I’m sat in the poshest restaurant I’ve ever been in, dressed in a sharp suit which is unusual for me as I only ever dress smart for weddings and funerals.
For the last hour, we’ve been in character, lounging around in the background while the lead actors do their thing, setting up the scene with some establishing shots to the story. In the last few minutes, however, the atmosphere has changed tangibly, and there’s a sense that things are well and truly about to kick-off!
Sure enough, on a shout of “ACTION” the lead actor (who I recognise from “Peaky Blinders”) playing the leader of our London gangster crew runs frantically to the window, and with a shout of “They’re here! Get ready, BE READY!!” all hell breaks loose. A duffle bag of various weapons is thrown down in the middle of the floor, and we all dive in. We film a short take of us making the weapons ready and then in between the following takes, blank ammunition is carefully dished out by the expert on-set armourers, as well as inconspicuous skin-coloured ear defence.
On the next shout of “Action” things really do move into overdrive and an intricate action-packed tracking sequence is initiated. A team of fellow British Action Academy friends, colleagues and instructors playing members of a rival gang dressed in my more usual sportswear style attire rush through the doors into the lower floor, and the shootout begins. Mixed in with our team of BAA special action extras are a few British Stunt Register performers, and one of these gets hosed down by an Uzi-wielding gang member, performing an elaborate stair fall, and as the invaders push up the staircase I’m the next London gangster to get the good news.