Ignition in Hollywood - Hollywood, US, May 29,
launch of their new X-Box360 and PS3 game Stuntman
: Ignition saw Russ invited to Hollywood
to promote the launch. Below are some images of Russ
performing along with an interview of Russ by Justin
Kaehler. See their full article HERE.
We talk to the
Guinness World Record-holding stuntman about all things
Interview by Jason Kaehler
Interview: Russ Swift
US, May 29, 2007 - Say hello to one of our newest
driving heroes: Russ Swift. We met Swift at a press
event for THQ's upcoming Stuntman: Ignition game,
and we found him to be one of the coolest guys we've
ever met. Swift lives the kind of life we wish we
could lead: the man is a British rally champion, holds
a few Guinness World Records for various stunt maneuvers
and travels the world to basically drive the s***
out of cars.
To date, Swift has done
more than 8,000 stunt shows in over 50 countries.
He's been on TV, performed shows at prestigious events
like the Isle of Man TT and more. Not a bad gig if
you can get it, eh?
Can you tell us a little bit about what it is you're
doing here today?
Russ Swift: We're
here to promote the new videogame Stuntman: Ignition.
The journalists were invited to play the game and
I'm here to "bring the game to life", to
show them some of the things that are actually in
the game - to show how exciting (these car stunts)
are to do in real life, really.
you're obviously a stuntman in real life, but we're
a bit confused, and confusion makes our heads hurt.
You told us earlier that you don't do stunts for movies,
so what exactly is it that you do?
Russ: We get involved
with a lot of movies; we promote a lot of movies.
My specialty is performing live, so if anybody wants
something done right the first time and in a show
scenario, I tend to be the person to do it. We've
traveled all over the world; we've done a lot of motor
shows, car launches, a lot of TV commercials... We've
had opportunities to get involved with films in the
past, but fitting it in with the schedule... movies
oftentimes have very long and involved schedules,
and we're already booked two years in advance. So
we get offers to do the movies, but we can't actually
do it. I would love to do movie work someday.
you tell us a bit about your live show? If someone
comes out to see you live, what can they expect to
Russ: I've got the
Guinness world records for various maneuvers - I'm
probably best known for the parallel park, where I
handbrake turn into a parking space just 13 inches
longer than the car. I drive on two wheels, I do drifting,
donuts... I have a dance routine where the car goes
backwards, forwards, sideways... it never stops moving.
I've got the Guinness world record for the J-turn
- a reverse 180 where you get up to maximum speed
in reverse and then flick around to the forwards direction.
I've got the Guinness world record for doing that
in the tightest space. And all these things, really,
we demonstrate in our show.
you tell us how you got these driving skills? One
doesn't get all sorts of Guinness world records for
driving just by going back and forth to the supermarket.
Russ: My background
is in motorsport; I did 15 years rallying and competing
in international events. I got well-known for the
precision and accuracy of a lot of my moves, and I
decided to reinterpret it into a form of entertainment
and since then I never looked back.
you did a lot of rally, and earlier you told us that
you did a lot of Gymkhana-type of stuff. If someone
out there wants to do what you are doing right now,
how would they go about getting the skills? Do they
need the rallying background, or is there another
good form of practice?
Russ: Well, (rallying)
is one way of getting miles under your belt. It's
like playing a musical instrument: it takes years
and years of practice to hone your skills to a certain
level. I've sort of built up my skill competing, so
when I had to adapt it to this sort of environment,
it was quite easy to do. Other than that, you would
have to set yourself up and just work and work and
work on the maneuvers to buildup the skills so that
you can do them accurately time after time.
there any place where anyone can go and learn these
skills, or do our readers have to go out and find
an empty parking lot...
Russ: Never ever
do this in a public place. What I do is always done
under show conditions and it's very safe and I'm working
in a sterile area. To do this in a public place is
totally irresponsible and very very dangerous. There
are places you can go - there are stunt schools, and
motor racing circuits have places where you can go
and learn car control. And that's the way to do it,
I would say.
said that your rally background has helped you a bit
with getting these skills, but rally doesn't have
one go and drive a car on just two wheels. How did
you go and learn that?
Russ: It's just
a thing that I felt would compliment what I already
did. When you're rallying, you do sometimes go on
two wheels and you gotta know what to do to get the
car back on to all four wheels. It's just an extension
of that, really.
last question - have you wrecked any cars practicing
Russ: When I learned
to drive on two wheels, I rolled hundreds of times.
But I haven't rolled a car in the last 25 years.
we go, let's say someone wants to find out more about
you... how can they go about doing that?
Russ: I've got a
It's got a background on all the things I do and lots
of videos and things I've done in the past.
good. Thanks for your time, Russ!