Our next featured ID Team member is Mark Ryder. As a latecomer to the performing and martial arts he has come a long way and found an interesting niche for his new talents.
What is your job?
Having made a complete break from my previous career as a Retail Manager, for approximately the last 3 years I have worked as a Supporting Artist in Film & TV etc. In addition to this however I have recently been developing a modelling portfolio, plus I am a Landlord and do the occasional bit of security work too.
How did you get into stage combat?
Soon after I started doing background work I ran into Ronin on the set of a comedy/horror film called Rock Band Vs Vampires
for which he was doing some of the fight choreography. After that I had a couple of trial lessons and then started looking at doing some courses and things progressed from there.
How long have you been training in stage combat?
Approximately two and a half years.
What courses and/or workshops have you done with ID?
BADC Standard and Intermediate, BASSC Intro, Broadsword and Smallsword, Fighting For Film, Firearms 1 & 2, Musketeers, Jedi, Sword & Shield.
What is your favourite weapon or unarmed style?
Anything sword based so predominantly Rapier & Dagger or Broadsword
What has been the favourite part of your training?
All in all it's been a combination of meeting some fun, like minded people who take their training seriously, pushing myself to learn new skills and achieve passes on the courses that I've undertaken and being lucky enough to put some of my training to good use at times on set.
In what ways has stage combat training helped you?
Personally stage combat has allowed me to get involved in something that I'd always liked the idea of doing from a young age. Working in Film & TV and having undertaking Stage Combat training this has allowed me to work in an environment that I enjoy whilst also allowing me to develop and build on a completely new set of skills and undertake new challenges.
In addition to this, over the last year I have also started to develop a modelling portfolio in which 'stage combat' has definitely proved useful due to the use of weapons in some of the more fantasy based shoots. Whether developing poses, portraying a sense of story or showing a relevant emotion, the training that I have undergone over the last couple of years has definitely influenced and continues to influence this work.
Have you had any work through ID?
Yes, since I started training with ID I have had the chance to work on Ren
, The Rise and Fall Of The Krays
, The Intent
What has been your favourite fight related job?
, largely because it's fantasy based, involved my first on screen death (being shot in the neck with an arrow).
What would be your ideal job?
Probably a film shoot that would be fantasy/sci-fi based and ideally with a bit of sword fighting thrown in.
What is your favourite fight you've seen in a film or stage production and why?
I wouldn't necessarily say that there is one fight in particular that I would count as a favourite. I do however still have a soft spot for some of the old classics that I grew up with including the Robin Hood
films with Richard Greene or Errol Flynn. Perhaps not as 'gritty' as a lot of today's fight sequences but always entertaining in their own way.
Do you have any fight related work or training coming up?
My next large scale fantasy themed photo shoots follows a medieval theme incorporating knights, swords, chain mail, etc
What training would you like to do next?
Potentially the next courses that I will be considering are the BADC Advanced and the horse riding for beginners course both of which are currently available through ID.
From your experience what advice would you give to someone wanting to be a fight performer
Train, train, train! Stage Combat is definitely one of those skills that requires continued, consistent training to develop and improve your skills in order to make it look both realistic and natural. It is not just a case of mastering the basic techniques to ensure that you are 'fighting safely' but also potentially putting those skills into context within a character, emotions, motivations etc whether that be on stage, screen or in photos to deliver a story that an audience will believe and immerse themselves in.
Check out Mark's portfolio on Purpleport - http://purpleport.com/portfolio/mark333/?referrer=mark333
Or find him on:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/markryderFTM
Instagram - www.instagram.com/markryder333
Twitter - @markryder333
starnow - www.starnow.co.uk/markryder