STUNT AND FIGHT COORDINATOR FINDS A USE FOR VISUAL EFFECTS, TO HELP SELL HIS VISION FOR ACTION SEQUENCES
We recently had the chance to sit down with Dave Macomber, an accomplished stunt and fight coordinator who has worked on some of the biggest action films and TV shows in the industry. With credits including Fast 5, Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame, Falcon & The Winter Soldier, and HBO's Watchmen, it's clear that Dave is an expert in his field. But what sets him apart is his approach to incorporating visual effects into his work.
Dave takes on a more extensive role than the usual stunt coordinator, going beyond just choreographing the action scenes. He incorporates Previs-style VFX to help convey elements critical to the scene, such as explosions, objects that characters interact with, and even superpowers and magic. "When Wanda's doing a magic fight, if you're not incorporating these CG elements into what she's doing, no matter how good the performer is, it kind of looks like kids on a playground," Dave explained.
Using VFX allows the director to see precisely how the action of the scene will play out without leaving any gaps, making it easier for the stunt team to sell their vision for the sequence.
Aside from his work in the industry, Dave has also created two personal projects that showcase his talents. The first is his short film, 'The Ronin' which he created inside Unreal Engine. The piece is packed with action, and all of the characters' motion capture data was recorded by Dave using his Rokoko smartsuit. His second short, 'Quarantine Blues' was made in Cinema 4D, over lockdown and serves as an excellent example of how creatives have been adapting their workflows to keep flexing their creative muscles during the pandemic.
(Watch Episode 12 of The VFX Process here)
Dave's career started as a competitive fighter with his own Martial Arts school, which naturally progressed into a career in stunts. When he worked on a Star Wars fan project with a friend, he dabbled with VFX for the first time. This led to him using CGI for Stuntvis and eventually developing his personal short films on his YouTube channel. Today, Dave continues to experiment with VFX and motion capture, always looking for new ways to incorporate these tools into his work.
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