Fight Direction

Matt and Siobhan have over 30 years fight direction experience combined. They’ve created fight scenes for numerous companies including Disney Cruise Lines, Nightwood, YPT, Soulpepper, The Grand Theatre (London, ON), Sudbury Theatre Centre and more. Matt, a life-long archer as well as a fight director, was the archery instructor for The Stratford Festival’s Henry V. On-camera projects include Battlers (nominated for Best Fights in a Martial Arts Short Film at the Action On Film Festival, Los Angeles) and Team Epic (super-hero series).

Not limited to large theatres and film, they’ve also choreographed for numerous community theatres, and specialized high school drama programs.

They’re comfortable in numerous styles, including (but not limited to):

  • shows with numerous swashbuckling duels and battles, like The Three Musketeers
  • scenes of domestic violence, like The Clock Maker
  • brief encounters that don’t quite break out into violence, like Fiddler on the Roof
  • love scenes, like White Biting Dog
  • stylized comedy, like The Last Man on Earth
  • farce, like The Last Resort
  • murder mystery, like A Party to Murder

Whatever your needs, Burning Mountain will collaborate with you to create the scene you need.



What is fight directing?

Fight directing is the art of creating a fight scene for performance. The audience sees movements that depict a scene of violence or dramatic action, but the actors are executing safe and repeatable sequence, which is the same during each performance. During rehearsal the scene is continuously honed until the play’s or film’s director is satisfied that the fight scene accurately portrays the storytelling and character development required. You can think of fight directing as “physical dramaturgy”: each fight scene has unique physicality (the “text”) which is adjusted (the “dramaturgy”) to suit the mood and rhythms required.

What is a fight director?

A fight director is the person who creates the action and directs the actors’ performances during the fight scene. This differs from a fight choreographer who usually has less training and experience in helping the actors to fine-tune their emotional and physical performance to suit the requirements of the fight scene. Because of they are highly skilled in close-quarters movement and storytelling fight directors are often called upon to help with scenes of intimacy, like love-making scenes.