Kung-fu master Jackie Chan is one of the best-known and best-loved martial arts film stars in the world. His talents were discovered when he worked as an extra for the legendary Bruce Lee. Since then his high-kicking antics have been displayed in nearly 100 films. He always performs his own stunts, and that’s led to numerous injuries: he’s fractured his skull, dislocated his pelvis, broken his ankle, nearly lost an eye … the list goes on! But there are still thousands of stunts that have worked perfectly, resulting in spectacular scenes and no pain!
Have you ever wondered how stunts are set up safely?
You might like to …
• test the cushioning properties of various materials; work out what materials would be needed to cushion someone’s fall from a variety of heights; investigate ways of camouflaging the landing mats so they fit into a film set
• design tests to compare the fire-proof properties of suits used by stunt men, and other materials
• carry out investigations to find suitable materials for making bottles and furniture that could be used in a film bar brawl (but remember – don’t try them out on a real person’s head!)
• find out what materials are used to create, for example, rocks and buildings; compare properties of materials to find suitable ones (for example, polystyrene was used in many Lord of the Rings sets).