[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Hawkeye, Season 1, Episode 3, “Echoes.”]
‘Tis the season for some great Marvel action sequences, and Disney+‘s Hawkeye is certainly delivering the goods thanks in part to directing duo Bert & Bertie.
They brought some of the show’s best action sequences to life in the season’s third installment, “Echoes,” which sees Clint (Jeremy Renner) and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) in a bind as they’re held captive by the Tracksuit Mafia under Maya Lopez’s (Alaqua Cox) direction, in an abandoned KB Toys.
“It was a disused department store,” Bertie explains. “We always knew we wanted it to be in an abandoned toy or department store.” The use of KB Toys was a nod to Marvel Studios’ president Kevin Feige’s own love for the now-defunct chain. “Kevin had a big connection with KB Toys as a child, and he was like, ‘This is perfect cause they’ve gone out of business.’ He was the one who pushed it in that direction and they came on board and loved the idea.”
While the action kicks off with Clint and Kate’s attempt to escape their captor’s clutches, the excitement continues in a car chase sequence and a bridge showdown. Despite the quick pace of all these sequences, Bert & Bertie see them as separate chapters in a way, making the moments easier to digest when you’re the one behind the camera.
“It starts off being overwhelming and exciting, but as you get into it, it just becomes scene after scene,” Bert says. “The action is part of the show and universe, and we have an amazing stunt team headed by Heidi Moneymaker who’s the most incredible talent, and she takes on [scenes like] that in the way a choreographer would in a dance. You preface everything to death, so by the time you get to set, you can enjoy it.”
While the fights taking place inside KB Toys are thrilling in themselves, the pacing really picks up once Kate and Clint hit the road in their getaway car as the camera swivels in the backseat to give viewers a full look at the ensuing chase. “That was done for real,” Bert muses, adding, “The spinning camera is all practical. That’s what’s so exciting about it.”
She admits that it was a “big challenge” as well, noting that that specific sequence “had to be a oner” in order to capture the feel they were trying to create. “So we had the rig, we had the dialogue, and everything was timed out. And I think it excited everyone because it’s kind of old school,” Bert continues.
The duo wanted to thank their director of photography James Whitaker who helped them test rigs for the look they were going for. “We had a lot of different rigs that we tested, and some were a bit more mechanical than others,” Bertie shares, revealing that the smoother camera work wasn’t what they were going for in the car chase. “We were doing this for real, so we wanted this incredible rig that had these bungee cords. So even though it’s smooth, there was still this sense of the action with the vibration of the car.”
Any chance they had, the directors tried to accomplish the scenes practically, and although you might not initially believe it, there was one point or another when Hailee Steinfeld was actually hanging out of a car window. “As much as possible, we did it for real on the streets,” Bert says.
The directors also give credit to their performers who brought their own skills to the series and episodes Bert & Bertie helmed. For Hailee, it was all about getting the action and fighting right as Bert reminds us the actress is a “badass” who is “very physically able.” The more certain scenes were filmed, the more the actress could take on stunt-wise. “She trained really hard to get there.”
Jeremy, on the other hand, is seasoned at playing Hawkeye, and so, Bert & Bertie picked up on his approach to Clint’s quirks and commended the actor’s ability to improv in the best way possible. “He just brought the comedy,” Bert muses, as she and Bertie remember the ball pit scene from KB Toys. According to them, Jeremy came up with the idea to have a sneak attack on the Tracksuit Mafia members as he emerges from the pit. “It was so great. It’s his Marvel thing,” Bert continues. “He made it so much better.”
Don’t miss more great moments and action as Hawkeye continues to stream on Disney+. And keep a careful eye out for Bert & Bertie’s exciting directing in Episodes 4 and 5.
Hawkeye, New Episodes, Wednesdays, Disney+