From the very beginning, Arrow has especially excelled at staging incredible fight scenes. Of course, much credit goes to lead actor Stephen Amell for being able to pull off many of his own stunts when it comes to fisticuffs and parkour, but it’s important that we not forget about the contributions made by one James Bamford.
For the longest time, it seemed like only the diehard fans would recognize what “Bam-Bam” brought to the series, but in recent years, he’s taken it a step further by directing key episodes and serving as a producer on the show. Suffice it to say, he put all of his talents to good use when helming this past Monday’s tour-de-force that was “The Slabside Redemption.”
Based on what Bamford had to say in a recent interview, he’d been itching to do something like this for a long time:
“The episode itself is a stand-alone episode, so it’s not really a cookie cutter episode. I should actually go back a year, and the episode was actually born out of a conversation Marc Guggenheim and I had. He was like, ‘you know what we should do? We should do a whole episode that has like three words and the rest of it is just action beats.’ I was like ‘Yeah, that’s what we should do. It should be like a silent film. The rest of it should be action like Buster Keaton. I’ll do you one better; it should be like Birdman, the whole episode should be a oner.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, let’s do that, yeah.’ And then he kind of stepped back.
“So 707 came along, and turned out to be Beth and Rebecca writing it, and we started discussing what the original aspirations were — a giant oner with no words that was just carnage and murder and mayhem and vigilantism. It turned into what you guys saw. They asked me right off the bat, ‘how much screen direction do you want?’ I said, ‘well, just tell me the story you need to tell — the beginning, the middle, the end, any details you want specifically — and I’ll fill in the rest of the blanks.'”
Of course, there were much more than three words of dialogue during said installment, but at least James got his wish by condensing as much ass kicking as he could into an hour of television. What’s more is that Amell himself lent some interesting trivia with a statement of his own:
“[This week], they just turned the stunt department loose. It was the shortest script that I’ve ever read because it had such little stage direction in it. It was basically Beth going to James Bamford and saying, ‘This is through line of what happens to Oliver from start to finish. Do what you can in the time that you have. Go.’ There’s some specific stuff like Stanley gets Oliver with a needle and Oliver’s tied up or whatever, but all that choreography, that was something that the stunt department I think really excelled in. We’re not going to get nominated for a stunt Emmy, because we don’t get nominated for a stunt Emmy. But we should get nominated for a stunt Emmy.”
With Oliver now suiting up again, the cast and crew will no doubt continue putting in much hard work for the rest of the season. That said, it’s recommended you keep checking out Arrow on Monday nights on The CW. Call me crazy for saying this, but the best may be yet to come.