Experimenting with everything
We recently shot some sample footage of a few techniques from Liechtenauer's Art of Fencing with sharp swords. We're hoping to expand on this project in a massive way in future months, but this was a great experience not only in terms of blocking and lighting (we're definitely going to need a studio space for this) as well as giving us a more realistic sense for the scale of our "dream" project. This also validated our assumption about needing to invest in much higher-quality swords for the project: these swords are sharp, but danger has less to do with us swinging them towards one another (although that's certainly a rush) and much more to do with the stresses placed on the swords themselves whenever they engage with one another. These particular longswords, although inexpensive and decent enough for solo practice and test-cutting, are far too soft to be used against one another, even given proper technique and carefully calibrated speed (and therefore force), for very long. Stress risers, potential blade fracture, and even the occasional metal splinter all have to be weighed into the overall risk while performing each techique. Compound that with the number of takes we have to do to cover from multiple angles, and the risk skyrockets..
Better tools mean a better finished product!