RTS Scotland and City of Glasgow College were thrilled to present a masterclass by award-winning fight and stunt director David Goodall at the end of February.
Alistair Scott, director of Screen Academy Scotland and a professor at Edinburgh Napier University, hosted the event in the industry standard TV studio in the new City Campus. The event drew an enthusiastic audience of 50 keen students and industry professionals.
Goodall is known for his talents as a director, TV music composer and actor, but on the night he shared his knowledge of directing stunts and fights. His work has appeared across TV and film, from ITV’s The Loch to CBBC show M.I. High, as well as in Andrea Arnold’s film, Red Road.
He cut straight to the action and talked the audience through a fight scene carried out by student actors Andrew McDonald and Tegan Noble, and shot by TV students Alistair Mitchell and David Calder.
The actors broke the scene down at his request, as Goodall explained why each part of the action was key. The cameramen were directed on how to close in on shots for the most naturalistic effect.
Goodall was keen to impress that a ”fight is as much a part of the story as the narrative”, and encouraged the audience to find action that rises out of the story and characters. He suggested that before incorporating a fight scene, they ask themselves, “Why is this action necessary?“
The audience was shown how to safely choreograph fight scenes, Goodall demonstrated the proper use of equipment such as safety mats and advised any hopeful directors to ”find the strength of their actor and use what they can do”.
It was captivating to watch him in action, and his dedication to utilising each member of the crew responsibly and effectively is the secret behind the seamless action scenes throughout his extensive catalogue of work.
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Photographer: Alice Aries