CREATIVE'S CREED: An Interview With Adam Brashaw

Having extensively covered Universal Pictures's famed Fast franchise, this week's latest bit of coverage has to be the closest I've come. It's primarily attributed to the forthcoming live show which kicks off in London in January and obviously with a film saga so action packed, of course it's going to need a crew of some very talented stunt performers to take to task the very feats attendees can expect.

For this, it is with great pleasure to have been able to share an auspicious chat with Adam Brashaw, someone whose work thusfar in stunts, film and television have been all but impressive. He's only appeared in The Hit List a few times having done three shortfilms (two of which I have seen), and you need only to see the results for yourself apart from his exceptional work reel just above.

Brashaw is going nine years strong in his field with multiple credits to his name, including at least one upcoming film project which he discusses a bit about later in this interview. This, on top of performing in a hotly-anticipated live show based on a multi-billion dollar film resumè, has drawn my own curiosity about his plans in film and entertainment. Being as proficient and busy as he is, I am evermore thankful to have caught up, and I hope you get some joy from this interview as much as I did.

Photo: Mike Wilson
Film Combat Syndicate: Greetings Adam and thank you in advance for sharing an interview with us! We've entered the Fall season with 2018 a few months around the bend. How has this year been to you so far?
Adam Brashaw: Hey Lee! No worries at all, it's an honour to be interviewed by such a unique and spectacular site.

Yes we are almost coming to an end of 2017 and it's been a great year in ways that I have greatly appreciated. This year has been fairly quiet in terms of work but I honestly don't mind that. When I get a quieter year I focus on the things that need TLC like family, friends, lots and lots of training and directing, editing and producing short films or action scenes.

For me I'm constantly working towards my career one way or another. So for that reason this year has been amazing! I have made 3 short films, 2 action scenes and finally released my 2017 action reel! I have also been fortunate to have worked on some films and commercials, and to top it off I have been asked to work on Fast and Furious Live Show starting in 2018 which is a world wide tour for 5 years! I'll be playing a character on the show and also performing some cool stunts. Exciting times!
FCSyndicate: I wanna get to that a little later as its one of the biggest film franchises to date and a live show sounds absolutely major.

To start, just a quick browse shows you've been working in film since about 2010 or so. Correct me if I'm wrong. Tell us about your interest in stunts and film and how your start came.
AB: Sure! Yes I started working in film professionally in 2009 on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1, then continued on to part 2 in 2010.

My whole life I have been wanting a career in movies ever since I was a small kid. As I grew older I started watching Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Van Damme to name a few. Jackie Chan being my biggest idol. When I was 14, I would recreate stunts and fight scenes with my friends on a old Hi8 Camcorder and edit them together. A few years later I then got in to Parkour and Freerunning as I continued editing and making short films and fight scenes.

My love for film never changed and I knew that one day I would work in films. Cut to 7 years of Freerunning, Parkour and now Martial arts, I get a call saying they need specialist Freerunners that can run across chopped down trees in the woods for Harry Potter!

I was so excited. I submitted my pictures and showreel, etc., and I got the call saying they wanted me and 3 others to be featured as Snatchers on Deathly Hallows Part 1! That was my first experience in to the world of stunts and a job that changed my life forever.
FCSyndicate: Did you have formal martial arts training growing up?
AB: My dad took me to karate as a young boy which then lead to boxing. As I got older I then tried Taekwondo and Ninjutsu for a few months before discovering Capoeira which was awesome because at the time I could do some flips and tricks which went hand in hand with that. Later I tried Wing Chun for about 6 months, then I found Kickboxing which I got one belt away from black belt. Since then I have trained Krav Maga and now found a passion for Jiujitsu.
FCSyndicate: Apart from performance, have you ever had to implement your training in a real life scenario?
AB: Luckily I haven't had to many incidences were I had to use self defence. Though I got chased once and used my Parkour skills to get away.
FCSyndicate: I kind of envy people who found themselves into Parkour; I personally I look back at all the times my mom yelled at me and told me to get down from neighbors' fences and cars. 😂 I never knew what Parkour was in the 80s.

How instrumental has performance athleticism been for you, personally, apart from being in entertainment?
AB: Haha exactly! Parkour has been around forever, it's only the last 15 or so years that it's gradually become mainstream. Jackie Chan was doing parkour in his movies since day 1 and that's where the love came from for me. Then as the sport progressed you see a whole discipline there.

Being fit and active in general is so important. For me it has given me a direction in life. I wake up everyday knowing that training is happening and I plan my day around that. It's pretty funny how the skills can help you in your day to day mentally and physically. Helping you overcome certain barriers or climb through your top window because you left your keys inside haha. But joking aside Parkour, Free Running or Martial Arts could really save your life and urge anyone to start. There are so many benefits aside from the big one which is keeping fit and healthy.
FCSyndicate: I had only heard of 3Run maybe a few years ago. Tell us about it for those who aren't familiar. Are you still with them?
AB: Yes me and the guys are still together. We started the group about 15 years ago as a freerunning performance team 3RUN. We would do live shows, events, commercials and photoshoots etc.; in 2006 we did David Guetta's music video Love Don't Let Me Go, which went global. From that, we received a lot of interest.

Since then we have achieved so much and traveled the world doing what we love. Each one of the team has at least 2 Guinness World Records. Originally I held the longest side flip at 4.45m and the most wall flips in a team in 1 minute. We are still active in doing shows and performances but right now we have a lot of guys off doing their own thing, as have I what with working in the movies, and so on.
FCSyndicate: Do you remember the first real mental barrier you had to break while you were up and comimg in stunts?
AB: Luckily I haven't been asked to do anything that was completely out of my limit. Usually i'll get hired to do the things that I can do over and over. That being said on Assassin's Creed with director Justin Kurzel, we had some serious jumps that had to be done freely without any wires which were huge. 60 feet up with an airbag below incase the worst happened, a 6 meter gap and 6 meter from level to level on to the mats. Even with mats down we had one of our guys hurt his foot due to the impact. So as much as you get hired to do what you can do, the stunts can be very difficult and even with the safest possible measures taken you can still get injured. That's why I am super switched on when it comes to doing any stunt.
FCSyndicate: When we initially met last year, you shared a shortfilm pitch with us called Adrenaline - You stated doing three shorts and I remember seeing at least one other you were in as well.  All were a job well done, and especially Adrenaline.
AB: Awesome thanks for checking them out!
FCSyndicate: Pleasure! And, you're on both sides of the lens in that respect. Tell us, what inspired you to take up directing?
AB: My recent short film was Savages. We collaborated with some great guys that primarily work as Aerial Cinematographers. These guys are wizards with camera rigs etc and had a new drone they wanted to try out. They have the ability to top mount the camera on a drone which you don't see much off as most cameras are bottom mounted. From them asking us to get involved the project expanded more and more, creating bigger better scenes to the point of becoming one of our best short films to date. Action packed which is what I love.
Yes I really love acting and being in front of the camera and at the same time I love directed and editing. Nothing beats having a vision and then working to make it a reality. Adrenaline was something I just thought would be a cool idea and then a couple of years later I had the chance to make it and jumped at it. Really pleased with how it came out considering it was zero budget. Even happier that it got officially selected in to LIFF (London Independent Film Festival) which had a great response. Ever since I was a kid I have had a huge passion for films and the dream has never left me. I love watching a good solid movie. I just watched Blade Runner 2049 and that for me is what filmmaking is all about. Creating a world that we can get lost in for those 2 hours. As a director I'm inspired by movies like that.
From the set of "Torn"
FCSyndicate: So how long do you suspect before we see writer/director Adam Brashaw on set for his first feature debut? 😁
AB: Haha, well I'm in the process of writing Adrenaline as a feature but I think that will take some years to produce, but hey, never say never! There is still time to write, direct and enjoy refining the craft which is actually the fun part as you get to experiment and try things.
FCSyndicate: You're also working on the forthcoming Fast And Furious live show which launches in London in January. How did you manage to find your way in Dom Torretto's garage, so to speak?
AB: Yeah it's pretty insane how things work out. I never predicted this one considering how my career has been very film based. This is different but very exciting and will be a lot of fun.

I had a call from a good friend of mine saying that Fast and Furious Live are holding auditions and it's an open call. I thought why not pop down and give it ago I have nothing to lose. So I did the audition which consisted of me talking about myself and then doing a live acrobatic demonstration. Two weeks later, I get told I was picked to be one of three live performers on the show! They then asked me to do a acting audition which I did and then they offered me a character part in the show too! I was and still am over the moon and can't wait to make a start.
FCSyndicate: That is fantastic news! I'm sure you must be under NDA so clearly you can't divulge too much. I'm curious though as I've never been to one of these kinds of grand live show events. Are you going to be touring in it around the world as well? Or just in London?
AB: Thanks! Yes unfortunately we've had to sign a NDA which is pretty standard stuff, but I can disclose certain things. It's going all around the world spanning 5 years which is super exciting. We open the show in London for 3 days at 02 Arena, and then go on to Europe for 40 weeks. Year 2 is Canada, North and South America which I am really happy about.
 We have a real good team / family vibe so traveling the world will be made a breeze. Hopefully you can come check the show? I've never seen a show like this myself either let alone being involved at this level. Seeing what the creative director wants to do has literally blown me away.
FCSyndicate:What's your favorite installment between all eight movies so far? I'm at a crossroads between 6, 7 and 8 to be frank lol
AB: I'll be honest the first installment will always be the best for me as it was more grounded. They definitely got crazier but they gave the audience a thrill ride (excuse the pun) which I think is exactly what they are trying to do with the show. Making it a complete emersive experience. 
FCSyndicate:I gotta ask: Team Hobbs? Or Team Shaw?😆
AB: Ahhh that's a tough one! Hobbs has the screen time to back his corner, but I like Shaw being the rival. That being said I believe will make a good action film. It's a sure way to expand the franchise even more! 
FCSyndicate: Way to tow the line Adam! 😂

Just a few more questions here. I know your schedule is busy with a new show pending but we still have a few more months with plenty of films to check out. Are there any current or upcoming ones you've got plans on seeing?
AB: Yeah we still have a couple of months before we finish the year and I have a few films I want to see. The Snowman with Michael Fassbender being one them. I actually had the chance to stunt double him once again during some additional photography which was fun and great working with Michael again. I have a lot of friends who worked on Justice League so that will be exciting to watch and of course Thor 3 looks cool too! A big one for me though is The Foreigner with Jackie Chan. It's going to be so refreshing to see Jackie in a serious role but at the same time deliver some good action. The tone looks great and I think it'll do really well.
FCSyndicate: Oh man we can go for a little while longer on Jackie Chan! The Foreigner to me is a breath of fresh air. And congratulations on The Snowman as well! The trailers look great for such a thriller.

On the set of The Hitman's Bodyguard
I do want to thank you for taking the time for this back-and-forth. It's been a great pleasure. And I'm sure that there may be readers who are up and coming in the field of stunts and are climbing the ladder or just getting their foot in the door. Tell us about some of the most important lessons you've picked up along the way going forward before we exit.
AB: Some of the best things I learned very early on is that keeping your head down and doing what is asked of you is key and not speaking your mind when it's not the time or place to do so. It's all about being your best, working hard, and being apart of the team. Making sure safety for you and everyone around you is the upmost importance. That being said it's also ok to enjoy your life and enjoy your work so be sure to not take yourself too seriously.

Thanks so much mate I really appreciate the kind words and thanks for choosing to interview me it's been a pleasure also. As always I look forward to seeing what's on your hit list, latest news and articles on the upcoming action films you've discovered.
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