Emma writes: I got a very few of my Tony Wolf photos up last night, from his demo last night. I haven’t had time to write anything up on the page yet.

Tony was fantastic–very articulate and with a lot of opinions about what stage combat has been, is, and could be. His method for teaching it is along the lines of “teaching them to fish” so they have the tools to figure out the details themselves, rather than “giving them a fish” which is only good for one specific instance. It was also interesting to hear that in NZ, there is much less of a division between those working in the theatre, in feature films, and in television, than there is here, so that he has done work in all those mediums.

He talked about his job on LOTR, which as fighting styles designer, saw him working in preproduction alongside those people designing the costumes, weapons, etc. He had to design, from scratch, the fighting styles for 8 different peoples (Rohirrim, Elves, Gondorians, Ors, Moria Orcs, etc.) which involved taking what was known about those peoples–their history, their physical aspects, their culture–and coming up with a style that would arise out of the combination of those things.

After his talk, he worked with two women from our *excellent* local female stage combat troupe, Babes With Blades, to demonstrate how he might choreograph a fight for two specific characters–and he chose the characters so he would know something about them, as he doesn’t choreograph generic “fights” but needs to make the fighting style specific to the characters and the situation. So the ladies were Buffy and Faith, which proved to be a lot of fun for both the ladies involved and the audience.