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Ken Barefield and Don L. Lee (‘Cobra Kai’ stunt team): ‘Our post is about fixing it right now’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“Some of these shows can fix it in post, our post is about fixing it right now,” reveals Ken Barefield about stunt work on “Cobra Kai” not using CGI. In our recent webchat, Don L. Lee adds, “It is practical. There is nothing that says this part is going to be VFX.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

“Cobra Kai” is the Netflix series that continues the story from the 1980’s “Karate Kid” movies. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) now has a family and owns a car dealership. His high school nemesis Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is a down on his luck battler with an estranged son. To settle rivalries and relive their glory days both men set up competing dojos.

In the fifth season of the show, their dojos have had to close after villain Terry Silver’s (Thomas Ian Griffin) dojo won a karate tournament. Lee explains, “We have 14 series cast regulars that have anywhere from a minimum of one to five fights an episode. We literally have 10 days to come up with the choreography. And we all know it’s gonna change on the day. ‘The Karate Kid’s’ one of the main reasons I got into martial arts. So it’s a very touching moment to now be working on ‘Cobra Kai.’”

Barefield is the stunt coordinator for the series and Lee is the fight coordinator. Last year the series received an Emmy nomination of Best Stunt Coordination for a Variety or Comedy Program. As the season progresses, the defunct dojos re-form. In the final episode, an epic fight between the three dojos goes down. Barefield says, “When we have all actors in the dojo fighting with 25 stunt women and men, in the background you have four to five more fights going on. You are watching the main fight but also looking over here and there to make sure their karate is hitting everything. On our show, we don’t have playback, so when we shoot something we just have to make sure we are watching in the moment.”

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