In FASTER, director George Tillman Jr. offers up a road flick that feels like the real thing. The action is paying homage to earlier films that tested the limits of the road. In fact, the cars here are very important indicators of the characters Driver, Killer and Cop. Yep, there are no names being thrown around in this flick just Killer, Driver and Cop! Got it? I thought you might.
Yes, Dwayne Johnson is back as the tough guy that he does so well and we all love him for. Also joining him for FASTER will be Carla GugIno, Jennifer Carpenter, Moon Bloodgood and Billy Bob Thornton as “Cop”.
Today we bring you Part 4 of “The Faster Chronicles” (check out Part 3 over at MovieWeb.com) and an exclusive interview with Darrin Prescott, the guy who made all the action sequences work, who is billed as the stunt coordinator. To help tell you more, here’s a guy you might recognize.
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Like Mr. Johnson said, FASTER is giving away “The Ultimate Guy’s Getaway” trip for two to Las Vegas, which includes roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations (2 nights) and $1000 in FAST cash. (Get it? Fast cash??…) It can all be yours just by heading over to the film’s official Facebook site and answering questions about “The Faster Chronicles.”
For now check out our chat with Darrin Prescott talking all about the stunts of FASTER!
Stunt Coordinator Darrin Prescott
What do you prefer, keeping thing practical or going the CG route?
Oh, I prefer practical. Being a stunt guy, anytime we can really wreck a car… but also as a fan watching a movie. I just like it when they can do it real and stay away from that CG as much as possible. It just takes me out of it you know?
The business has drifted so far away from practical. How refreshing is it to get a director and a studio willing to do things that way?
It’s great. I mean, it is what we do. It’s fun and I think it looks better, if you can take the time to do it properly, you know. Obviously, you can’t have giant robots chasing you around turning into cars and stuff, but I think that is a great place for CGI. I think there are great applications for CG. I don’t like it when they alter the story, there are things that they do in certain films that they just don’t need to do. And I don’t really understand why they went that way, you know, they’ll ask a car to do something that maybe a car can’t physically do but it didn’t move the story ahead any further. And you see how fake it is, so I never really understood that. So I like when you have a director like George Tillman who will collaborate with you and say, what can we do, and maybe what he had in his head didn’t necessarily work, so he would ask how can we achieve something like that? What are your ideas? And you come to something that’s really cool I think. It’s nice, it is super refreshing and I think that people like it better. Everybody calls and they are like, we want THE FRENCH CONNECTION, we want BULLITT and THE SEVEN UPS, we want that type of car stuff. I think everybody pretty much goes for that and I think for different reasons, whether they run out of time or money or whatever, they sometimes add a little CG and stuff. We didn’t need to in FASTER!
So you didn’t go CG at all with the stunts?
No… we did a couple of… we tried to portray The Driver [Dwayne Johnson] with – not special powers, but all the drivers that I know, the really, really good stunt drivers, drift racers and rally car drivers, the high level guys, it seems like their world moves slower than the average guy. They can be a race and they are going through a forest and their co-driver is calling out turns and jumps and this and that. To you and I, we’re going one hundred and forty and it is super fast, but to them it is almost like they are doing fifty or sixty miles per hour. They are so good and it is almost like they can slow down time in their head which has always been interesting to me. So we tried to make it so that is what made Driver that good, he was one of those guys that had that talent. We’ll have to see how that comes out in the cut, but there is some other stuff where we really wanted to keep Dwayne in the picture, Driver in the film and tie him into the crashes and stuff, so we’ve done some stuff with visual effects that I think will be really cool.
It seems like in a film such as this, the stunt man is as much a part of the character as the actor themselves.
Not so much in this film. We really tried to keep Driver and Killer doing as much as possible. We took them out and trained them, we brought them to driving school and had Oliver slide the Ferrari around. You know, the stunt guys are there to help them facilitate that action. And if they get a little deep or if they go over one way or another, they’ll compensate for it. We really tried to keep it with the what the actor was doing as much as possible.
That’s also unusual.
Yes it is. It’s cool though.
Who was the best? Who really shined and made you think they could actually do this stuff?
As far as driving?
Dwayne is really good, I think because of his athletic background. He was very coachable. You get that a lot with stunt guys learning new things. They are very coachable because they understand the mechanics to get something done. They’ve been coached their entire lives so they kinda get that. Oliver, who I don’t think he necessarily has the athletic background that Dwayne has, but he has all the heart and the desire to learn. So he was like a sponge. He just loved it, as much information as we could give him. And that poor guy was going from driver training to yoga training to wushu [martial arts] training. They wanted him to be ripped, so he had full on wushu training. And then he would go to his weight lifting coach. That guy just got, welcome… here you go! Start training! So he was training like a hard core professional athlete. He did really well man. He was such a sponge. And he was so amiable to what worked and what didn’t and how best to get things done. You know, the yoga was tough. He could of done yoga for twenty-years and maybe not hit those poses that they were looking for. He tried and he got as far as he could and ultimately we had to do some with a double but he busted his ass to get as far as he did. Which was really admirable because sometimes that actor is like, ‘nah, I don’t wanna do it.’ They were all great. If I could make movies for the rest of my career with that crew and that cast, I would sign on today.
They were great! The producers, the first AD, everybody… the DP, everybody was awesome.