Cobra 11 the Stunts

Posted in: Cobra 11 |

The succes of “Alarm für Cobra 11″ is also to be thanked to the exciting action-scenes and the stunts which are filmed for such scenes. The realisation of the action-scenes cost per episode approx. 700.000 DM. From the beginning on the action-scenes are produced by the company “Action Concept”. This production company from Hürth is specialized in making action-scenes for tv and film. The stuntteam of Action Concept can be measured with the stuntteams which make the stunts for the Hollywood actionfilms. Action Concept takes care for the whole realisation of the action-scene: the preparation, the performing of the stunts, the filming of the scene and the editing of the recorded images. So at the end Action Concept delivers a complete action-scene.

This meant for Cobra 11 that during the first two seasons production company “Polyphon” produced the non-action-scenes (dramascenes). Action Concept produced the action-scenes and delivered these to Polyphon. The last company put all the scenes togehter and created the episode. Nowadays all the scenes (action and drama) are produced by Action Concept. Because Action Concept produces the whole action-scene, the action-scenes from “Cobra 11″ become very exciting and are filmed in a spectacular way. A few examples of stunts from Cobra 11: a truck crashes in a standing queue, a car turns 5.5 times upside down and a Porsche 928 flies with 200 km/h over a viaduct.

Before a stunt is filmed there are many things to do. First they have to decide how the stunts in the scene are peformed. Also a storyboard is made, in which the stuntscene is drawn as a sort of comic. Also important is to find a suited shooting-location. In the case of Cobra 11 German highways are often closed for the shootings. Most of the time this happens in the weekends, because then there isn’t much traffic that has to be derouted. Depending on the sort of stunt sometimes cars have to be preparated: they get for example a roll-bar or an automatic steering is installed if the car has to drive without a driver. When all this is taken care of, the film-crew goes to the shooting location.

When they have arrived there the requisites, like cameras and microphones, are unloaded. Next the shootings start. Usually the happenings which take place in the scene before stunt are filmed first. When it’s possible preparations for the stunt, like the placing of launching-ramps if cars have to go into the air, are made at the same time. Then it’s time to record the stunt. Of course first the cameras are placed. In some stunts 14 cameras are used. Some of them are placed in a so-called crash-box. This is a very strong box in which the camera is placed (in the right image you can see two of them). Now a truck could fall on this camera without the camera to be demolished. These cameras supply the spectacular images. When all preparations are taken there is a meeting, in which is told who has which task during the stunt. And then it gets dangerous: the stunt is peformed. After the most exciting moment of the day sometimes several shootings are made which conclude the action-scene.

When everything is recorded, the film goes into the studio. There the recordings are first digitalized: they are captured on a special hard-disk. With the help of a computer and some software the recordings, which are on the hard-disk, can be edited. This editing sometimes consists of removing the aids which are used in the stunt like the steel cable of the Ratchet-system (see “The making of”). Also the recordings are edited in the right order. The next step is to couple the edited recordings to the sound (image and sound are recorded seperately). Also sound-effects and background music are added. When all this is ready, the action-scene can be coupled to the other scenes in the episode.

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