What did your role in the project involve?
Both Rachel and I were the Fight Arrangers and Fight Trainers. Firstly after a few meetings with Chris I created a Fight Manifest to outline our ideas and incorporate all of Chris’s ideas. This keeps us on track during the rehearsal and filming process. Rachel and I then bashed out our ideas for the fights in several meetings. We (RC-Annie) also provided experienced actor/fighters to play the majority of the fighting Orc. So we had to run a few fight workshops just to get everyone working at a similar level. And then we started the fight development process and then taught and rehearsed the cast into the fights. To keep the fights interesting Rachel and I created the different fights and then bought all the elements together. During filming we were on hand to assist in the fight filming process.
How did you get involved in the project?
Via Kate of BOH I met Chris and he asked if we would be interested and we agreed (fools!)
Why did you get involved in the project?
I love the LOTR films and I realized that this was my chance to have a go!
Have you ever worked on anything like this before?
No, another good reason to get my hands dirty
How has working with the director been?
Ha ha. Enthusiastic. I think we had a good understanding of what he wanted.
What is your stage combat experience up to this point?
Cor, in short: (bad) broadsword fighting and arranging from early 20’s, stage combat in London from 2002. We set up RC-Annie Limited in Oct 2005. Became a BADC teacher. We run lots of workshops and training courses and arrange fights for TV and Theatre.
How do you think the fight came off in the end? What would have made it better?
I was very pleased. I always want more time and we did have to rush some bits.
The toughest thing about the project so far?
Having fighters in full Orc make up, masks, helmets and costume.
The most fun part of the project?
On set Orcing about!
Have you been impressed by the scale of the production?
Yes I think Chris was very sensible to restrict the film to a short length as it’s so ambitious.
What constraints did having a low budget put on the fight?
Time and Weaponry always suffers, being very health and safety conscious, although the prop makers did a fabulous job and everything looked great.
If viewers at home wanted to replicate what they see in the movie what advice would you give them?
Don’t rush it, plan well, and employ good people.
Anything else you want to add?
Nope – when’s the next one?
Ruth Cooper-Brown is one of the co-founders of RC-Annie, a fight company based in London. If you would like to find out more about RC-Annie check their website.