David Belle has some remarkable skills in this film. He is the Co-Inventor of a discipline known as Parkour, which consists of moving quickly and efficiently in any environment, using only the abilities of the human body. Another notable use of this technique is at the beginning of the Bond Film, Casino Royale (2006) with Daniel Craig chasing an African Bomb Maker.
Cyril Raffaelli is one of the top stunt choreographers in France over the last ten years. His work on previous stunt favorites include Ronin, Brotherhood of the Wolf, and The Transporter. Together David and Cyril make an unforgetable team. They spent 3 months preparing the Parkour stunts for this movie.
Pierre Morel (director), in an interview with www.sffworld.com explained how important Cyril became to the choreography of the fight scenes. “Cyril suggested various choreographies and highly different fight sequences to us, and we did our utmost to adapt them into the script. They were prepared far ahead of time. They were surrounded by stuntmen, genuine martial arts fighters, specialists in kung-fu, ultimate fighters and top-level boxers. In the small world of fighters, they all more or less know each other. Cyril has a special background: he started in circus school before moving on to martial arts. Only after that did he become first a professional stuntman, then an actor. So he brought to the film a large number of people from many different fields.”
District B13 was directed by Pierre Morel for Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp. It’s interesting to note that Pierre Morel goes on to direct another action favorite, Taken with Liam Neeson.
Things to look up (click on item to go to IMDB ):
Glossary of Stunt terms as defined Wikipedia: Parkour (abbreviated PK), also called as the “art of displacement”, is a training discipline that developed out of military obstacle course training.
Practitioners aim to move from one place to another, negotiating the obstacles in between. The discipline uses no equipment and is non-competitive. A male practitioner is generally called a “traceur”, a female a “traceuse”.
Developed by Raymond Belle, David Belle, Sébastien Foucan and other members of the original Yamakasi group, parkour became popular in the 1990s and 2000s through a series of documentaries and films featuring these practitioners and others.
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