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Field Trip: The Physics of Movie Stunts

Fly through the air with the greatest of ease! Stage epic martial arts battles or use your super powers to save the universe! Find out how they really do these amazing stunts in Hollywood movies! At FAST Motion Studios your students can design their action movie sequence, act it out on camera, and analyze the physics!

Know any students who might want to try that kind of thing? Thought so!

To what do we owe this exciting new field trip opportunity? Our venerable vice president, Dave Doucette — retired physics teacher turned freelance STEAM* consultant — is a lifelong friend of Paul Rapovski. Paul is one of the foremost stunt coordinators in the international motion picture industry and FAST Motion Studios is his creation. Here is a glimpse video sample of the diversity of stunt action Paul and his crew produce.

On a humid Friday morning in mid-September, ten physics teachers representing the OAPT attended FAST Motion Studios. An amazing stunt performer, Jennifer, demonstrated several stunt ‘gags’ while Paul and Dave put the teachers through their paces, analyzing the rich physics principles involved. The climax was to suit up our dear OAPT President, Lisa Lim-Cole, and toss her off a cliff. Well, actually it was off a set of mats, but the bluescreen allows addition of the cliff in post-production. Or the CN Tower. Or the pyramids of Giza. Get the picture? But that is the CGI/animation side of the studio — another trip for another time.

How do you spell ‘engaging’? How about….F.A.S.T.

Dave has carefully selected stunt activities to align with the Ontario secondary physics curriculum and scaffolded lessons to maximize student learning. Preparatory work can be done in the classroom to allow students to become familiar with the range of stunts and the smartphone app: Video Physics. Or just bring ‘em along and prepared to be engaged — or tossed, levitated, flipped, spun and exploded. Safely, of course! You are in the hands of professionals — literally.

The Physics of Hollywood Stunt Action is ideal as a culminating activity or for concept attainment. Dave can adapt lessons according to your class needs! What are you waiting for — call now, operators are standing by the phones. (Well, actually there is just Dave and he was not standing. Last we saw he was suited up and ready to be launched in a ‘Hong Kong’ wrap.)


Call Dave today to book a trip for your class or to get more information: Dave Doucette’s mobile is 289-221-2265.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article by Dave elaborating on curricular and pedagogical alignments of this unique physics field trip and how it resonates with government policies for youth career pathways.

©Ontario Association of Physics Teachers Contact the Newsletter