TIFF: Academy Award-Winning Stunt Coordinator Robert Nagle Speeds Through TIFF Premiere Ford Vs. Ferrari


Since earning a 2015 Academy Technical Achievement Award (with Allan Padelford for the self-propelled, high-performance, drivable camera and vehicle platform dubbed “The Biscuit Jr.”) leading Hollywood stunt coordinator and driver Robert Nagle has barely stopped working. A high point of recent film work includes James Mangold’s hotly anticipated Ford vs. Ferrari, which will make its International Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) in September (followed by a screening at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October). Robert has worked on a staggering 29 productions in the past four years, with a combined worldwide gross of over $9.1 billion.

Ford vs. Ferrari, screening at TIFF September 9th, recounts Ford Motor Company’s mid-1960’s attempt to design and build a race car that could end Ferrari’s dominance of the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race and stars Matt Damon as legendary car designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as superstar driver Ken Miles.

Nagle’s work on Captain Marvel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Fate of the Furious, Baby Driver, Oceans Eight, Black Panther, Spider-Man: Homecoming, John Wick: Chapter Two and Captain America: Civil War, to name but a few, has cemented Robert’s place at the top of the stunt world.

In addition to his Academy Award, Robert also won a SAG Award for Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture for Black Panther, and his work on Baby Driver garnered him both a Taurus World Stunt Award (Best Work with a Vehicle) and Online Film & Television Association Award (Best Stunt Coordination). Baby Driver is also nominated in the Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Stunts categories at the 2019 Motor Film Awards, a high profile showcase of talent and the world’s most prestigious celebration and awards night for the automotive film and television industry.

On Ford vs. Ferrari, I was not only privileged to work with a world-class director, cast and stunt team,” said Nagle, “but as a former race car driver, being able to help recreate one of the most iconic stories in racing history was a dream come true.” Nagle also was able to recruit an astonishing 20 winning and legendary drivers to pilot vehicles in the film, including Jeff Buckman, the son of Ronnie Bucknam—who drove one of the Ford GT-40’s to victory at Le Mans; Dan Gurney’s son Alex Gurney; and Derek Hill, son of Formula One champion Phil Hill; Ben Collins aka Top Gear’s “The Stig” (2003-2010), and Tanner Foust.

In addition to his stunt work, Robert also stays true to his background as an engineer by regularly enhancing The Biscuit Jr., which continues to revolutionize how films and television shows are made. More About the ‘Biscuit Jr.’

Padelford originally developed a camera rig for the film Seabiscuit, comprised of a drivable platform that could hold the mechanical horses, thus enabling the actors to be filmed up close. Dubbed appropriately the “Biscuit Rig,” the platform was later used in Aviator, before Padelford and Nagle joined together to work on the Biscuit Jr., which was first used on J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (2009).

A groundbreaking device, the Biscuit Jr. is a 650-horsepower, V8-engined, drivable platform (at 150mph) that allows filmmakers to create the illusion that actors are driving at high speeds when in fact it’s an experienced stuntman who’s behind the wheel, thus transforming the way directors can orchestrate car chases and action at speed. The Biscuit Jr.’s first real car use was for 2009’s The Hangover.

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