Scene 8: ‘Rachel’s attempted hit on Jake and chase’ production info
Location: Ed Keaton’s house; Streets of Newport; Multi-story car park, Newport
I don’t think anyone really knows how long this scene took to film as it was broken down and interrupted so many times. I could guess at probably 6 separate days, maybe 7, I’m not sure.
The first part of this sequence featured Rachel’s attempted hit on Jake. Now unlike most professional assassins, Rachel doesn’t use weapons at all, instead he tries to strangle Jake with his own gold chains. Well, I though it was stupid as well, but what can you do? As this was the first fight in the film we wanted it to be something special, but action shooting is just so damn tedious it kind of ended before it really got going. Having said that, the fight as it exists is pretty damn good, it’s just a shame it didn’t go on a little longer. Marijan’s martial arts training allowed him to choreograph all the fight sequences he was involved in and make it look as though Jake really knew what he was doing when in fact he didn’t have a clue.
The second section of this scene was a very, very long chase through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, in Newport. Many of L.A.’s famous sights could be seen, including John Frost square, Hitman music and Curtes-of L.A. This chase was filmed over several different days and numerous different locations around the town centre. Rather than go to the expense of using a steadi-cam we simply had Eddie clegging it after us with the camcorder in his hand, a technique used on ‘Titanic’ I believe. This provided a fairly rough street edge to the chase scene, or you could just say a slightly crap feel, your preference of course. The chase moved underground into the ‘Inn-shops’ loading bay, not for narrative reasons, but because it was pissing it down outside, and that would not have matched the footage shot previously.
Two people from the college who were canvassing for prospective students had the misfortune of being around when we needed them, and hey presto, they ‘volunteered’ to be in the film. Helen and John ensured an excellent gag that would have pissed off the college lecturers immensely, had they seen the film!
The third and final segment of this chase included a frantic pursuit up the stairs of a multi-story car park, and the resultant fight on the top. Some little Hitler care taker tried to tell us that we couldn’t film there, but a passing police officer pointed out to him that there was no reason why we couldn’t. That put him in his place. The chase involved much running up stairs, very tiring, and Eddie chasing us with the camera, some very shaky shots.
Once on the top a further carefully choreographed fight scene was made more difficult by the scorching sun, and Nick not actually helping in the slightest. When Marijan hits you in mock fight, he really hurts you, god help those who try and attack him, as they do so frequently. This is one of my favourite fight scenes, indeed I believe that it holds up to many seen in Hollywood action movies. Both Jake and Rachel were superb in the execution of the Fight, and of course it helped that the pain was real!