He blows things up for a living.

And he floods things, sets things on fire and smokes things.  If you need a gag on camera, you call Steve.  Steve has been a stuntman.  He is an actor.  But his day job is Special Effects Coordinator.

Some of Steve’s SFX credits include: Necessary Roughness, Bonnie & Clyde, Captain Ron, A Promise Kept, A Killer Within, Living and Dying, and work on shows like Walker, Texas Ranger and Wishbone.

The way it works is that Steve is sent the script and he goes through it, tagging what might be on-camera special effects (different than computerized “visual effects”).  If the script reads “it explodes” or “his body is riddled from the bullet hits,” Steve takes note and starts preparing.

Screenfighting Instructor

In one of the Serendipitous Film’s movie (“Striking Range” with Lou Diamond Phillips), Steve was called upon to rig a microwave to blow up, a grenade launcher to shoot and explode near Lou, and lots of blood effects. Since many gags are specifically crafted and created unique for that project, Steve has to test it to make sure it’s going to work when the cameras (and money) is rolling.  As a director, it’s always fun to watch Steve’s videos of his tests.  There’s usually a story behind how it went off, or how the neighbors freaked out, or how the barn was almost burned down.  Never a dull moment.

And when you come to the workshop on Sunday March 25, there will never be a dull moment.  Steve will go through basic screenfighting in the morning class.  This isn’t to teach you stunts, but to teach you the basics of how to give and receive punches and the types of punches a director might call for.  In the afternoon, Steve will go into the exciting world of SFX on the set and how it applies to you the actor.  As a director, one of the most frustrating moments is when an actor messes up an expensive special effects shot because their reaction isn’t right.

You’ll come through the day, able to offer a new savvy to the directors when you arrive on the set.  To register, go to the store.  Spots are very limited– we’re keeping the class sizes smaller this time to ensure personal attention and lots of hands on time.  Also, if you’d like to experience a squib, they cost $35 each and we’ll wire you up at the end.  Just add that in the store.

So what’s the class like?  Here’s a taste, which includes the weapons portion that will be taught by Doug Williams on Saturday March 24.