Mad Max: Fury Road- An Interview with Armorer Andrew Germishuys
This weekend, Mad Max: Fury Road opened in theaters, coming in second at the domestic box office. The film is a big hit and has been praised endlessly by critics and fans alike. While I was unable to see this movie this weekend, I am definitely seeing it next weekend. From the looks of the trailers, this film is an action-packed adrenaline thrill ride, with excellent use of practical effects in car chases, weaponry, etc. With Fury Road opening this weekend, I got the privilege to do an interview with Andrew Germishuys, who worked as an armorer on the film. You can read my interview with him below.
So you're credited as an "armorer" on Mad Max: Fury Road. Can you describe what it is exactly an armorer does in a film?
“An armourer would be the person, or persons on a shoot who would handle the real weapons, and any actual firing scenes. Those weapons are the read deal, adapted for the use in film or television shoots, and fire blanks. Although there is no "bullet", it's always safety first. Cast would receive training in any weapons they'd be using for that particular shoot, the armourer on set would check that there is never any danger to cast or crew when there is a scene containing firing, and they'd be there to give some advice to the actors on how their particular character might act, helping to make that actor look more believable to the viewer. I work with an armoury company, and they would create a script breakdown, so we'd know exactly what weapons are needed, or appropriate, for every scene. In many cases, they also supply tactical gear (such as holsters, vests, etc.) or uniforms. We were lucky to have a great team or armourers, so this made life a lot easier."
How long did you work on the film, and how much of the time was spent on set? What was that experience like?
"I arrived quite late in the whole process for Mad Max. The other armourers had been in Namibia (in Africa) for several months, and my stay up there was only about four weeks. We then did a move back down to Cape Town, where we continued until filming was finished. I spent a lot of time on set, especially in Cape Town and when filming was taking place in studio. The experience was phenomenal. I had so much fun with the cast and crew, and as I also act and have a keen interest in filmmaking. I was able to learn a great deal from everyone by just observing and on quieter days, asking the odd question or two. It's a real treat to observe those who are at the top of their game."
What was your initial reaction when you saw Mad Max: Fury Road for the first time?
"Seeing the film the first time, it was sort of a surreal experience, and it was very hard not to think of those moments from the perspective of being there, and to actually be absorbed by what I was seeing. I did get to see the film a few times before its official release, and after the first viewing, I was able to sit and enjoy it as entertainment. The first viewing, it more like thinking 'Ah, so that's how the camera saw that.'"
What are you working on next in your career?
"Currently, I am one of the armourers on the television series Dominion, and as we are not all needed every day, I have had the chance to be on a few other shoots in-between. I am also in pre-production on a short film that I will be acting in, and waiting on a few confirmations for other films. Can't say too much about these yet, except perhaps 'Watch this space'."
Why should people go out and see Mad Max: Fury Road?
"I think the reasons for seeing Mad Max would vary from person to person. One of my main seasons to see it was because I was part of the production. But it does take one back to the good old days of the action movie. The film kicks off with the start of the action, and does not let up until the end credits roll."
I would like to thank Andrew for doing this interview. You can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/samoviedatabase, on Twitter @andrewgerm_za as well as on Youtube at www.youtube.com/showreelafrica.
What do you think? Did you like the interview? Do you have any feedback for how more interviews should be done? Have you seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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