Mike has over 30 years experience in choreographing and directing fight and action scenes. He has arranged sword fights, punch-ups, and full-scale battle scenes for hundreds of film, tv and stage productions. He is familiar with historical fighting styles of all periods and for many cultures. As the author of Swords and Swordsmen, he is especially well-known for his knowledge of historical swordfighting.
Working with horses is another specialty, whether it is charging cavalry, jousting or chariots. He is an expert on archery with longbows, composite bows and crossbows. He is also used to working with artillery (field and naval) and all manner of black-powder firearms. His knowledge extends to various special effects with all these weapons. In addition he has arranged hangings, beheadings and burnings. He is experienced at working with fire, whether it’s a fight in a flaming building or burning someone at the stake.
With a director’s eye for narrative and a teacher’s instinct’s for instruction (he taught period combat in London drama schools for over 20 years), Mike creates action sequences that tell a story and he coaches actors to move in a way that informs their character and maximizes their physical potential.
He has lectured BBC Health and Safety departments on safe procedures for recreating historical action and is able to write comprehensive Risk Assessments.
For exciting scenes of compelling action, whether for drama or documentary, Mike can also bring in his team of historical action specialists – Foreground Action.