Will Smith’s Netflix Movie Stunt Performer Slams Choppy Editing

Kimberly Shannon Murphy, a stunt performer in Will Smith’s Netflix movie Bright, is slamming the choppy editing that went into a key sequence.

Though over five years have come and gone since its premiere, stunt performer Kimberly Shannon Murphy is getting candid about Bright‘s choppy editing. The Netflix film starred Will Smith as a human LAPD officer in a world in which humanity and mythical creatures exist and he’s forced to partner with an orc and protect an elf girl with a dangerous magic wand. Helmed by Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer, Bright scored largely negative reviews from critics upon its 2017 debut, though proved to be a ratings success for Netflix.


During the latest episode of Corridor Crew‘s “Stuntwomen React” video series, Kimberly Shannon Murphy reflected on her time working on the Will Smith Netflix movie, Bright.

The stunt performer expressed her frustration over the film’s choppy editing during the key action scene in which Lucy Fry’s Tikka squares off against Noomi Rapace’s Leilah in a gas station. Despite her extensive training to skillfully perform an aerobatic leap over a car with only three feet of clearance from the ceiling, the scene ultimately found itself cut up, making it look like three different stunts. See what Murphy explained below:

I doubled Lucy Fry and we did a stunt, talk about cutting things up and making me angry. You can see me rehearsing it, and then you can see what they actually put in the film. We shot it with six cameras, I did it 22 times. The stunt was we were in this gas station, the ceilings are 12 feet high, this car comes crashing through the glass, and she basically jumps over the car, goes upside down over the car, grabs the gun behind her and does a flip. So I had four people on my line, and everybody was doing something different. So, I was in a goo trap, which is what we call it when the wire [is put diagonally around you] so it helps you go this way and flip. I basically had three feet in between the ceiling and the hood of the car, it was kind of one of those things where everything had to go right, because everyone’s pulling. One person was lifting me off the ground, another person was flipping me over, another person was helping me do the backflip. By take three, I’m like, “Are we good?” It was kind of one of those really sketchy things, and the way they cut it up was you couldn’t even see that we actually did the stunt.

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Interestingly, Bright came shortly after another Ayer misfire with the DC Universe’s Suicide Squad, which similarly was met with generally negative reviews from critics, many of whom cited its choppy editing as a hindrance. The writer/director has since spoken in both his and the film’s defense on multiple occasions, pointing towards Warner Bros. as the ultimate cause for the movie’s problems in both the editing and story departments.

Even outside of Bright, a handful of action movies in the early 2010s found themselves under fire for their very choppy editing taking away from even the most basic of sequences, as well as more elaborate choreography. One of the most notable was Taken 3, in which Liam Neeson jumping over a fence required 15 cuts to accomplish, despite only taking up six seconds of screen time. More recently, the G.I. Joe prequel movie Snake Eyes similarly was criticized for its choppy editing taking out the style from its martial-arts-based action.

Though it may continue to be a problem with such films as Bright, many Hollywood productions have taken to correcting the choppy editing mistakes of the past to better deliver pulse-pounding action. Since the launch of the John Wick franchise, directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have made names for themselves with expertly choreographed and shot action scenes, as well as producing projects with similar success, some of which include Nobody and Bullet Train. While Bright 2 may no longer be moving ahead, one can hope that Ayer is bringing these lessons into his work on the Jason Statham-led The Beekeeper.

More: The Gray Man & 9 Other Bland Action Thrillers That Missed The MarkSource: Corridor Crew

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