Whether the Mad Max franchise is your cup of tea or not, it is impossible to ignore the incredible practical effects and stunt work that went into its newest installation Mad Max: Fury Road.
Recently the studio released a behind the scenes look of several moments completely untouched by CGI. Fans were quick to note that those scenes don’t look much different from the finished ones in the film, and that’s because they’re not. The team behind Fury Road wanted to make the film look as real as possible, and to them that meant only relying on CGI when it was absolutely unavoidable. That decision meant relying heavily on real pyrotechnics and a very skilled stunt team.
Though there is a decent amount of recognition for things like cinematography, music, VFX, and all the other areas audiences don’t think about while watching a film, there’s limited recognition for the stunt men and women who also bring those moments to life.
You may hear an actor say now and then that they do all their own stunts, but the fact of the matter is, there is only so far insurance companies will let an actor go. When those limits are met, it’s time for a stunt team to get involved. In the case of Fury Road, it’s time for a stunt team to go hurtling through the desert while there are explosions going off every which way!
Stunt Coordinator Guy Norris not only acted as supervisor for Fury Road, but his first gig was Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Norris broke his femur in said film during a stunt that didn’t quite go as planned, but continued to work on the film. While working on Fury Road, Norris didn’t let the title “Supervisor” get in his way, he was involved in most of the down and dirty stunts. Norris used one final stunt on the film to wrap up his tenure as a stunt driver.
If you recall the moment in the film where the 16-wheeler crashes into the other (stationary) truck, Norris was the one controlling the moving rig. Said rig was moving 60MPH, because when you want big bangs you need big impacts. That is a collision that could absolutely kill a person, especially when taking the type of rigs into consideration. Luckily, technology has come a long way since the old days of stunts, and Norris and team were able to devise a plan that resulted in absolutely no injuries despite the crazy dangerous feat.
With these things in mind, remember the stunt men and women next time you leave a film that had you gasping in awe. If the rumors are true, you might even be doing so in another Mad Max film shortly! While you wait for that, keep checking out the behind the scenes looks at your favorite films to see just how much effort went into those explosive moments of your favorite films!
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