Film Addiction: As a stunt coordinator,
what is your role on the set of a movie production?
John Ashker: As a Coordinator
you are usually involved in the pre-production stage. Making decisions on how stunts will work and collaborating with the
producer and director on there vision of the action
FA: Do you see CGI as having
an effect on live stunts?
JA:It has to a small degree but
it is still cheaper and better looking to do it practically. We also mix allot of practical stunts with Vis-FX
FA: What kind of prep work goes
into a film such as The Italian Job, for example:
JA:The vehicles in the subway
station on Hollywood Blvd. was huge prep. All of the stone steps had to be covered with wood painted like stone so we did
not damage the real stuff. The three Mini's had to be fitted with Electric motors because no fuel emissions where allowed
in the tunnels and the company had to pay retailers for blocking there store fronts. Three weeks on Hollywood Blvd costs Millions.
FA:Over the years, who have been
some of your favorite people to work with?
JA:John Woo was a pleasure. He
really looks out for stunt people. Producer, Chris Moore was also very easy to work with. Actors I've enjoyed working with:
Dana Carvey, Dean Cain, Jonathan Schaech, Kirt Russell, Brendan Frasier, Ashley Scott, Katie Seagal, Lee Majors.
FA: What is involved in 2nd Unit
JA:Shooting Second Unit usually
involves shooting a stunt sequence but even non-action movies sometimes uses a second unit to get shots that don't involve
the lead actors. A stunt second unit would usually involve only stunt doubles and maybe an actor or two. I.E. Car chase,
Big fight scene. It's a way for the company to get more sequences done in a shorter time frame because the Actors can shoot
their dialog while the doubles shoot the action.
FA:OK, I have to ask the obvious
question-Have you ever been hurt doing a stunt?
JA:I have not been injured badly
on set, Broken wrist, Torn ACL and stitches a couple of times and of course lots of lumps and contusions.