Banshee stunt coordinator Marcus Young joins Television’s Most Wanted to discuss what goes on behind the scenes and how all of the shows action sequences are created…
On this week’s episode of Television’s Most Wanted, Damon Martin and Michael Stets break down the latest episode of Banshee titled “Only One Way a Dogfight Ends” and discuss Veronica Dawson getting kidnapped by Declan and Lilith Bode, and the fallout from the brutal invasion of Carrie’s home.
In addition to our usual discussion of all things Banshee, Stunt Coordinator Marcus Young was a guest of the podcast and he spoke with Stets about what takes place behind the scenes and how the intricate fight scenes that the show is known for are put together from start to finish.
Young, 44, made his debut with the hit series in the third episode of the first season, choreographing the fight scene between Hood and the mixed martial artist turned rapist, Damien Sanchez. He said “it helped set the tempo of what the fights were going to be like.”
Several other Fanshee favorites have occurred over the last few seasons, but none more popular than Nola Longshadow vs. Clay Burton from the third Episode of Season 3. According to Young, that fight scene “set the milestone.”
On average, Young says a typical fight scene takes about one to two weeks from start to finish and there are several variables including making tweaks with the script, adding or taking away certain parts of action sequences–which he calls the “massaging process,”–as well as the amount of time they have to shoot particular scenes. And as far as what each character can do, a lot of that has to do with the capabilities of the actors themselves.
“Absolutely, “Young agreed. “A lot of the time we don’t have a whole lot of time with characters and sometimes we do have a lot of time. That helps dictate things as far as how long we are going to shoot them or how long fights are going to be. I think in the last three seasons the fights have played out in a longer sequence as far as time wise and this season seems to be a little shorter and straight to the point.”
Young says he tries to “build a style for each character” and “make each one unique and a little different.” When an actor excels, he makes producers aware to keep it in mind for future scripts so they can “incorporate that skill level for each person.” An actor’s schedule will also make a difference as evidenced by the increased action for Hoon Lee, who according to Young would come in on his off time to “bring his skill level up” and further his training.
The Hawaiian native, who has been in the industry since the early 90s and lists Jet Li, Jacki Chan, and Jean Claude Van Damme as some of his early influences, called lead actor Antony Star a “trooper” saying he will always “deliver the product that needs to be done so the fans and the audience get their dose of the Banshee action.” He also gave praise to Ivana Milecevic saying she’s “always a pleasure to work with” and “enthusiastic” about the action scenes she takes part in.
Young, whose ultimate goal is to become a director, was asked if he felt pressure to up the ante for the final season, especially after setting the bar so high with Nola vs. Burton last season on top of the other crazy action the show has showcased.
“I know Banshee has kind of created a hyper real reality,” he said. “So as far as trying to one up it, we always like to put something special to each sequence. In that respect I do feel that we want to leave a mark as far as the action and that it’s the last season we’d like to be able to showcase some of our best work.”
With only two episodes left, Young had this to say as far as expected reaction: “I think the Fanshees will be in for a surprise for the season closer and they enjoy it just as much as jumping on the ride for the first step. Getting on and getting off with the same thrill.”
And the series finale may not be the end of Banshee after all.
“Hopefully the fans will rant and rave and maybe we will come up with a Banshee feature. We can do a spin off from there and if certain characters don’t want to come back we can always create one.”