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directing How to Coordinate a Stunt Fall

So, I am doing a low budget short which has a scene where the actress gets pushed off a cliff by the other male lead.

I've designed the shot in a way where I don't show a wide shot of her falling.... With the angle looking upward at the cliff edge.
I did this, so that I might be able to scout a safer location for the fall where the cliff edge is only a few feet up.

The trick now, is to get her to fall over the camera in a convincing way to make it look like she got pushed.

I was thinking of using an air mattress below for her to fall on, but I don't think that is very safe. I really really don't want to show her falling from a distance, or use a green screen, because I think that will look really cheese.

Any ideas? I've attached some sample storyboards as reference, although not the best drawer.... So it might not help much.
 

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sfoster

Staff Member
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I just shot a scene today where a girl is grabbed by her hair and thrown onto the floor.
I put a double layer of couch cushions (kind you sit on, nice n thick too) on the ground that she was thrown onto.

I've used those cushions for adults being shot and fallen too. its worked out great.
your fall is a bit higher but just use 3 layers and its nice and soft. the trick would just be enough cushions to make it work.. like if you had everyone involved in the production all bring cushions you could have an enormous pile

i think you could also hire like 5 people and have them all hold a net that catches her.. or maybe rent one of those big air bags design for suicide jumpers. idk these are all terrible ideas probably.

there is an amazing scene The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc where joan is shot by an arrow at the top of a castle ladder and she falls with the camera pointing right down at her. falls into her army of soldiers and they catch her. just a group of stunt guys below that caught milla jovovich. maybe they used a wire who knows. it looked great though.

really great scene. i searched but it wasnt on youtube. possibly just as simple as people catching her.
 
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