Some filmmakers hate rehearsals. They hope the spontaneity of the day of the shoot will be their saving grace. There’s a place for improvisation if you’re John Cassavetes doing “Husbands,” but in a big action movie, you can’t just let things be random; action sequences are extremely complex and can cause serious harm. Rehearsal and preparation are key elements to these films, and sadly not all of them have the time and budget to use them properly.
But Gina Prince-Bythewood understands the importance of getting everyone on the same page for “The Woman King.” Talk to Picture framesshe details how working on “The Old Guard” made her realize the rehearsal was her friend:
“I learned about what you need to do to prepare for stunts, how much preparation you need to do for the actors, how to work with stunt coordinators and fight… give me the knowledge to know what it takes to make the action really good – how much it can happen, that it has to be perfect on set or it won’t be in your editing room. you’re doing 22 and it’s not quite right, you can’t stop, you’re exhausted, the actors are exhausted, but you know that, if it’s not on set, it’s not in the editing room and you no footage.”
This preparation results in every action scene being hectic, brutal, and extremely thrilling. Every actor is in command of their entire body, and you believe these are real warriors. Without proper rehearsal, “The Woman King” can look frenetic and empty, and it couldn’t be further from those descriptions. Gina Prince-Bythewood has learned how to be a great action filmmaker and I want to see her oil paintings grow even bigger.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1013192/the-old-guard-taught-gina-prince-bythewood-a-vital-lesson-for-the-woman-king/ The old guardian taught Gina Prince-Bythewood an important lesson for the Queen