Opening this Labor Day weekend is the thrilling and action packed film Getaway starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez.
Directed by Courtney Solomon and written by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker, the film revolves around a retired race-car driver, Brent Magna, who finds himself racing against time to best the mysterious villain who has kidnapped his wife as a bargaining tool.
Undoubtedly a high speed adventure, this film’s real genius lies beyond the actors’ faces and directly on the shoulders of stunt coordinator Charlie Picerni (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard), who was in charge of the stressful and exciting action pieces that had Hawke’s Magna racing against the clock for ninety minutes.
Q. Hello Charlie, to start us off, how was the over-all experience of working on Getaway?
Charlie: It was a lot of fun. You know, non-stop action and every night was a different experience. We were all over the place from on the training yard to on scene location depending on the night and what was needed. There were some rough nights of course but overall it was for the most part a lot of fun.
Q. What was the preparation work for a film like this?
Charlie: I’m there for about five weeks before for preparation work-checking and scouting out locations-making sure my vision relates to the directors. Courtney [Solomon] was very much on top of things so it was a very collaborative process.
Q. What’s your general focus or inspiration for a high concept action film?
Charlie: I always kind of have a motivation where my goal is to ultimately tell a story. Like any other member of a film crew we’re just trying to tell a story. I’m trying to make it feel real.
Q. That leads me into my next question-considering the love of CGI/special effects in this business, where does that leave more practical forms of stunt work?
Charlie: Well firstly, there was no CGI in Getaway. CGI is a good tool for a movie like Transformers but not for a movie like this one where most of the stunts are with cars and motorcycles. I think what happens today- I like real stuff, real moments – is that CGI sometimes takes away from that.
Almost every day I had a team of 15-20 stunt people with a core six guys. We’d have different units for different sections of stunts-so one for motorcycles and cars. By the end we had 130 wrecked cars. There’s a way to create real moments without a green screen.
Q. What was the biggest challenge shooting Getaway?
Charlie: The biggest challenge was just getting it all done. There were a lot of cameras to handle and incorporate into the stunts. There was a new challenge each day that we needed to get over.
But it all comes together.
Getaway is now in playing in theaters.