Season 4 Episode 6 of HBO's Barry turns a truck loose on Barry and Sally's home and tilts the room around Sally.
ManOfTheCenturyMovie Tv ‘You’d think we were making a fucking Marvel movie’: ‘Barry’ just got his stunts up again

‘You’d think we were making a fucking Marvel movie’: ‘Barry’ just got his stunts up again



Season 4 Episode 6 of HBO's Barry turns a truck loose on Barry and Sally's home and tilts the room around Sally.

The fourth and final season of HBO’s “Barry” was full of shocking twists and daring scenes (like the both hilarious and terrifying “Death on the Sand” that wiped out several characters in Episode 4), and the episode six was no exception. With Barry (Bill Hader) in Los Angeles chasing Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler), his wife Sally (Sarah Goldberg) was left to fend for herself at home as a truck crashed into her house, tipping her into an effect special reminiscent of films as diverse as Fred Astaire’s musical ‘Royal Wedding’ and Wes Craven’s horror classic ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. As Hader told IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast, “The room is on a gimbal, and we put Sarah Goldberg in there and just tilted the room up and down.”

While this concept may seem simple, its execution required careful planning by the show’s effects and stunt departments. Luckily there was a precedent. “It was fun because, unlike the sand, everyone had done it,” stunt coordinator Wade Allen told IndieWire. “Basically, the special effects guys come up with a pneumatic platform base that’s able to move and do all kinds of cool stuff, and then we build the set on top of it.” The stunt had another advantage over the sand silo, which was that it could be repeated; the crew only had one chance to successfully pull off the stunt in the sand, while the gimbal system allowed them to shoot the room by flipping over as many times as Goldberg could handle.

The trick here is that Hader had designed a specific shot where Sally’s face could not be hidden, which meant that Goldberg, not a stuntman, had to be the one in the room. Allen ran a series of tests with a double in which he figured out a gradient he could safely achieve with Goldberg and the fastest way to get there. “We start with educated guesses about what Bill wants, and then I’ll turn over the forecast that we report to Bill so he can make some changes,” Allen said. Once the framing was determined, the art department began painting the closed-cell insulated ethafoam to resemble various textures in the room. “They put it on the front of the dresser drawer to look like a wood grain, but Sarah can stumble right across it. And then we put limiters on all the furniture so they’re all tied up; they may slip, but don’t slip so far that (endangering Sarah).” The key was to keep the scene from feeling barren by having too many objects locked down, so Allen made sure there was a protective bubble around Sally as things fell and shattered. The end result is terrifying, but according to Hader, Goldberg was having a blast. “Sarah looked like she was having a blast,” he said. “She was laughing a lot.”

Hader had a lot of fun too, not only working with the gimbal but also planning the shot where the truck crashes into the wall. “I’m learning with visual effects that a really good thing to do is Not animate the whole thing,” he said. “That’s when it looks like ‘Roger Rabbit’ or something. It’s nice to take a practical element of it and then let the visual effects sweeten it.” To that end, Ryan Riley’s special effects team built a tire that could practically go through the wall. “We did it on stage, with a tire mounted high enough that we could drive it and break through that wall,” Allen said. “Then there was a bit about the place in the desert where we built that wall and we’re looking through that hole and it’s me backing ass in a pickup truck and then taking off. Then those pieces married together.

The scope and ambition of not only this scene, but season four as a whole, surprised not only viewers but the creative team as well. “At one point, we had ‘Mega Girls’ on one part of the stage and then we had this huge gimbal on another part of the stage,” Allen said. “And then right behind it was the sand silo set. If you didn’t know it was “Barry,” you’d think we’re making a fucking Marvel movie. You’re like, ‘What’s going on around here?’ For a 30-minute comedy, the stuff we were doing this season was crazy.

Related Post