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  • Lights, Camera, Action: Tips for Creating a Dynamic Fight Scene for Film

As a rule, the fight scene itself needs to look dangerous but at the same time be safe enough for the actors to feel confident that they are not going to get hurt.

Fight Choreography

A good fight scene is one in which there are blocks and strikes mixed in with kicks joint locking and take-downs. Designing a choreographed fight scene is really fun for students. It lets them show off their skills in a very positive way.

Yes, many of the moves look cooler on camera, and some may not work in a real fight, but the skill involved in making a choreographed fight look good is real. 

Establish the stakes:

Before the fight scene begins, it’s important to establish what’s at stake for the characters involved. Is it a matter of life and death? Are they fighting for honor or to protect someone they love? This will help the audience understand why the characters are fighting and create tension leading up to the fight.

Choreograph the fight:

The next step is to choreograph the fight itself. This involves planning out the movements and actions of each character, including punches, kicks, and blocks. It’s important to make the fight look realistic, but also to ensure the safety of the actors and stunt performers involved. Consider hiring a professional fight choreographer to help create a dynamic and convincing fight scene.

Consider camera angles and movements:

The camera angles and movements used during the fight scene can greatly affect the audience’s experience. Consider using a mix of wide shots and close-ups to give the audience a sense of the overall action as well as the characters’ emotions and reactions. Camera movement can also add to the energy and intensity of the fight, such as a handheld camera to create a sense of chaos.

Use sound design to enhance the action:

The sound effects used during the fight scene can greatly enhance the impact of the action. Consider using a combination of realistic fight sounds, such as punches and grunts, as well as more stylized sound effects to create a sense of impact and intensity.

Use sound design to enhance the action:

Pace the scene for maximum impact: The pacing of the fight scene can greatly affect its impact on the audience. Consider starting slow and building up to a crescendo of action, with moments of tension and release throughout. It’s also important to give the audience a chance to breathe and process what’s happening, so consider slowing down the action at certain points to give them a break.

Don’t forget the emotional impact:

 While the physical action of the fight is important, it’s also important to consider the emotional impact on the characters involved. Use close-ups and reaction shots to show the characters’ emotions and motivations throughout the fight. This will help the audience connect with the characters and care about the outcome of the fight.

Stunt Fighting Class

Fight Choreography Class For Kids

One of the best ways to keep kids engaged in their martial arts training is to give them some freedom in how to apply some of the self-defense movements that they learn in Kung Fu class. This is where fight choreography class comes in. For the kids in this video, this class (held on Friday evenings at 5 pm) is one of their favorites.

Fight choreography is like a dance. both parties need to know their part. It involves timing, knowing your range or distance and memorization of the moves. 

Your child will be working with partners to derive a fight scene using a variety of different martial arts styles.

In addition, your kids will learn what a proper reaction would be for the different kinds of strikes, so it would look good on film.

At the end of class, they learn how to perform in front of an audience. All fight scenes are going to have different requirements. Later, students will learn various filming techniques and how to make them look good for the camera. At an advanced level, they will learn how to how to edit their scenes on the computer.

Notably, we are the only martial arts academy in Las Vegas that offers a fight choreography class on an ongoing basis.

Fight Choreography Class

Fight choreography class

Consider this...

The best part is, without any training at all, young children will imitate martial arts movements they see on tv.  Most kids will play fight like this without having any formal instruction. 

How can you beat that?

However, although it is unstructured, it is at the same time very valuable practice, because we actually teach them the correct way to block, strike, grapple, and roll. The kids learn through repetition like any other skill and they practice their fight scene much time in a single class.

Also, this may seem like a purely theatrical class, there is a lot of learning going on here. Timing, rhythm, distancing, striking and blocking are taught to the kids in a very disciplined format.

Eventually, we do correct their technique and the details of each movement. actually teach them the correct way to block, strike, grapple, and roll. Your kids will learn through repetition like any other skill. 

Initially, we don't allow the students to incorporate dialogue into their skits. However, when they get better at creating scenes, they can introduce humor into their skits, similar to what Jackie Chan does in his movies.

Your child will have to wait for the right time to initiate their moves. Timing an opponent in a real fight requires experience. While sparring is the best way to get that experience, fight choreography class is a close second.

Obviously, these kids are not very experienced in martial arts, but you can tell they are having a blast.

Fight Choreography Class

Awesome fight scene

A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to have a very talented filmmaker named Ben Malto enroll his kids into our school. His kids are  Matthew and Marisa.

He shot and directed a short film in our fight choreography class. It was a really fast filming session

Over the course of a just single hour, he shot all of this footage! I couldn't believe what he came up with.

Fight choreography is the most talked about class at our school

Fight Choreography is one of the most fun and exciting classes that we offer.

Again, this is not real fighting but rather the kids make up their own scenes. It's really a great outlet for their creativity. 

The bottom line is when you watch the video you can see that it's not just simplistic punching and kicking. There is a lot of thought that went into choreographing the scene. 

What's more, you might be surprised to know that, I did not help them with creating this scene. All of the fighting moves were put together by these students. It has certain artistry to it and it becomes almost like a dance.

To summarize, I'm pretty sure that none of these kids will grow up to be an actual stuntman working in Hollywood. However, you never know, I hope one day they make it!.

Fight Choreography

Creating a convincing and engaging fight scene for film takes time and effort, but by considering these tips and working with a skilled team of filmmakers, you can create a scene that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.