We've all fallen at least one time in our lives, and for many of us, it's not on purpose. But for the stunt performers in the entertainment industry, falling down (among many other life-threatening situations) is a way of life.  

The team over at the Corridor Crew hooked up with Gui DaSilva, a professional stunt performer whose work includes several blockbuster Marvel movies, to show us newbies the right way (and the wrong way) to fall. 

When we think of stunts, many of us think about someone being set on fire, intense fight scenes, or an epic car crash, but there's so much more nuance involved in stunts, especially since not every actor wants to be the next Tom Cruise and do their own. Falling is just one stunt that you may run into when shooting a project.

You never want to put your actors in any kind of danger no matter how big or small the stunt might seem. If it has the potential to hurt someone, it's important to discuss the scene with a stunt coordinator or stunt performer before rolling. You don't want to end up with any regrets

Knowing the basics of how someone should fall can not only help you when speaking to stunt performers but, as a director or cinematographer, it can help you block a scene. Understanding how and where someone will fall, you can frame your shot to better sell the action and make it more believable to the audience. 

Let's find out what Gui has to say in the video below. 


If you're serious about becoming a stunt performer, Gui says you should practice, practice practice.

Just like how we say to practice your "ninja walk" to become a Steadicam operator, tuning your skills even during days off is ideal. As with any physical activity, you're going to want to stretch and warm-up first. Your body is going to be thrown into positions that can take a toll on muscles and bones. Flexibility is as important (if not more) as strength and condition. If you're not the most flexible person, jump into yoga. There are a ton of free apps available in the Apple or Google Play stores to pique your interest. 

Gui says there are three basic falls that one should learn that are the stepping stones to many other falls out there. Here's a breakdown. 

Back Fall 

When you fall on your back, there's a right way to do it that won't cause injury. Gui says you want the impact of the fall to happen on the upper part of the back instead of the middle or lower back. When falling you also want to keep your chin tucked so you don't hit the back of your head and end up in concussion protocol.

Seriously. Keep your chin tucked into your chest. Muy importante.

You're also going to want to avoid hitting your elbows to the ground. 

The idea behind the back fall is to land so that your upper back and feet take the brunt of the force while you push your body up with your hands to disperse the energy from the fall. 

Side Fall 

With side falls, there's a chance you can break your tailbone. The proper way to land on your side is to have your leading arm land palm-down to help with the impact of your head. Then use your other hand and foot help disperse the energy of the fall. Your top foot is actually pushing your body up as you fall so you don't injure your tailbone. Your other foot then turns outward to protect your leg and knee that's closest to the ground. 

Since the fall directly impacts the rotator cuff of the shoulder, there is a chance of dislocating it. So again, be sure to stretch your muscles and practice proper form before committing to an actual fall. Gui says it's important to start small and then gradually increase as you gain confidence. 

Front Fall

The most important thing with front falls is to not break your face. If your moneymaker gets banged up, you're not gonna be happy.

Gui says you're going to want to think about the plank position when practicing your front fall. You don't want to smash your elbows against the ground, nor your chest or groin. The idea is to first fall into the plank position and then continue the fall protecting your face and elbows with the palm of your hands facing down and using your arms. Gui suggests to position your arms in a "triangle" or "diamond" structure to help save your face. 

Now that you have the basics down to falling, here are some other helpful resources.  

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