Strike-hit German stunt performers train kids during filming freeze

BABELSBERG-Ten-year-old Nathaniel squeezes his eyes shut, straightens his back and sucks in his breath as he plunges backward from the reinforced steel roof of a stunt car. The stacked blue mats that catch his fall release a loud hiss as two burly men give the blond primary school pupil high-fives for his successful first attempt at being an action hero. While the actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood freeze up film production around the world, stunt performers in Germany are biding their time putting on “adrenaline-packed” workshops for kids. Nathaniel, who dreams of working on a James Bond movie one day, signed up for the class with his six-year-old sister Amelia at the Filmpark in Babelsberg outside Berlin, a mecca of the film industry for over a century. “When you fall you need to tuck your chin into your chest, make your back stiff like a board, tense everything up, cross your arms over your chest and then just let go,” Nathaniel said, summarising what he learned in the lesson. Seventy-five children between the ages of six and 16 are allowed to take part in each workshop, which are held in the crater of a mock-up volcano.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt