Friday, March 3, 2023

the last book I ever read (Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life, excerpt three)

from Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life by James Curtis:

“Personally,” he said in a 1930 interview, “I’ve never had the slightest fear of jumping off into a net from a great height, or doing a dive into water, and the only kick I got out of a net jump was during the filming of The Paleface when I had to drop eighty-five feet from a suspension bridge into a net. The day before we shot the scene, the technician who set up the net—and who claimed to be a former fireman—offered to prove the net was safe by making the jump himself. I told him to go ahead. He jumped and, failing to hit the net properly, broke a leg and a shoulder. When I stood in the same spot the next day with the cameras grinding, I couldn’t think of a thing save that man who was in the hospital. I came darn near not doing that scene, but because I didn’t want to show yellow before my own gang, I did the jump and it was successful.”

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