King Lear – Standby Rescue

We were kindly approached by a film company to assist with a difficult project, where they had a film scene they were planning to carry out on the White Cliffs of Dover, they needed the famous actor Academy Award Winner “Jim Broadbent” to appear by cliff edge. The stunt crew were concerned that the actor needed to be near the edge of the cliff during the film scene, but had to be seen that Mr Broadbent had no safety points, so a safety harness and any other props or special effects were not allowed.

This proposal proved to be difficult for stunt team, so Taskmasters were approached as safety consultants for this project.

We decided that the best way to work with the challenging proposal was to look at the potential safety points, in order to make sure that a suitable anchor point could be achieved. So we had to study the chalk base ground support and come up with a portable anchor that could be embedded deep into the chalk and soil base that would be sufficient to hold one person for the acting scene, plus support another person in case of evacuation or worst case rescue of the actor. The other point to consider was to have the actor wear a harness that could not be scene in the film, so we discussed at great length with the stunt team and the conclusion was that the actor could wear an inner harness that is fixed into the actors clothing, so that he can film the scene and be near to the edge without any risk. We were also requested to be on the film setting by the film directors throughout the filming process, to assist in the correct fitting of the harness on Mr Broadbent and to be on standby in case an evacuation or rescue was needed.

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