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Directing a riot

Posted at 3:00 PM on September 19, 2008 by Euan Kerr

You can hear Stuart Townsend on the air tonight talking about making "Battle in Seattle."

Townsend is best known as an actor, although he says he enjoys working though the challenges of directing a film. There were a few moments though when making "Battle" when he wondered about all that stuff, like when they were shooting the riot scenes.

"Shutting down streets and having hundreds of extras, and it's all fake," he says. "But when you say 'action' and the fake smoke happens and the fake tear gas goes, it's pretty interesting to see all these extras who aren't actors per se suddenly partake in a riot and actually... our movie got out of control sometimes and we would start shouting cut and no-one could hear us. So we ended up having to have megaphones and we would would shout cut and no-one would hear us so we ended up with megaphones with the police sirens on it just to like tell people to stop because people would like get into it and you could really, you really got a sense of how just a riot, once it goes out of control, just how terrifying that can be, because no-one person is in charge any more. So that was pretty interesting. Trying to be the director on that with no-one listening to you."

And then he just laughed and shook his head.

September 2008
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