Legendary Hollywood stunt director Tom Struthers shares skills and expertise with future filmmakers in Abu Dhabi

03 Apr 2018

Tom Struthers

One of Hollywood’s top stunt directors, Tom Struthers, took time out from overseeing Salman Khan on the action-packed set of Bollywood blockbuster ‘Race 3’ to share his knowledge and expertise with aspiring filmmakers in Abu Dhabi during a panel discussion at twofour54.

Struthers is the man behind some of the most daring stunts featured in Hollywood’s biggest action films, including ‘Dunkirk’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Inception’, ‘Terminator: Salvation’, and ‘Saving Private Ryan’. In recent years, Struthers has brought his stunt expertise to Bollywood. He recently worked on ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, which was filmed in Abu Dhabi and became a major box office hit last year.

During a special panel discussion at twofour54’s creative lab moderated by Emirati production manager Sameer Al Jaberi, Struthers talked to students and media professionals about his 25-year career as a stunt director and the complex production process around stunts.

Struthers also spoke about his experiences of filming in Abu Dhabi, and the Emirate’s growing popularity as one of the world’s top film locations.

“It’s a very competitive landscape in the film industry and Abu Dhabi is becoming increasingly popular with filmmakers from around the world because of the many advantages of filming here,” said Struthers before the panel started.

“It’s rare to find such a supportive environment combined with incredible locations and world-class talent and facilities. During my time here, we’ve received help from so many organisations, including the support of the UAE military.

“I personally enjoy shooting here because we have all of the backdrops that we could possibly need alongside the ability to film incredible action sequences. It’s the perfect environment for us to take our productions to another level.”

The panel discussion was held at creative lab, a community of more than 13,000 aspiring media professionals who have the chance to volunteer on live projects, shadow industry experts, and learn from twofour54 partners via workshops, projects and competitions. Any community member can also use #thelab to brainstorm, share ideas or simply hang out. It features workstations, editing suites, a sound suite and chill out zones.

H.E. Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said:

“Educating the film professionals of tomorrow is a key part of our work at twofour54. We’re here to support the full spectrum of the media and I believe it’s vital that young people who are training and working towards becoming the leading film producers of tomorrow hear from experts like Tom. His wealth of experience can only help us to produce better productions and become established as the capital of content creation.”

‘Race 3’, which is being produced by Salman Khan Films & Tips Industries Ltd, is currently shooting across Abu Dhabi over 35 days.

The production highlights Abu Dhabi’s successful track record in attracting international film productions to the Emirate. Among the Hollywood studios that have embraced Abu Dhabi as a location in recent years are Universal Pictures with ‘Furious 7’ and ‘The Bourne Legacy’, Disney with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, and Paramount Pictures with ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’.

Meanwhile other Bollywood hits that have been shot in Abu Dhabi include ‘Dishoom’, ‘Baby’, and ‘Bang Bang’.

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