Laurie Crane, North Sea Oil – Saturation Diver and Film Extra

Laurie Crane in the Film Industry

The Film Industry

Laurie was only involved with two films, but if you were going to make a shortlist of the best Hollywood films ever, then “Titanic” and “The Saving of Private Ryan” wouldn’t be too far away from your thoughts, so he is well aware of how fortunate he was.

His involvement with the film industry was through his cousin stunt coordinator “Simon Crane”. Simon has numerous credits to his name, including Braveheart, Cliffhanger, Air America, Indiana Jones and numerous James Bond movies. Since the time Laurie worked for his cousin, Simon has moved on to be 2nd Unit Director on several films whilst maintaining his stunt coordinator role, recent credits include Mummy, Vertical Limit, the Lara Croft movies, Terminator 3 & Troy to mention a few.

He and his family share time between his two homes, one in Richmond, London and the other in Los Angeles. Whilst at law School he opted out and left to join the circus in 1979 on his road to his ambition of being a leading stuntman, he has since become one of the most respected stunt co-ordinators in the industry.

Simon’s success is down to his methodical preparation, patient research, a determination to be the best and a commitment to safety of his crew. He is articulate and able to communicate exceptionally well with Producers, Directors and the Actors /Actresses alike. With a desire and determination to produce the ultimate in action scenes he employs the very best of stunt performers. Constantly surrounding him are a loyal core of multi disciplined stunt artists, here you will find an atmosphere of great trust, cooperation and loyalty, which works both ways. This close family like unit seems to work very well, very well indeed.

Laurie’s first film adventure started in 1996; the location was Rosarito, Mexico on the Baja California peninsular. Here Twentieth Century Fox were not only filming “Titanic” but were also building a state of the art multi purpose studio and a 20 million gallon outdoor environmental tank.

Employed as a marine safety consultant Laurie’s main duties comprised of looking after the health and safety of the lead actors actresses, in particular Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio and the stunt team. With some of the sets suspended on wires and lowered into the water emulating the Titanic sinking coupled with a huge volume of personnel it was not surprising that Laurie was assisted with at times by San Diego base lifeguards, and standby divers who helped unburden the massive workload.

Laurie firmly believed in a pro active uncompromising approach to safety, he looked for faults before they looked for him, safety he felt could not be handled any other way. His approach did not always endear him to the Producers, however they were quick to acknowledge his flawless safety record, considering that some of the scenes involved up to a thousand (1000) extras, film crew, and stunt performers it is quite remarkable.