BRAD PITT - Car Crash Body.
Three- lifesize, lifelike Stunt Body castings built to withstand repeated collisions with cars and asphalt.
Silicone rubber, soft urethane foam, heavy duty steel armatures, wigs, acrylic eyes, bungees.
Specific Dummy not Available.
Things can move very fast in this business. On the same day we were contacted, we bid the job, our bid was accepted, and that very evening we were on the red-eye to New York to life-cast Brad Pitt next morning and fly home that next night.
Feeling confident it would take the punishment well, we cast the head and hands out of silicone rubber. The bodies were cast in a dense flexible urethane foam over thick steel armatures. We were back filming in New York within two weeks.
Kenny Bates ran this stunt effect using a whipcord system (a pneumatic pull arm) firmly anchored to the ground against a very large truck. Like a hollywood stunt punch, the van never really hits our dummy; it only drives by, just missing it from behind. The whipcord did all the work, pulling a cable -removed in post-production- that ran to a condor 30 feet up, through a pully and down to a pull point at the base of the body double's neck. The taxi was already in synchronized motion, intersecting the double's arc toward it and knocking the body double back into opposing traffic. Very violent and effective. Scary, even in person. For each shot, our dummy was lined up in the camera, shuttling between the video image of Brad's filmed final position and the live feed of our double.
We were concerned about the potential wear and tear these body doubles were going to receive, so we built 3 full doubles -and an extra head too. We shipped a huge repair kit with us, figuring we could always work on two body doubles while one was filming. We did about two dozen takes and after the first, it became obvious just how durable our 200 lb, steel, silicone and urethane body doubles were. Aside from dusting off the inevitable shattered windshield glass, they required very little work, even after slamming into and skidding across the asphalt. Wow. Silicone rubber is great material and still one of the corner stones of special effects. The wardrobe showed more wear quickly, keeping the wardrobe people busy stitching and switching.
The taxi stunt driver came very close to trouble when one of our body doubles slammed into the windshield head first- with all its weight behind it, the double pushed the windshield right into within an inch of the strapped-in driver's face. After awhile, the silicone began to show a few signs of abrasion, needing minimal paint touch up. After another take, we found one of the prosthetic eyes had popped out. We never found the eye and replaced it from our back up kit. Funny detail, because that must be the scene they wound up using. If you watch the movie carefully on DVD, you can see that eyeball... bouncing off the screen right behind him.
BRAD PITT - Credits
MEET JOE BLACK (Universal ) 1998. Martin Brest, director.