How to Stage and Shoot Dynamic Fight Scenes?

Common man is hankering after action-packed, adrenaline pumping, on-the top feeling during those couple of hours, while watching an action movie. Action scenes need phenomenal physical effort combine with brilliant technical support to deliver the best punches and kicks. A few tips can go a long way for you.

 Practise, refine and rehearse

Repeated practice to perfect a move, should be the foundation to get a crisp and hot fight scene into a viewer’s mind. Get the whole team consisting of stunt coordinator, the actors and the doubles to go through every movement piece by piece. Also, you can take camera shots from different angles to find the best way to get a stunning footage.

Through this, you can make any required changes to the moves and refine it better and better. Once you have finalised the sequence of action, rehearse it. Rehearsal should include the props and the wardrobe too.

Break it into small chunks

 Break the whole action into smaller chunks, each consisting of a maximum of two moves, say a punch and a kick. This will be self-contained in itself. Compare the camera shots and angles to find a way to get the best shot possible. This way, you can avoid the messy overlap of one move into another.

Hits to be “stacked”

 Make the camera and the actors/doubles flow seamlessly during a scene. Stacking is a procedure where the camera is held at a position, from where the hit or punch seems to be real. But, in reality the distance between the actors could be anywhere between 6in to 2ft.

The body language and reactions of the actors should be in sync. The movement of the hit or punch follows an imaginary line drawn across the center of the face or the area to be hit. This is a way to have safety for the actors and to sell a real punch. 

Let camera play a part

Cameras should play an important part in the action. You can introduce extra harshness and violence by tactically panning the camera quickly or tilting the camera to the movement. A slow-motion movement can get the adrenaline pumped up for the viewer.

Use at least two cameras. And, use at least three positions to shoot from. And, you can compare and choose the best shot. Shooting over-the-shoulders during a movement is a best way to increase the visual impact on the viewer.

Cut out frames during impact 

Cutting the frames during close impact will make the movement more violent. But, use your discretion in not making too many cuts and ruining the action scene. The cut a frame gives a jerky feeling during close-range intense fighting scenes. This makes it raw and real. Also, focussing on the wound and the blood adds more heat to the scene.


You can use many techniques and technology to make the fights as real as possible. But, sound effects have a major share in creating the perfect illusion for the viewer. Perform as many permutations and combinations with sound and camera shots to get the perfect sequence.