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MEET THE DEEDLES

About The Stunts
"We were also working on some crazy terrain," continues Hennings

"We were also working on some crazy terrain," continues Hennings. "We had a steadicam on set everyday for scenes where the characters were stumbling over rocks along a river bed, down a mountain trail or over a cliffside. For the rappelling sequence on the side of the cliff we wanted to be able to rappel with John Ashton. This was in keeping with the idea of putting the camera in unusual places and, to augment the action aspect, to give it some roughness and a bit of a documentary look. So we strapped camera operator Stephen Collins into a harness, and he just hand-held the camera on his shoulder to get the sequence as he was lowered down the cliff."

Stunt coordinator Lance Gilbert and his crew ensured that the actors and the film crew were safe in working around the cliffs. "We set up the anchor stations and made sure that the equipment was up to par and that the rigs were safe. We wanted them to be strong enough to the extent that we could not only dangle two actors, but also much more weight in personnel and equipment if we had to. We call that a 'bomber' station... when it's healthy, holding and staying put. My father, Mickey Gilbert, has always stressed with us that this is only a movie we're making and that safety and people's lives come first. That's the code and we stick to it."

"The cast all picked up the rappelling action well," notes Gilbert, who also enlisted the services of his brothers Tim and Troy Gilbert as stuntmen on the film. "We taught the actors how to check their own equipment and check their partner's as well, so they could also feel in control of their own safety. There were a couple of scenes when the rangers first arrive at the cliffs and the ropes are all coiled up before Stew and Phil are thrown over the edge. For those scenes we couldn't have a second safety person at the bottom of their rappelling ropes. So we accomplished the safety and precautions through education and in choosing the right locations. The actors were doing their own stunts for those scenes and every step counts."

The other major sports challenge that the Deedles presented to their portrayers to master, was skateboarding and street-luging. Lance Gilbert and Steve Boyum worked with street-luge technical advisor "Biker" Sherlock, who has been an extreme sports enthusiast all his life and the winner of the "X-games" street-luge event for the past two years.

"Street luge is a form of skateboarding where you lay down on the board as you go downhill," explains "Biker" Sherlock. "It works on the same principles as a skateboard and uses the same trucks and wheels. It also turns with the varying weight distribution of the driver, just as with a skateboard. And its roots come from guys laying down on their boards and going down hill.

"It is a fringe sport that has been around for a while," continues Sherlock. "The boards have changed over time and now they are usually made of light weight aluminum to withstand the torque from turns at higher speeds. Out of the 200 lugers in the United States, probably three-quarters of them are in Southern California, but there are also athletes in other countries that participate. There are lugers in France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Australia and Japan, and hopefully more people will get involved soon. It's popular with a real variety of age groups and professions as well ... there are surgeons and accountants, lawyers, carpenters, firemen and doctors who enjoy street-luging, so it's not just young school-age kids.

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