An Interview With Stunt Man and Producer Jeff Mosley

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Jeff Mosley is a Film stunt man and a producer at Our Next Movie; here is a link to his website:
 
 
 
 

Q: How did you become a stuntman?

 

A: In 1987 I saw an ad in the San  Francisco Examiner/Chronicle newspaper for a stunt training program in Redwood  City, CA (about 45 minutes south of San Francisco) and thought I’d give it a  try. I was already working as an actor (I got my Screen Actors Guild union  membership card in 1981) and was looking to expand my potential to be hired.  There were two six week courses, a “B” class for beginners and an “A” class for  those who passed the “B” class. The classes where held in a large warehouse with  gymnastic style tumbling pads for learning rolls and falls, boxing ‘speed’ and  ‘heavy’ bags, a trampoline, a wood stair case for stair falls, a beat-up old car  for learning ‘car hits’ and plenty of fake (rubber and plastic) swords, knives,  bats, clubs, batons and other items for fight scenes. After passing both courses  I moved from Northern California to Southern California (Burbank) to start  hustling for work in the business.

Q:  What was the most challenging stunt job  you have never had?

 

A: In 1997 I was hired as the stunt  double for Samuel L. Jackson on “Sphere” (Directed by Barry Levinson, Written by  Michael Crichton) which also starred Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Peter Coyote,  Queen Latifah and Liev Schreiber. Each actor had a stunt double and the stunt  team started underwater training two weeks before filming the movie. Out of  water the uniforms were very heavy. The helmet (35 lbs), the backpack (70 lbs –  twin scuba tanks), the battery pack waist belt (15 lbs) and the boots (15 lbs).  It took about 20 – 45 minutes to get into the suits. We looked forward to  getting in the water because most of the weight disappeared once we were  submerged. There were scenes where we had to jump into the water, run under  water and climb a ladder, which meant we slept pretty good at night from the  exhaustion. I worked for four and a half months on “Sphere” and it was probably  one of the best jobs I ever had.

Q:  Was there ever a stunt you refused to do?

 

A: Yakima Canutt was a pioneer in the  field of stunts in movies. If you search “Yakima Canutt Stagecoach” you’ll find  this clip with Vic Armstrong (stunt coordinator/2nd unit director –  “Thor”, “The Amazing Spider Man”, “Mission Impossible III”) who talks about this  incredible stunt of Yakima Canutt leaping from his horse to a team of horses  pulling a stagecoach (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9TS6ZCgZkc). He falls to the ground between the  horses holding on to the rig and then lets go as the horses and stagecoach pass  him. I was asked to do this stunt in 1998 and having no experience with horses,  no “cojones” for this type of stunt and no desire to get kicked in the head by  horses I said “uh, no, I think I’ll pass.”

Q: What is your oddest Hollywood  story?

 

A: Working as a “Wookie” in the “Star  Tours: The Adventure Continues” film that plays continuously in the Star Tours  ride at Disneyland. It was an amazing job to get to step into a Wookie costume  and be a part of the scene where you travel to the “Wookie Planet”. You can see  me hit the glass in this YouTube video at the 1:45 mark http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvdB_9tQxqs. It was about 8 hours of work for that :05 second  clip.

Q:  What is Our Next Movie?

 

A: Our goal is to produce movies in  Northern California every year if possible. Our Next Movie is a page on Facebook  that allows us to engage fans who would like to follow the journey as we make  Our Next Movie. Instead of launching a new page each time we start a movie, we  thought it might be best to have one page where we can grow our audience and  invite them to be a part of the experience. You can visit and LIKE our page  here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/OurNextMovie/308909995903294. Our goal is to grow the page to over 100,000 Likes before  launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to fund “The Lavender Bandit”  (working title) which will be a romantic comedy.

Q:  Why a romantic  comedy?

 

A: We would like to produce a variety of  films. Our 1st movie “Chasing Rodriguez” is a family friendly movie  that got endorsed by the organization “Kids First” for a film that is approved  for families. Our Next Movie will not be approved for kids. We plan to take this  next project into the R region with appropriately edgy scenes for a more mature  audience. It’s the story of “Marty” who wants to get married but chickens out as  he’’s about to propose to his girlfriend and instead hires a private investigator  to check her out first. We plan to film in the San Francisco bay area, mostly in  Contra Costa County (an hour east of San Francisco) in the summer of 2014.  Actors, crew, volunteers and other supporters who are interested in working on  or being a part of the movie should sign up for the email updates at http://www.OurNextMovie.com.

Q:   What are you looking for in a script?

 

A: With this next production we’re  looking for LOL (laugh-out-loud) scenes and situations. Comedy is always a  challenge and they say “if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage” so we’ll  spend many hours working to craft the best script we can for the budget that we  have to work with. We recently announced “The Lavender Bandit” to our Facebook  friends with this YouTube video Skype call with writer Jeff Vibes  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrWEFFiMzhA.

Q: What kind of budget are we  looking at here?

 

A: Our Next Movie, “The Lavender Bandit”  (working title), will be a Screen Actors Guild ultra-low budget contract and we  may also sign a contract with the Directors Guild of America. The S.A.G.  contract allows us to employ union and non-union talent and give us greater  flexibility in terms of budgeting for “name” talent.

Q:  What is Chasing Rodriguez about?

 

“A: Chasing Rodriguez” is the story of  Daniel, an aspiring filmmaker and fan of Robert Rodriguez, who gets together  with his friends to make a movie for a film contest and runs into a wealthy  heiress and 3 clowns who are all out to steal the priceless Black Widow Diamond.  We produced “Chasing Rodriguez” to try and raise money for schools in the Mount  Diablo Unified School district. We filmed it in 15 days using Canon 5D and 7D  cameras and GoPro cameras for some of the action scenes. It got great support  from local restaurants who fed the cast and crew for free because of the cause,  volunteers who donated their time, locations who let us film there for free and  plenty of local press. Keep in mind that the budget for “Chasing Rodriguez” was  about 15 seconds of “Avatar” just to put things in perspective. If you’’d like to  see how it turned out it’s available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009B0SPSY/?tag=concordmoviec-20.

Q:  What do you like about San  Francisco?

 

A: San Francisco is an amazing city for  so many reasons. The landscape, the restaurants, the views, the people, cable  cars, BART, Pier 39, the Golden Gate Bridge and more! I was born and raised in  San Francisco and have worked on many local productions here. Some of the movies  I worked on include “Contagion” with Matt Damon, “The Pursuit of Happyness” with  Will Smith, “Milk” with Sean Penn, “War” with Jason Statham, “Bicentennial Man”  with Robin Williams, “James and the Giant Peach” and more. There are thousands  of talented actors in the San Francisco bay area and I look forward to hiring  many of them on Our Next Movie and other movies in the future!

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

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