Stunt coordinator Wade Allen details the extensive planning behind the “Barry” Season 2 episode “ronny/lily,” which features long takes aplenty, a Rite-Aid Taekwondo battle and Bill Hader’s Barry getting “his ass kicked by a little girl.”
The idea for the episode came about a year ago. “Bill [Hader] and I riffed about how funny it would be if Barry got his ass kicked by a little girl,” Allen says in the latest episode of Variety‘s Artisans series presented by HBO.
Hader also directed the episode. Says Allen, “Bill as a director has a pretty clear direction as to what he wants to see.”
Allen begins by choreographing the fight, then shoots and edits a previs, or previsualization. “[The previs] allows them to see exactly what we’re going to do before we show up on the day we’re going to shoot,” Allen says.
The most challenging aspect of “ronny/lily” for Allen? The many long takes in the fight scenes. “Every punch, every knee, every kick needs to sell for the camera,” he says. The uninterrupted shots keep Allen from breaking up the delivery and landing of a blow, requiring each hit to be realized in full.
Allen faced another challenge in filming Hader’s vision of Lily climbing a tree and hopping onto a nearby roof. Hader found a location with a “great house” and “a perfect roof.” The only issue: no tree. So the crew built a green-screen trunk and branch for Lily to climb up.
The episode “ronny/lily” is nominated for six Emmys.