A nostalgic look back on a fantastic year...
Welcome back to the final issue of The Action Reel of 2019! What a year it has been! We've welcomed a whole host of brand new students, congratulated a select few who joined the elite and passed their Advanced Screen Combatant Tests, seen our students on screen in a variety of different productions, and even been featured on shows such as Blue Peter, There's Something About Movies and The Russell Howard Hour!
Before we toast in the new year we would like to take look back over 2019, at all the courses, shows, and even The Action Reel itself! It was the first full year of The Action Reel, and this year we have released podcasts, opinion pieces, advice segments, interviews and contributions from our students, and even the history of stunts!
Now, put another log on the fire, get those chestnuts roasting, and sit back with a mug of hot chocolate and a mince pie, (if you're feeling particularly celebratory you can swap the hot chocolate for a flute of champagne) and enjoy our review of 2019!
When looking at the highlights of 2019, we easily could tell you about our favourite moments, but we thought it would be fun to see what your highlights were! Whether it was a favourite moment on a course, an on-set moment, or even a favourite Action Reel article. This is what you had to say...
Some of our students commented that their best moments this year were simply their experiences on the Warrior Masterclass. However, the joy of passing a Phase was at the top of a lot of your lists. One student said their favourite moment was "Passing my Phase III on the January Warrior Club, it was a much sought after moment!" whilst another thought that the "My best course was Phase III, my best moment was passing my A.S.C.T. Followed closely by meeting great friends on Phase I." For one student it was simply "Passing my A.S.C.T!!!".
Passing a Phase on Warrior Masterclass can also be incredibly emotional. One of our A.S.C.T. passes said their most emotional moment was "being told by Andreas that I had passed my Phase IV. I definitely had to hold back the tears." We like to think of the BAA as one big family, and that was certainly true for one student who told us that their most emotional moment of the year was "Finding out that one of my good friends passed his Phase IV and feeling super proud and happy for him."
It wasn't all about passing, our students found pleasure in the challenges that the Warrior Masterclass courses offered them. Some found certain routines tricky to learn. For some, it was "The posture of a gladiator," saying that "I am a dancer and it is very hard for me to achieve the posture for this character." For others, it was "the Dual wielding Musketeer character" and one student told us it was "The (dreaded by many) "Pirate glide and posture." "Luckily I'd finally nailed it by the time Warrior Club reassessment came around and it's now one of my favourites!!"
One student enjoyed Warrior Club the most. Finding that the "more laid back approach, without the pressure of assessing made for a really fun time."
For one student the biggest challenge was coming back from a disappointment. They said their biggest challenge of the year was "Not passing my A.S.C.T. in February and then trying to keep up the momentum and determination to retake again."
The British Action Academy's Action Agency had another fantastic year, and it was no surprise to see that on set experiences made it into your best moments of the year. When asked what the most emotional moment of the year was one student said it was "Getting onto the Agency, I couldn't believe it, I bounced around and then cried. Really happy moment for me." Whilst another student said it was "Being shot in the head on the set of Giri/Haji." Even being cast by a production made the list with one student having their most emotional moment when they were "Cast on Bulletproof 2 was my highlight of the year."
With new on set experiences come new challenges. A student told us they had to "learn a fight scene on an Indian action film in literally 3 minutes, then perform it straight away with full intensity!" The period costume was also found to be particularly tricky, we were told that whilst "Filming with BAA on The Spanish Princess. My costume ended up weighing so much through being soaked with mud and water that at the end of the day it took the strength of myself and 2 guys to get me off of the field. I still did every take though and pushed through." Another student on the same production said that "Even though my skirt ended up weighing about 6 stone at the end of the day, I loved every second. Getting really stuck in in the mud, rain and fake blood was exhilarating."
These new experiences weren't all challenging though, and many students found them extremely fun. Whether it was "Letting off blank rounds from an Uzi 9mm" or being on-set for the first time ever. We were told that "Pennyworth was my first experience on being on a set, that in itself felt like a huge achievement!" Another student was so excited with their first job they responded with "GIRI HAJI!!!! You can't go wrong with a full-on shootout in a posh London restaurant for your first job, although the fierce team-focused battle scenes on set of "The Spanish Princess" this October come in a close second!!" The Spanish Princess got another mention, one of our performers saying that they enjoyed "Sword fighting with mud up to our knees, rain falling and smoke blowing over the hills on The Spanish Princess. Very atmospheric."
There was also a lot of levity this year. Although one student strongly disagreed, telling us that "Phase 4 is not a laughing matter!"
Whereas other students found humour in serious moments like this student who enjoyed "Slipping a bit of salsa dancing into a group fight scene," or another student who sounds like they almost went delirious with the training claiming that they started "Laughing uncontrollably for no reason when exhausted after training hard!"
Other students found that the most fun of all, and highly exhilarating B.L.A.S.T. course was the most fun, with one student saying that their funniest moment of 2019 was simply the "B.L.A.S.T. stair fall", another student went into more detail explaining that "Watching someone go up the ramp acting like a zombie, only to hear another student ask “what the f*ck is that?” before kicking him back down" was their funniest moment of 2019.
Another student found laughs with their BAA family even when they weren't on the course, telling us that their funniest moment was when they were "getting messages and voice notes from all my friends and colleagues who attended the mid-year warrior club was great and had me laughing out loud! It sounded like a really good one with some great BAA family vibes!"
We couldn't help but end the year with a bit of self-indulgence, so we asked our students what their favourite Action Reel articles were, here's what they picked...
On Set With The British Action Academy - because it was about my first job as a skilled supporting artist working with training friends!
The recent article on "Top five tips for performing with firearms" was excellent, with a welcome focus on safety and good procedures.
There was also a lot of love for The Evolution of Stunts!
Whilst another student loved our article about Dan's high jump in Jumping From New Heights!
Our personal favourites were the articles written by our students.
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed to the Action Reel this year! We would also love to hear from you, and put your stories in The Action Reel, so if you're a student with a story to tell, get in touch!
We'd like to take this moment to congratulate everyone who has joined the elite this year and passed their Advanced Screen Combatant Test! Many try, few succeed, but the effort and dedication you have put in has really shown, and we couldn't be prouder of you!
Congratulations to the seven who passed! Andreas said "It has been a pleasure taking you through your Warrior Masterclass journey, seeing all of you come from different backgrounds, following the course structure, and overcoming various difficulties along the way, and completing the Phase IV standard to the highest level. Now you can proudly go out and represents the British Action Academy within the screen action industry."
Even if you haven't attended one of our courses this year, there's a very good chance that you've seen us whilst watching T.V. or flicking through a magazine. Here are some of our media highlights!
There's Something About Movies
You may have seen Andreas on There's Something About Movies, as he helped recreate the climactic fall of Die Hard. He even had the unenviable task of teaching Alan Carr and Rob Beckett to become screen action heroes. We were then asked back to help recreate scenes from The Matrix in season 2!
The British Action Academy also popped up on everyone's favourite childhood show Blue Peter! This time we were helping to send Radzi off in style on his last show, helping him to unleash his inner Warrior and find out what it's like to be a stunt performer. (Andreas was very happy to finally get a blue peter badge 😀)
Even Esquire magazine got in on the action, coming down to The British Action Academy to recreate some of the epic stunts and fight sequences from Mission Impossible: Fallout. We put their eager reporter through his paces, and you can read all about his experience HERE!
Now we have reminisced over a terrific 2019, we can't help but think about what lies ahead, and what 2020 will bring. We asked our students what they were hoping for in the next year...
One student has dedicated themselves to "More quality fighting and firearms roles, attend and Pass Phase IV and hopefully begin my instructor journey with the BAA." We heard that a lot, with many students setting Phase IV as their main target. Where another student who had already completed B.L.A.S.T. had Warrior Masterclass in their sights saying their goal was "To begin my Warrior Masterclasses."
Other students had future roles targeted saying that in 2020 their goal was "To keep training hard and (hopefully) get more action jobs!" and "To get back fighting fit and onto set a.s.a.p.! Would love to be involved in a superhero film!"
One student had simply set themselves the lofty target to "Become a lead instructor."
Whatever happens in 2020, you can all be immensely proud of yourselves for the work you've all put in in 2019. Here's to 2020, we're sure it's going to be exciting!
If you would like to join us in 2020 you can find our full course diary HERE!
2019 has been both a very challenging and rewarding year at the British Action Academy! I have seen a tremendous amount of effort throughout the courses I have instructed and heard about it from my fellow instructors. You should all be proud of yourselves for what you achieved this year. Passion has always been my inspiration in the industry and is the heart and soul of the academy, and it's great to see that same passion coming through all of you! I hear nothing but positive feedback about all of you representing the agency and working on productions in the industry.
I'd like to congratulate all those students who have now gone on to join the British Stunt Register, where I'm sure you will use the skills taught to aid you and help you progress in your career, and maintaining the highest standards within the stunt industry.
A further congratulations to those who are now passing on their experience and knowledge as instructors on the numerous academy courses. I'm sure you will agree that this is a very rewarding role, and student feedback is at a constant high standard, which of courses I would expect nothing less.
It has been my pleasure to instruct some of you this year on numerous courses, and look forward to meeting even more of you next year on Warrior Club's, Phase III's, Phase IV's, Gun Rush, and B.L.A.S.T.
In 2020, we will celebrate both the founding of the British Action Academy and the 10th anniversary of the Warrior Masterclass, and I look forward to celebrating that milestone with you. It's hard to believe it's been ten years!!!
I wish you all a fantastic Christmas and New Year.
Keep up the training,
Created by 24 Dec 2019on