Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan Praise John McTiernan, Vic Armstrong

A galaxy of stars paid homage to filmmaker John McTiernan (“Die Hard,” “Predator”) and stuntman Vic Armstrong (the Indiana Jones, James Bond and Star Wars franchises) as they both received the Moving Target award for Outstanding Contributions to the Action Genre at the inaugural London Action Festival.

The awards were presented to the Royal London Geographical Society in London and icons of the action genre were present, including Corin Hardy (“Gangs of London”), composer David Arnold (“Casino Royale”) Robert Davi (“Die Hard” ) and Edgar Wright (“Last Night in Soho”).

Prominent film personalities who worked with McTiernan and Armstrong expressed their appreciation via video messages. Harrison Ford praised Armstrong saying, “We’ve been doing this Vic for about 50 years! You had the good sense to make it a director’s job because running, jumping and falling is a game for young people. Audiences loved the work you guided in the Indiana Jones films. People don’t really understand what’s going on in an action movie and it’s a very complicated technical problem these days. It was a great pleasure working with you, sir.

James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli said: “You certainly had an auspicious start to the Bond films, launching that rope into the Blofeld Volcano in 1967 in ‘You Only Live Twice’. You have collaborated with us on so many Bond films and I am very grateful to you.

Bond producer Michael G. Wilson said, “Vic, you shared our stunt philosophy, and you did everything you could for real. You were a one-stop shop – you secure the locations, you design the stunts, you make sure they’re shot with style and rhythm, you were a real collaborator with the director. Sequences like the motorbike chase in Thailand on “Tomorrow Never Dies,” the Thames boat chase that opened “The World is Not Enough,” and the ice car chase, that was something, for “ Die Another Day”. They were some of Bond’s most iconic moments.

Pierce Brosnan added: “We have many great moments, you and I, saving the world in the great realm of the James Bond films. One is that I will treasure in my heart forever and be in your company. Brosnan said of McTiernan, “’Nomads’ was our first film together. You took off like a rocket, an exquisite director, great chemistry that you bring to the screen.”

Kudos for McTiernan continued from Alec Baldwin, who said: “In his acting lesson he gave me when we were filming ‘The Hunt for Red October’, that still rings in my ears today, so that I was playing with was all ‘Can’t you just stand there and do nothing? And you know what John, you were right. Now when I make a movie and the directors say walk out the door or make an espresso or something, I say ‘No’. I think I’ll just sit here and do nothing.” It was a great honor to work with the great John McTiernan – when they give you the award, stand there.

Jan de Bont, cinematographer on ‘Die Hard’ and ‘The Hunt for Red October’, said: “With these films, you were able to reinvent, re-energize and re-energize American action films as they should be. Your incredible perseverance meant you would do anything to make your vision manifest. You are the perfect choice for this award because your movies have finally thrilled moviegoers about action movies.

Michael Tadross Sr., producer of ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ and ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’, said: “You can’t BS it – he’s an unflappable director. John McTiernan is a genius, he’s brilliant, one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever known in my life and he’s a friend. Congratulations McT.

Festival co-director Julian Alcantara said: “It has been an amazing two days, two more to go, capped off by John McTiernan winning one of our inaugural, purpose-built Moving Target awards. “Die Hard” and “Predator” are two of the most iconic, universally loved and adrenaline-filled movies ever made and set the bar for future movies in the genre. Stuntman and action director Vic Armstrong’s award is indicative of what he has brought to the film industry over the years. Being Harrison Ford’s stunt double in ten movies, including the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series, and stunt coordinator on just about everything, is more than well deserved.

The festival continues this weekend with a host of panels, screenings and Q&As, including Corin Hardy presenting footage from the second season of ‘Gangs of London’; McTiernan leading a Q&A after a 35th anniversary screening of “Predator”; director Simon West on “Con Air” after a 25th anniversary screening; MARV showing exclusive footage of “School Fight”; and Proof Inc. demonstrating a masterclass in “Jurassic World Dominion” special effects; and several other events at Picturehouse Central.

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