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Gun Kata Realization
the action & fight style of Equilibrium

Gun Kata Training - Christian Bale & Mike Smith

Christian Bale & Mike Smith see more Production Stills

 Gun Kata Training

From Equilibrium's Production Notes

Once Bale took the role, he also went into physical training. John Preston is one of Libria's most skilled martial artists - a master of Kendo and of Libria's special "Gun-Kata," Wimmer's innovative fighting form that merges Westerstyle gunplay with an Eastern Karate sensibility. Bale worked closely with stunt coordinator Jim Vickers to get a crash-course in the Japanese fighting arts as well as the Zen of handling multiple guns simultaneously.

"There are some really amazing choreographed action sequences in the film," Bale points out, "and I wanted to be ready. Although I studied martial arts for 'American Psycho,' I needed more training for the kind of big-scale Kendo fights in EQUILIBRIUM. I took an eight-week course in Judo, and I so enjoyed it, that I look forward to doing more action roles."

Adds Wimmer: "We were immensely lucky to discover that Christian is a gifted athlete. He has the ability of a trained dancer to remember choreography instantly and I honestly believe that he made the action scenes in this film work as no one else could have."

From Wimmer's Interview with Dreamwatch

DW - How did you know that he was up to the physical demands of the role, the amazing choreographed fight scenes and martial arts-style action?

KW - You know, being the rank amateur that I was, I didn't even consider that he wasn't up to it! I thought we'd just choreograph it and do it! I realised quickly that wasn't going to be the case. But Christian is a gifted athlete, and he's also a trained dancer, but more importantly he has an uncanny ability to remember choreography in a short period of time and execute it under pressure. We often only had one take because if there are multiple squibs going off, we didn't have time to reset for a second take. He was able to do it first take and get it right every time. He has tremendous timing, and he saved my ass. Had it been almost anybody else, the results would have been really terrible.

Equilibrium Production Videos
Behind the scenes downloadable videos from various sequences of the film.


From CHUD Boards: Kurt Wimmer

The problem to my mind, is that most directors just shoot action - which is to say, their coordinators come up with some bit of business and they just point the camera at the action and shoot it, whereas for me the camera is an integral third party in any action dance. I do a lot of my own choreography and always work the fight backward from particular seminal scope images that sum up the confrontation for me - maybe 'hero images' is a better word. You don't always have a time to use the camera as much as you'd like, especially on the schedule and budget I was working on, but I found that as long as I made sure to get those seminal images in each sequence, it would turn out all right. As a matter of a fact, I tend to think it's less about what a character does in an action sequence than the look in his eyes when he's doing it.

 CHUD Interview: Kurt Wimmer

 We knew what we wanted and I think it would've been better if we'd had more time to be totally honest.  We could have made it a lot better had we had more time equally if Christian had had more time.  Like the stuff in the hallway Christian learned it that day while we were setting up the shot.  So, I look forward to when I can have the time to do it right.  I mean, there's some crazy stuff.  It still amazes me to this day the gun-butting scene, the scene where he beats those eight guys to a pulp with his guns.  We shot that in a half-hour, no exaggeration.  We had no choice.  We had to shoot the whole thing in a half-hour.  If I'd had three hours or half a day or a whole day, which I needed, it would've looked a lot better, I think.

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