The Arrow Stunt Department spent most of last Friday rehearsing in the sunshine for an integrated stunt to be filmed later that night of star Stephen Amell and Hood stunt double Simon Burnett shooting a rope ascender arrow up in the air and then rising on the zipline several stories off the ground. I didn’t hear about the shoot until quite late because I expected Arrow to be filming on private Port Metro Vancouver land, not in the Downtown Eastside with a grandstand public view from the Hastings Overpass. It turned out to be a relatively private location though, because people don’t loiter in that part of east Hastings at night unless they’re hookers, pimps, dealers or locals. I was mistaken for one of these by a guy in a BMW and later had a lengthy, circular conversation with one of the locals about gentrification of the neighbourhood.
From the overpass, you could look down on the crane, wires, stunt mats and dozens of people who make up the Arrow Stunt Department. Two of the men behind the best stunts on TV were present: stunt coordinator J.J.Makaro, who picked up a Leo Award for stunt coordination of the Arrow pilot last month, and fight designer James “Bam Bam” Bamford, who won his own Leo for stunt co-ordination of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. Arrow’s stunt department is doing double duty this season, designing stunts for Arrow and new series The Tomorrow People starring Robbie Amell, for what is being called Amell Wednesdays on The CW.