Hollywood is big business, and making a movie requires a lot of highly-skilled people in a variety of roles.
As well as the big-name directors and actors, sets need designing and building, camera crews need to shoot the thing, and then there is the huge amount of CGI need for a modern production.
Each production throws up its own unique challenges to all involved, and those requirements are sometimes quite specific, and lead to some very niche roles.
In movies like Indiana Jones you always see scenes where someone uses a whip to get a bad guy.
Now, it may surprise you to know they don’t just let the likes of Harrison Ford run rampant with a dangerous weapon well there is a whole job in which someone trains those actors how to use the whip.
They make sure it looks realistic but also ensure the actors use it safely.
To put it quite simply Bullwhip trainers are experts with a whip.
They usually are trained in other forms of weaponry and combat e.g. archery, horse riding, and swordplay.
It’s a rare skill so there aren’t many whip experts around.
One of these experts is Anthony De Longis, who taught Michelle Pfeiffer how to use the bullwhip in Catwoman and Harrison Ford for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull.
He also trained in such films as Wild Bill (with Ellen Barkin), The Rundown, and Buffalo Girls (with Angelica Huston) among many others. He was also responsible for training the stunt doubles on The Legend of Zorro.
During the filming of the original Indiana Jones trilogy, actor Ford said: “If anybody could explain it in words, I’m sure it would be a lot easier to do. It’s a combination of relaxation while snapping the wrist at the proper time. It’s really all a matter of timing.”
Anthony shared his experiences with whips, whip cracking, and working with Ford, Anthony told IndyGear: “I mastered the best skill to keep you from lashing yourself so that you can practice with it and get it right.
“The key is to learn to feel what the whip is trying to tell you.
“I say I’m self-taught, which is why I do things differently, but in reality, it was the whip that taught me.
“It showed me how to listen and that offered a more efficient, effective, and effortless way of working.
“Along the way, I discovered that man’s first supersonic tool is also the ultimate flexible weapon.”