When an actor reads a movie script, it’s his job to bring his character to life with all the dramatic skills at his disposal.
When Lance Gilbert opens a script, he’s not looking at dialogue. Or dramatic subtext. He goes right to the ‘brutal fist fight’ scene. Or the ‘car crash’ scene. Or the
‘exploding helicopter’ scene.
Because when the director yells “action”, it’s Lance’s job to transform typewritten mayhem into jaw-dropping movie footage.
Lance Gilbert is a Stuntman. Has been for the past 25 years. Check out IMDB and you’ll see his resume: The Final Destination, The Eye, Planet Terror, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and xXx. On that last one, he racked up “Stunt Coordinator of the year” at the 2003 Taurus Awards. (The stunt industry’s ‘Oscar’.) How many films has Lance done? He doesn’t keep track, but it’s well over a 100.
Now for Lance, stuntwork is a family thing. More of a legacy, actually. His dad and granddad made their mark way before wire work and safety codes. His brothers are stunt guys, too. In fact, they all had one helluva time together on “Waterworld”. (Alas, what happens in Hawaii, stays in Hawaii.)
Since then, it’s been less and less about flesh and blood bravado and more and more about pixels and logarithms. That’s why Lance is always looking for a chance to push the boundaries of “physical” effects. Emphasis on the “physical”. As in burn it up. Blast it apart. Blow some dudes sky high. Right there in front of the camera. And when he’s rigging it up and calculating the risk, Lance isn’t thinking about the red carpet. Or the youtube hits. He’s grinding against the challenge. Committed to pulling off what seemingly can’t be done. This is where Lance lives. Just like his dad and granddad before him.
Cut to an empty bridge. And here comes a valet’s wet dream pushing another supercar sideways. At NASCAR speeds. THWOCK! T-boned vehicle meets steel-pipe ramp. WHOOSH! Metal and rubber launches into space. Spectacularly. BOOM! Just another supercar flying through the air and certain destruction as it shatters on the pavement. Cut. The director smiles. The crew whoops and claps at the cinematic badassery they’ve just witnesses. But Lance is too busy to notice. He’s lugging something heavy onto a truck. Relieved no one got hurt. Thinking about the next shot.