“Kill them!” – The action of Knightfall

Fight Choreographer Tim Haynes on location with Director Ben Campbell during the proof of concept trailer shoot.

 

Knightfall is a fantasy-action film and as such the cast and crew took preparation for the fight sequences very seriously and spent several weeks rehearsing in Ealing Studios, London. Fight choreographer Tim Haynes explains his approach to creating the high octane fight scenes for the proof of concept trailer:

“I always approach a screen fight thinking it has to tell a story, not simply about who wins or who loses, but to give an insight in to the characters’ personality or even progress it, giving the actors a chance to flex their acting muscles as well as their sword arms. A way to achieve this was to give each of the actors their own fighting style in line with their natural attributes and personalities.

 

Sam Cullingworth (Damned Knight) rehearses with Kris Webb (Sir Cedric) under the keen eye of Tim Haynes at Ealing Studios, London.

 

Using our heroes the Three Knights, as an example, I had Matt Casey’s Ramaric as a kind of ‘Kid Conan’ with big swings and lunges, gritty and gutsy. He will do whatever it takes to win with no easy victories. Daniel Garcia’s Sir Yoric was more refined and confident, his skills allowing him to keep his foes at a distance with less effort, and even enjoy picking people apart. His style owed much to the Chinese Jian styles, which most people will have seen in films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I also think Dan had experience with the Rapier sword, which helped a lot. Kris Webb’s Sir Cedric used a Warhammer, a serious bit of heavy artillery, that could protect the whole group at once and demands a big presence and strength of character, which he had in spades.

 

I took this concept a step further with our femme fatales, the Three Sirens, deliberately limiting them in what moves they would use: Darcie Lincoln was all kicks, Kara Lily Hayworth was all arms & palms, and Carmina Bernhardt was all about joint-locks, hopefully this gave each of their sequences a unique feel.

 

Kris Webb (Sir Cedric) rehearses with Tim Haynes at Ealing Studios, London.

Choreographing the fights for Knightfall was a very rewarding experience. Almost all the fights involved one or more weapons, which adds complexity, as you can’t really trade stabs like you can trade kicks and punches, plus the fight has to last more than 3 seconds!

Daniel Garcia (Sir Yoric) squares up against Richard Belle (Damned Knight) during fight rehearsals at Ealing Studios, London.

Working with all the actors was a real pleasure. I was especially impressed with their physicality and their willingness to trust me and also for taking the risks inherent in this kind of thing. Some had taken stage combat courses before, but I’m of the opinion that this doesn’t always totally translate in to making someone a believable fighter on screen. This is why I think we were really lucky to have some very talented Martial Artists; Richard Belle, Tom Raybould and Sam Cullingworth, acting as opponents to help bring the necessary danger and level of intensity to the fights. I am really looking forward to seeing how everybody’s hard work turns out!” Tim Haynes – Fight Choreographer

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