SP/FX - Stunts


Lee van Cleef and Jim Brown ride to El Condor for the first time, to spy out the fortress, 
but were speedily greeted with cannon shots.
Romano Puppo (Stunt double for Lee van Cleef) and Javier Maiza (Stunt double for Jim Brown) are 
the two brave heroes in the wild fire of the explosions.
Impressive scenes that require a close collaboration between Stunt Coordinator Tap Canutt and 
Special Effects Supervisor Kit West.

The 'battlefield', 1969.
Larger stones and branches are removed before the charges are placed to 
mitigate the risk of injury for the stuntmen.

Lee van Cleef and Jim Brown are ready for close-ups (top right).
Then it's time for the stuntmen!
It's amazing, how many people are involved even in small scenes.
Kit West (middle) is talking to the photographer (probably his wife, Diana!) who is standing on top
of the wall of El Condor, 1969.
The close-ups of the main actors are filmed.
Lee van Cleef (Jaroo) and Jim Brown (Luke) on the way to the fortress.
The cannons fire - it's time for the unknown heroes!
The dance begins! A fiery flamenco of special effects and stuntmen.
Several charges are activated, but the two still look good. That will change soon ...
Kit told me that the charges were activated on sight! - What sight?
Uuuhh ... now it is getting closely!
Romano Puppo and Javier Maiza are looking for a way through the explosions.
Kit West: "All the explosions are soft and with sifted material.
Sifted earth, mixed with fullers earth and broken up pieces of cork.
All placed in metal cones set into the ground."
The pieces of cork fly initially at high speed, but quickly slow down. 
Better not get too close!
The Mix of sifted earth and fullers earth holds up well in the air.
Romano is riding and singing ... 'cause I'm the unknown stuntman that made Lee van Cleef 
such a star' ... long before Lee Majors.
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Holy moly! - With a sharp eye you might recognize Luke (Javier Maiza) on his horse (middle).
Movie Scenes - Another charge explodes right in front of Stuntman Javier Maiza. 
It knocks him out of the saddle.
 Javier Maiza (Stunt double for Jim Brown).
Stuntman Javier Maiza staggers - The pressure wave of a further explosion throws him to the ground.
On the right side you can see Antonio 'eagle eye' Baladin (SP/FX).
He crouches behind the 'firing board' and activates the charges 'on sight'.
Kit: 'It is done by flicking a switch on the 'firing board' which is activated by a 12 Volt 
heavy car battery.'
Kit: 'Antonio Baladin (SP/FX) and Jack Wallis (SP/FX) are wiring up the 'firing board', 
which activates the explosions, when connected to a battery.'
Antonio Baladin (SP/FX) on the top of the wall of El Condor.
Kit: 'Antonio is checking out the explosion charges, which he is doing through the 
'firing board' using a blasting galvanometer.'
A blasting galvanometer is used to check electrical continuity.
An electrical resistance instrument for testing electric donators and circuits containing them.
Jaroo (Stuntman Romano Puppo), still on his horse, wants to help Luke (Stuntman Javier Maiza). 
We'll see.
Oh oh ... Romano is in trouble!
He could no longer keep in the saddle ... There they lie, the brave hero.
A blast from behind makes the two go back to the ground.
Stunt Coordinator Tap Canutt (credited as Second Unit Director) is watching the scene and
directing his Camera crew. Various cameras are in use.
The scene is filmed several times, now from above. 
You can see a metal cone. It is set with the top down into the earth. 
The explosive charge is placed in the top of the cone. 
On top of the charge into the cone comes a mixture of sifted earth, fullers earth ('talc') and 
cork pieces...bang!
The whole scene is filmed in close coordination between Stunt Coordinator Tap Canutt 
and Special Effects Supervisor Kit West and their stuntmen and crew.
From left to right: Stuntman Romano Puppo. You can see an elbow protector.
For such stunts he wears different protectors (elbow, knee,...). 
Next to him is Peter Dawson (SP/FX) talking with Stunt Coordinator Tap Canutt.
On the right side, Kit West is happy about the successful effects.

www.kit-west-almeria.com