Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix readers, after witnessing the action spectacle of the year in the theater, I had to learn more about the fight choreography of Triple Threat! While I have seen numerous interviews with the action stars of the film, I have yet to see an interview about the actual action! Hold on to something stable, fight choreographer Luke LaFontaine, breaks down his work on the film and shares some insight on the upcoming Avengement! Luke has also worked with director Jesse V. Johnson on his recent films Savage Dog and Debt Collector! Time to go hard once again, all exclusive all the time; Dan's Movie Report! Once again, I team up with the top independent action site on the web, www.action-flix.com
DT: I know you have worked with Jesse on so many projects the past 15 yrs or so, Triple Threat was by far the biggest budget and most high powered cast, how did you approach your portion of the filming when you got the call to coordinate the fight sequences filmed in L.A.?
L.L.: Production gave me 24 hours to put together finished pre vis of fight. I quickly got stunt fighters to be Tiger and Michael, got action cameraman ,choreographed fight, picked angles, shot it, and edited same night.
DT: Your action style is a bit different from Tim Man's yest things merged in a seemliness manner, did you have to make any adjustments to the choreography prior to filming, if so what changed, also were there any adjustments on the fly?
L.L.: I was able to look at some of the footage, saw direction Tim was going, was careful to keep Tigers and Michael's (Bisping) technique while adding and blending my choreo and shooting style. There were minor changes on set w Michael because hes a beast and keeping moving forward. I didn't want them battling right off the set.
DT: Chat about working with the actors, how much time did you have to prep for the fight sequences? Curious also as to the input Jesse gave you with regards to the fights, was it where to end or was he kind of more hands off, letting you handle it?
LL: I met w TIGER CHEN and MICHAEL BISPING in the morning, showed them the previs, Tiger and Michael had a few great ideas w incorporated in. I added some bigger moves for both of them. we rehearsed for about an hour, they picked fight up quick. Both consummate pros. It was like a Tornado versus an earthquake!
When you work out fights, in general do you do a slower run through off camera, then film slow on camera to get the spacing right, curious how you decide angles and moves, I realize it is Jesse's or director's job, but since you are choreographing the action, I figured you may have learned a few new tricks along the way. Also did you have an opportunity to interact with Tim Man during production of Triple Threat to compare notes?
Yes, we always do walk thrus of the fight sections before shooting. Jesse and I have always worked well together. I make sure to listen to what he wants and he trusts me to make it all happen. I picked the angles based on how the fight traveled thru the set. Jesse got hero acting moments. Then we shot the fight and got extra specials for the end.
Shifting gears to an Avengement question, I know Avengement has completed principal photography and you cannot say much, I am curious if the action is more visceral, and in your face, like a Savage Dog, than Triple Threat, and perhaps some non plot spoiler things you can share about the production.
Avengement is one of our most vicious most brutal set pieces of action. More realistic and shocking at times while still getting your blood pumping. Avengement is a game changer. New character for Scott , and I think his Best!!! Happy that Scott and Jesse asked me to come to London. great creative time.
Final thoughts, I am curious on your thoughts on the state of action movies today, we have chatted about this, but I wanted to give you the opportunity to discuss perhaps some things that can be changed and some things that you enjoy about today's action films.
LL: There have been real advancements made technically in action. J.J Perry, Chad Stahaelski, David Leitch, Darren Prescott, Sam Hargrave, Garrett Warren and Clayton Barber along w others have been raising the bar for action films. Id really like to see more versatility and creativity to go in new directions w choreography. HK/Chinese cinema style was great and Marvel style action is really good,but its a new era and entirely new styles need to be born from creativity here in the us.
DT: Thanks again Luke, for another enlightening interview!
LL: Thanks Danny!! Always a pleasure.
For Luke's first interview on Dan's Movie Report, kick your browsers over to: http://dansmoviereport.blogspot.com/2018/07/stunt-choreographeractor-luke.html