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Buffy Stunts
July 12, 2014 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Revelations. Dopplegangland. The Wish. Graduation Day. This Year's Girl.

On-set home videos from Jeff Pruitt, stunt coordinator for Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons 1 - 4, featuring stuntwoman Sophia Crawford as Buffy.

(Fun fact: Pruitt and Crawford are married.)
posted by a fair but frozen maid (37 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy cow. These are amazing, thanks so much for posting! I google Sophia Crawford and found this video of her working out in 2012 and holy shit, she's a beast.
posted by kavasa at 8:20 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I love these! So much fun! I always love seeing stunt people get the credit they deserve for what they do.
posted by darksong at 8:33 PM on July 12


Yes!
posted by Mavri at 8:39 PM on July 12


I google Sophia Crawford and found this video...

"Ray Sophia, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!"
posted by figurant at 8:44 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


...oh man, who else remembers Pruitt's really public meltdown on the Bronze after season 4?

For that matter, who else remembers the Bronze?
posted by nonasuch at 8:46 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Was just gonna say, Pruitt and Crawford's departure from Buffy was... not exactly amicable.
posted by kmz at 9:00 PM on July 12


She will always be Buff!Buffy to me.
posted by persona at 9:19 PM on July 12


(also I clicked on the one for "The Wish" and went WAIT A MINUTE that is from "Anne"! because I am a NERD. But later in the video there's stuff from "The Wish," so it's fine.)
posted by nonasuch at 9:22 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


also I clicked on the one for "The Wish" and went WAIT A MINUTE that is from "Anne"! because I am a NERD.

Yeah, I'm cringing that I titled the second one "Dopplegangland" rather than "Earshot," because almost all of it is from the latter, and it's awesome. Oops.
posted by a fair but frozen maid at 9:39 PM on July 12


...oh man, who else remembers Pruitt's really public meltdown on the Bronze after season 4?

For that matter, who else remembers the Bronze?


::raises hand::
posted by dorkydancer at 10:21 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


After seeing these comments about some supposed meltdown by Pruitt but no details or links, I did some searching and found this:
Parable of the Knight (scroll down a bit)

supposedly by Pruitt that tells, in story mode, about his problems with the show (and his getting married).



She was also the Pink Power Ranger.
posted by eye of newt at 11:02 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Well that's kind of disappointing. I think it's kind of sad when actors don't do most of their own stunts, especially in something as stunt heavy as BtVS. If you're doing a stunt heavy show, maybe you should get actors who can do stunts?
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:06 AM on July 13


Fett, that's like being disappointed with your electrician because she won't put in a bid on your plumbing. They're entirely different skillsets. A few people can do both, but they're very much exceptions rather than rules.
posted by kavasa at 5:25 AM on July 13 [13 favorites]


And Sophia Crawford was listed in the credits. I agree that if a stunt double has such a prominent role that they get a regular place in the credits, they probably deserve somewhat higher billing than they usually get, for contributing so much to the role.

If the roles of actor and stunt performer were required from the same person as a matter of course, actors would have even less protection from harm than they do now. It's better and safer to have the separation of concerns.
posted by tel3path at 5:30 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Oh, there's a rabbit hole I can't afford to get sucked down today -- I miss that show hard.

Although sometimes I wish Tatiana Maslany had been around to be Buffy. And then I feel guilty. I always thought SMG sold the stunts pretty well (in the bookending moves), even if it was usually obvious that she wasn't actually *doing* the stunts because wow, that lady has muscles!
posted by allthinky at 5:33 AM on July 13


Even if you would hire a stunt person as an actor, you'd have to hire a second stunt person to do the stunts because you can't afford the risk that someone who's face you see on screen gets hurt too bad to continue. No matter how good Geller was or wasn't at stunts, they could never let her do them because of the risk that she'd break an ankle and not be able to finish the season.

Heck, John Wayne, who was athletic enough to get a football scholarship to USC, didn't do his own stunts. Yakima Canutt was the "John Wayne" in most of the action sequence in Wayne's movies. The insurance company's aren't going to let the star jump across the back of running horses.
posted by octothorpe at 5:53 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Nice post. I watched most of the Buffy series for the first time over the winter while I was laid-up with a back injury and was impress had how good the fight choreography was for a TV show. It was usually pretty obvious when the stunt people took over but that's never bothered me.
posted by octothorpe at 5:56 AM on July 13


For that matter, who else remembers the Bronze?

This has been bugging me for well over a decade but


WHO THE FUCK OWNS THE BRONZE?

Seriously, the one hangout spot, all ages nightclub in town that is REPEATEDLY the spot of vampire attacks, demonic summonings, dark rituals, witches on the run, etc. who the hell keeps that going?

Unless its Wolferam Hart keeping it open as a vampire victim honeypot.
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


As I recall, the stunt double playing Angel was particularly obvious. His hairline was quite different from David Boreanaz's, so even if you couldn't see his facial features, you could tell it wasn't him.
posted by Georgina at 7:02 AM on July 13


I think The Bronze being owned by a well to do vampire or EvilCorp is the only explanation. It's almost a literal meat market.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:14 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Interesting, because I know a whole mess of actors who are very dedicated to stage combat and stunts who are also good actors and preform their own stunts on stage every night.
I'm not talking about bringing in a stunt double for the jump and fall from a 4th story window. I'm taking about basic fight scenes which make up more than 50% of the episode.
Acting and stunts/combat are not exclusionary skill sets.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:12 AM on July 13


I mean even Jackie Chan has doubles sometimes, but he also does many of his stunts.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:18 AM on July 13


Stage acting is not the same as TV or movie acting.

And Jackie Chan is considered exceptional for that fact.
posted by kmz at 9:08 AM on July 13


I'm aware that stage acting and screen acting are not the same. Again however they are not exclusionary skill sets. The ability to do one does not preclude you from also being able to do the other.
posted by MrBobaFett at 9:23 AM on July 13


She will always be Buff!Buffy to me.

Huh, you weren't kidding.

I've noticed that behind-the-scenes fight footage often seems to look more impressive than the final product, I suppose because they're not cutting away to the less-talented actors, and the directorial style (read: shakycam with high shutter speed, too often nowadays) isn't getting in the way of clarity.
posted by Wandering Idiot at 9:34 AM on July 13


These are wonderful! Thanks for posting. They're messing with my brain, though. Buffy! It's not Buffy! But it's Buffy! But it's not Buffy! Buffy!
posted by danabanana at 9:42 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


The ability to do one does not preclude you from also being able to do the other.

You are reminding me of somebody shown a video illustrating how models are photoshopped for magazines whose reaction is to wonder why magazines don't just get hotter models in the first place.

Yes, Jackie Chan is an exception. He is famous because he's an exception. (One of his movie posters even consisted of a partial catalogue of his film-related injuries.) So was Bruce Lee before him, and Buster Keaton before him. I am sure you can scrounge up some more examples, but they are not the norm, and their existence in no way indicates that it ought to be the norm.

Most human models don't look like the pictures in fashion magazines. Most film actors don't do their own stunts. And, alas, there is no Santa Claus.
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:33 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Most human models don't look like the pictures in fashion magazines. Most film actors don't do their own stunts.

And, of course, most human models won't admit to being photoshopped (see: the recent Terry Richardson pix of Mariah Carey - Richardson is known for his "realistic" style but it turns out the photos were incredibly 'shopped) and most film or TV actors will say they do most of their own stunt. This makes us think that the images we see before us are 100% real and natural when they're not.
posted by rednikki at 11:27 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I love that the response to my being disappointed that an actor on an action oriented series doesn't appear to do any of her own stunts, even basic fight scenes is that I'm totally ignorant to how films are made and what stunt people do.
:)
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:38 AM on July 13


I am a stage actor who has also trained in stage combat and performs my own fights onstage. I am fairly athletic, strong, and flexible, and I am a former dancer. Nonetheless, stage combat is something I am very, very wary of. The stuff I am asked to do is choreographed down to the half-second by an accredited fight instructor, and I rehearse it for weeks and weeks before opening night. Also, before every single performance, I practice it with my combat partner(s) at quarter-speed, half-speed, and full speed under the watchful eye of a stage manager.

So, I can do both, sure. But on a television production schedule? Week after week with a new routine or 5 each time? Without getting hurt? Nope. That's an incredibly, incredibly special skill. It's like asking an opera singer to also be able to throw a no-hitter. You're gonna meet someone who could once in a generation, I'd bet.
posted by minervous at 1:57 PM on July 13 [3 favorites]


Seriously, the one hangout spot, all ages nightclub in town that is REPEATEDLY the spot of vampire attacks, demonic summonings, dark rituals, witches on the run, etc. who the hell keeps that going?

You'd think that the LCB (or the California equivalent) might take notice of the place.
posted by octothorpe at 2:28 PM on July 13


So, I can do both, sure. But on a television production schedule? Week after week with a new routine or 5 each time? Without getting hurt? Nope. That's an incredibly, incredibly special skill. It's like asking an opera singer to also be able to throw a no-hitter. You're gonna meet someone who could once in a generation, I'd bet.

Yeah, they're basically different jobs, it's just easy to think they're not because they're the same 'character' performing.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:42 PM on July 13


Though she was very good at her job, I was always taken out of Buffy a bit by how obvious the switch between actress and stuntwoman was.

However, this:
MrBobaFett: I love that the response to my being disappointed that an actor on an action oriented series doesn't appear to do any of her own stunts, even basic fight scenes is that I'm totally ignorant to how films are made and what stunt people do.

The response is because your simplistic complaint displayed a fundamental ignorance as to why what you seem to think is a simple fix is, actually, not. Your non-realistic expectation got you some patient answers as to why you were being unrealistic. Perhaps if you hadn't come off as ignorant, you wouldn't have received such responses.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:09 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Oh god, that knight/princess/handmaiden story gave me a headache to read.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:58 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I wasn't being unrealistic. Being able to do stunts doesn't mean you can't act. I know how fight choreography works, I know that models are photo shopped, I know how TV production schedules work, I'm not stupid.
None of that invalidates my desire to see stunt professionals get to do primary role work, instead of only doubling. I don't think all actors should be doing stunts, I don't think stunts are easy and anyone can do it. However as evidenced by these people doing the stunt work, people can do stunt work, some of those people can also act.

Also ditto jenfullmoon
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:17 AM on July 14


I'm not going to get into the argument about whether actors should be hired who can do their own stunts. But related to this, Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy, once told a funny anecdote about doing a scene with James Marsters, who played Spike.

Marsters is/was a trained stage actor who knew some basic stunt work, but had little to no television experience when hired for the role on Buffy. His theater training had instilled in him the whole "the show must go on!" mentality about acting. Once, he was doing a fight scene that ended up with him basically crashing through a wall of the set. Marsters burst back through the hole in the wall and kept right on doing the scene, expecting his fellow actors to follow suit . The director had to yell cut several times before Marsters realized that things just didn't work the same way when shooting for television as they do on the stage.
posted by BeBoth at 4:00 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


I also remember the Bronze! Also, apparently during the later part of Pruitt's tenure on the show, the phrase "Buffy pruitts the guy" started appearing in the scripts.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:42 AM on July 19


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