blood!!

Kelly said...

Seems like I remember from an earlier post that you have issues with seeing your own blood, too.

Let's be a little more careful out there!!

quid said...

Hope that face of yours is insured!