This is what jumping through two huge sheets of tempered glass on a Sportster looks like.
Shawn became SAG-certified after his brother KO’d himself during this jump.
Paul in Robo Cop Short.
Paul in Timemaster.
Paul in Walker Texas Ranger.
Shawn in Walker Texas Ranger
Shawn in CSI NY (TV Show).
Pics: fabfernandezphoto.com, Paul and Shawn Lane
|Paul M. Lane||Shawn P. Lane| Height: 6’1”| Height: 6’3”|
|Weight: 190||Weight: 175|
|Motorcycle Background: Turned 125cc Expert in Motocross in 1975. Turned 100cc & 125cc Pro Motocross with Yamaha support in 1977.||Motorcycle Background: Started racing motorcross at 10, turned Pro in 1982.|
Bullet-induced explosions, wildly violent wrecks, stupid-insane jumps; in Hollywood Land what you see often defies common logic and reason, but it isn’t all smoke and mirrors and we went on a mission to prove it. In a time of computer tricks and wire rigs, a dying breed of hard-knock old-schoolers still risk life and limb to get the high-octane shots you just can’t duplicate. SSB caught up with two such stuntmen—brothers actually—who’ve been in this badass business for over three decades.
Motorcyclists by trade, Paul and Shawn Lane are the product of a father who joined the Stuntman’s Association in 1971. Both started riding early and soon turned to motocross as teenagers. Paul, the oldest of the two, is the recipient of the ’07 Taurus World Stunt Award for the crash sequence in Talladega Nights but will more enthusiastically relive past experiences racing at Pikes Peak and the Sacramento Mile. Shawn has been riding bikes for a living since graduating high school and still gets a kick out of rolling a slow speed wheelie on his CBR600RR. SSB sat down with both of them and found out how a few of their most memorable moments on-set really went down.
Movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Featured Stuntmen: Paul & Shawn
Doubled: Harrison Ford & German soldier
Paul: “I stunt doubled for Harrison Ford in the sequence where the Germans chased Indy down dirt roads with his father in the sidecar. Indy takes a broken pole and sticks it in the front wheel of one of the German’s wheels, sending him flying. I don’t want to give away too much movie magic, but I will tell you that it was a dummy on the bike that exploded into the air. “
Shawn: “In the same sequence, I played one of the two Germans who crashed after a ghost-ridden bike fell in front of us [result of a German rider jousted off by Indy]. I’m the one on the right. We were in a time crunch as usual and didn’t have time to prep the ground (turn it up and make it a little softer). When we went for the shot, the ground was as hard as asphalt! When I was airborne, my coat opened up and like a parachute pulled me back too far which made me “look” for the ground with my hands. In turn, I landed with my body on top of my left wrist and cleanly broke it. They put a cast on it and I went back and finished that day and two more days of riding.”
Stuntman Featured: Shawn
Doubled: Josh Duhamel
“ This was the most intense set I’ve ever been on. I had no time to prep the bike [Aprilia RSV1000] before the shot so it was one of those run what they give ya days. Since no one else was involved with this shot, I just had to go for it and hope the bike would do the job. The first one started out OK, but when the lay down started the bike high-sided. That was not what Michael Bay wanted. I waited patiently to get my ass chewed, but it never happened! He liked it and asked if I could do it again. I said, ‘Hell ya, but could I get a few minutes with the bike before the next one?’ He told me to hurry up…We made some tire pressure and brake adjustments and the second lay down with the same bike came out just as he wanted! I slept pretty good that night.”
Movie: Collision Course
Featured Stuntman: Paul
Doubled: Jay Leno
“In this particular scene, I was escaping bad guys by jumping into the Detroit Grand Prix with a 100-pound dummy (double for Pat Morita) strapped to my back. Timing was critical with the involvement of race cars driving at speed. The bike was a completely stock Harley Sportster. I adjusted the air pressure in the tires, tightened up the rear shocks almost all the way and that was it. The bike worked well in second gear around 50 MPH. The biggest problem was that I could not see the race cars coming from my left at my start mark. There were two cars, a space for me, and then a pack of four or more cars after me. I sure didn’t want to land on any of them, so on “action” I took my own count hoping the drivers would leave when cued. The timing worked out beautifully and I jumped approximately 80-feet and landed right behind the first set of cars. The only thing that happened was a few broken spokes in the front wheel.“
Hitting tempered glass is like hitting a piece of plywood.
- Paul Lane
Movie: IMAX “Robo Cop” Short
Featured Stuntman: Paul
Doubled: Robo Cop
“When IMAX was just being introduced they put together a short movie to show at county fairs around the US to push the new experience. I was lucky enough to be Robo Cop in a short film based on the originals. This was the first time Robo Cop had ever been seen on a bike [Suzuki 1000].
We took the original million-dollar suit and trimmed it to fit. The suit was made out of fiberglass, plastic, nuts, bolts and special screws—more than a 100-pounds. It took almost an hour to get the suit on and four people to pick me up and set me on the bike. I did jumps, some slides and basic chase scenes with it on—I certainly didn’t want to crash since it would not have just broken my bones but snapped them in half.”
Featured Stuntman: Paul
Doubled: Desert Thief
_“ I was asked over the phone if I could jump a three-wheeled motorcycle over a train car while it was traveling at about 20 MPH. Not knowing what the bike looked like, I said sure. This was no normal trike; it had a sidecar on each side big enough for passengers.
A friend and I found an almost new Honda XLR 650 and fabricated it into a trike to double as the one seen in the film. We built the side pods out of half-inch square stock to reduce weight, used poster board for the body, lengthened the swingarm by just over a foot and used high-strength aircraft steel for a four foot wide axle that carried a set of mag wheels with dirt track race tires. We changed the front fork fluid to heavier weight, stiffened the compression and added a rear Fox Shock as a secondary to the stock Honda shock.
_The jump was a great success at almost 75-feet in length and quite a bit of height. The only things that happened were the double length chain broke and the chopper bars bent into my legs! “__
TV Show: Walker Texas Ranger
Featured Stuntmen: Paul and Shawn
Doubled: Random Bad Guys
Paul: ” This was in a time when helmet laws weren’t common, so we did a lot of these stunts with no helmets. On this episode, I was supposed to run a bike head-on into a car as Walker is shooting at me. We always set foot pegs up high so I am able to launch off the bike as it hits the object. I also loosen the handlebars so if my foot hits it won’t get hung up while flying over them.
This bike was a 1972 250cc Husky MX that didn’t run very well. The poor old Husky decided it wanted to quit right as I got to the car so I became a human dart and flew headfirst into the roof and the windshield. When the EMT’s got to me, I gave them a thumbs up but they decided to send me to the hospital when they saw a clump of my hair in the windshield. “
Shawn: “ Eric Norris, who loves motorcycles, was the stunt coordinator for this episode. We were kind of given the reigns on the stunt ideas, and my stunt was to slide the bike after being kicked by a chasing ranger. The ground was really soft and muddy from a major downpour the night before and was like an ice-skating rink on grass. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a slide blow up, but in the movies, anything can happen! “ final take No matter how obscure, big-budget or never before aired a stunt may be, the men and women behind the action put themselves in harm’s way simply for our viewing pleasure. It’s easy to overlook a motorcycle stunt as something drummed up in the editing room but many times (depending on the director), what runs across the screen started with a sometimes helmetless, gloveless, ill-protected rider performing for a paycheck. Here’s to stuntmen and film shot callers who still fight for death-defying feats of awesomeness instead of settling for scenes built by bleary-eyed clicks of the mouse. Long live real stunts! ssb
Bike: Honda SuperHawk 996
This bike is equipped with a “Libra” three-axis remote camera head. A remote camera operator is able to look into a monitor and move the camera around with two sets of hand wheels. The operator uses the camera from a chase vehicle with the director, stunt coordinator and an assistant director following behind or in front of the bike.
Dan [owner] and I [Paul] are the only ones that have ridden this camera bike. Loaded up and ready to film, it can weigh up to 150-pounds depending on the camera. It is counter weighted with almost the same weight on the opposite side. It’s quite difficult to ride in and out of traffic in a chase scene, usually at speeds of more than 50 MPH. It’s big and heavy and doesn’t handle or stop like a normal sportbike!
Gear on Set
Do stuntmen really crash bikes without helmets, gloves or any sort of pads under the wardrobe?
Shawn: “Sometimes you can’t fit stuff under the wardrobe but we do everything possible to wear some form of protection. The lay down I did for Transformers was without a helmet and gloves because that’s the way the character got on the bike.”
Have you ever wondered why movies and shows always get motorcycle exhaust sounds wrong? We have all laughed at bikes that shift through 11 gears on the way up to speed or an R1 that sounds like a Harley. Here is what Paul had to say about that:
“It’s always amazes me when the editors and sound department and other production personnel cannot put the right sounds to the correct motorcycle. A two-stroke sound for an inline or V-twin just does not work. If it’s an 1198 Ducati or a GSX-R1000 people want to hear that sweet sound, not an XR-100. At times they will get sound tracks of the bikes idling, doing a fast run-by or just coming to a stop, but somehow they don’t seem to match them with the scene. It’s like on some movies when you see a car chase in the dirt with tires screeching like they’re on asphalt. Not happening….”
Show: Pensacola Wings of Gold
Paul: “A scene asked that I get hit off a Harley with a bat while at the same moment a ratchet’s harness and cable attached to my back pulled me off the bike. When we did it, the cable pulled and spun me. When I landed, my hand hit the ground and my body folded on top of my wrist and rolled it backwards. I knew it was broke because I felt sick to my stomach [laughs]. I was laying on the ground because it kinda aired me out while they were getting ready to set up another shot.”
Movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Shawn: “Broken wrist on Indiana Jones, and then I went back with it broken and finished the job with a cast. They wanted to find a replacement and I’m like, it didn’t move, its fine, just put the fricken cast on tight and I’ll finish!”
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a slide blow up. but in the movies, anything can happen!
- Shawn Lane