Robin Hood (2018)
All horseback riders were stunt riders or experienced actors who were skilled at riding, mounting and dismounting. All running/galloping scenes were well choreographed, and actors used caution while on and near animals. The horse(s) rearing was a trained behavior. The horses were specially trained “falling horses” and “lay down horses” that fell on cue onto a soft landing area. When teams of horses pulled wagons or carriages, the drivers were experienced and teams of horses were familiar with each other and accustomed to the pulling action. Whenever horses were seen tied to posts/fences, they were attached to lead ropes tied to posts.
In the scene where the lead actor rides through the forest and over the bridge, the horse had been exercised for thirty mins before shooting the scene. The trainers walked along the trail the horse was going to gallop on to make sure it was clear and safe. The exact route of passing the camera was explained to the young stunt rider. On action, the horse galloped towards the camera, down the track (between the trees), with the camera panning from right to left.
In the scene when Robin sees Marean in the marketplace and there’s a dog on the ground, the dog was walked to the set on a collar and lead to a heap of coal where he was supposed to sit. The handler kept his collar and lead on the dog but hid the lead from the camera. On action he stepped away from the dog, just out of frame, and told the dog to stay in the lie down position.
Whenever we see horses in the towns or marketplaces during the rain or fog, the routes were made of mud. There were also embers in the air and snow candles created a dust filled air with general organic vegetable oil based atmosphere smoke in the air and coming from a large cauldron. There were also open wood fire braziers and burning embers in the air. All the substances used in the atmosphere was non-toxic.
In the scene where Robin breaks through the wooden doors on his horse, the horse practiced this stunt and is not afraid to be ridden at gallop through the balsa wood door.
Production was very careful with setting up this shot since there could only be one take and they only had one Balsa-wood door. The door was designed with gaps on the eye level of the horse so that the horse could see what was the other side of the door as it was running up. The stunt rider rode the horse at walk to his start mark inside the building and on action he galloped along the sand covered floor then burst through the door. In this same scene where Robin rides his horse down a corridor, the horse was ridden to its mark inside the corridor. In the scene, the horse was ridden by a stunt rider along the sand covered corridor. On action, the horse galloped along the sand covered corridor. The rider turned and simulated firing arrows at the guards behind him.
In the scene where Jamie Foxx’s character gets into the carriage before it drives under the scaffold. With Robin in the back they drive the carriage rides over a bridge. It is a dungeon like entrance with the horses entering a pit chamber area via a stone arched tunnel. The cart driver, wearing a black armored uniform with full face mask, drove the cart on metal tracks which cross a pit grid cover. Two intense rehearsals were undertaken by the horse team and the stunt team prior to shooting the scene. The horses were then hitched to the cart and were ready for action. The horses were completely relaxed on the set and had themselves been prepped and rehearsed on set for over a week. On action, the horses trotted through the tunnel which had a gentle incline, and the carriage driver drove the horses across the grid, the wheels of the cart running into purpose built guidance tracks over the grid
In the scene where Jamie Foxx drives carriage through the slums with the soldiers following him on horseback and the carriage breaks through wooden doors, a team of four horses galloped side by side, causing them to crash through a wooden structure. The horses were driven to the far end of the set. To rehearse, the team and a pair of ridden horses were cantered side by side along the set and past the breakaway hut.
pair was driven into the breakaway hut. The horses went through the hut, destroying it completely.
When the actor grabs the rope and falls on the man’s carriage and gets on the horse, on action, the horses were ridden over the bridge. The breakaway cart in the foreground of the shot was on wires, and pulled into a pillar. On action the horses were ridden forwards, together, side by side at a canter. The team of four horses were hitched to the Wagons. When the crew was ready, on action the horses were ridden over the bridge (200ft travel). A stunt man was hanging from the back of the Marian wagon, being dragged. Halfway over the bridge, he climbs onto the cart. The sparks were falling 20ft from the horses path. There were led lamps on carriages. The set was wet down, to reduce dust. Falling sparks (cellulose/mild steel heated & blown to spray against walls). Snow candles (flakes of cold ash) wafted to hang in the air. All non-toxic.
When the horse and carriages outrun the exploding fire, this was a night shoot. Good ground cover on set and approach to set. Fire officers were present the whole time. Fire hoses were in positions already filled with water around the set. For filming all six riders mounted rode the same route as in the previous setup. Each rider carried a flambé as before and dropped each of them on selected marks along the sides of the upper path and immediately SFX made the flames larger. The upper path was lined with flames as the horses approached the market square area. Immediately after filming the fire crew extinguished the fires and checked the set. In post, the vfx team made it look like an explosion through CGI.
In the same sequence where we see Robin and the Generals’ horses jumping off rooftops as they gallop after each other, this scene was shot on a stage. There was a full crew safety meeting prior to shooting. The horse team produced full risk assessments and these were available to all cast and crew with the call sheet. The horses were all newly shod with metal shoes. All the horses were experienced with film and public work and were given time to become acclimatized and familiarized with the film set. Film location recces were undertaken prior to filming and all safety measures were put in place including precise escape routes and safety surfaces.. Everybody on set was held in position on cut until the horses were reset. A qualified vet was on call at all times. The jumps were all standard knock down show jumps, and the horses had been trained to jump over the VFX green fences and were chosen for their jumping ability. No horse was over faced or over jumped. The shoot was undertaken in the indoor stage. The VFX team had visited the day before and lined the sand school walls, floor to ceiling with green screens and reference crosses. The horses were prepared in their own stables, being groomed and tacked up, and were led to the indoor manège where they were allowed to stand to absorb the presence of the crew and equipment. They were then mounted in the sand school and warmed up at walk, trot and canter in a clear working space and around the three show jumps that were laid out. On action, the horses jumped the fences. In post this was superimposed by the vfx team to look as if they’re on a scaffold.