• Simon Roptell


Training for Quest for Steel.

As the name suggests, we had a Quest for Steel boot camp. Sword fighting, bo-staff wielding and general iron age training took place in this Dojo.

Lorraine had to master the large heavy steel sword. When she first picked up the heavy weapon, it seemed bigger than her and she could only deliver moves with two hands, which is how such a sword is supposed to be handled. To make things more difficult, because we were filming on green screen, the green could be seen reflecting off its shiny surface, which meant she had to learn to fight by facing the broad side to camera, away from the green. After a few weeks she was a pro, delivering moves with one hand and performing other impressive actions. Now, the sword of course is not based on any design known in the ancient world as this particular weapon obviously has a medieval shape. However, not wanting to take anything away from the beautiful swords in the ancient world, such a Claymore design is God-like and because this is the first ever Steel sword which forged itself it needed to look like it was not the product of any Damascene blacksmith but something from another time, reminiscent of Excalibur. Besides, do I need to remind you, this is a fantasy film, there are talking dragons and people with fire for faces in this movie.

In addition to swordplay, Lorraine, along with the other three girls that make up the Order of the Bo, had to learn to fight with the bo-staff. Each had to have their own distinct style and routine. Kale, pictured below, had a martial arts background so was able to bring some of her experience into this style of fighting. All were very dedicated and acknowledge such study of administering death by stick is becoming increasingly important during these unpredictable times and is must include in every professional resume.

What a perfect time to adopt an exercise routine inspired by the Bronze age fighting man. (You can pump iron but can you pump bronze?) I remember when I was in infants, teachers would tell us that star jumps (jumping jacks) were the staple exercise for warriors over the centuries. It makes sense, this is an exercise that can be performed anywhere and seems to work every part of the body. I would do this for 25 minutes per day (45 second exercises/ 5 seconds rest) and then 2 x 3 minutes or push ups and sit ups. I was in okay shape before I started training like this but I wanted to lose any stiff muscle bulk I had from going to the gym (turned out to be 10 kg in 6 weeks). I would perform these exercises 6 days per week, eat pretty healthily but allowed myself ultimate freedom on the weekends.

Even though I am at the end of the Quest for Steel Post -Production detail, I still maintain this workout regime. It is cheaper than a gym membership and can tell you there will never be a casein protein and medium chained triglycerides milk shake product attached to it.


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