Health and safety gone mad in film!

One of the most challenging scenes to film in Cop on the Edge IX: Prelude to Justice, was the film’s big set-piece action sequence, the ‘warehouse shootout’. Luckily, we didn’t have to look hard to find a warehouse as the so-called college facilities were left glaringly unfinished for months, and our would-be studio facilities looked like a disused warehouse anyway. Seeing as we were paying the UWCN fees for the studio facilities, we decided to use the warehouse overnight.

This scene actually took two nights to shoot because, due to a technical error, some of the footage from the first night was wiped… this made us very popular with student Dan Hopkins, who didn’t want to be there anyway.

During the warehouse shootout scene we filmed a shot that, thinking about it, wouldn’t be allowed in today’s health and safety conscious world. One of actors (a perpetually stoned student named Jonathan Brett) was required to run whilst firing his gun at Jake Cop, before being shot. In order to break his fall from the hard concrete warehouse flooring, we gave Brett something nice and soft to land in – an open bad of asbestos.

If you watch the clip of the ‘making of’ on YouTube, starting at 11:30, you’ll see Brett flinging himself into the bag with gay abandon, before getting up coughing up his guts. Naturally, taking into account the lad’s extracurricular activities, we thought nothing of it – but perhaps we should have let him come down hard on the warehouse flooring, instead of landing in the bag of asbestos.

I don’t think this would be allowed on film and TV sets these days, damned health and safety people would step in for sure.

Still, the scene turned out rather well, and the college were at fault for leaving an open bag of asbestos lying around anyway.

One thought on “Health and safety gone mad in film!

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