'Arrow' archery trainer Patricia Gonsalves reveals how she gets the actors on the show to look like convincing archers
Meet Patricia Gonsalves, founder of Lykopis Archery in Vancouver and the person responsible for training the stars of 'Arrow' in the basics of archery. In an exclusive interview with MEA World Wide, Gonsalves revealed her day to day life on the sets of 'Arrow'.
Ever wondered who gets Stephen Amell, Katherine McNamara and all the other actors on 'Arrow' to shoot arrows like realistic vigilante heroes? Meet Patricia Gonsalves, founder of Lykopis Archery in Vancouver and the person responsible for training the stars of 'Arrow' in the basics of archery. In an exclusive interview with MEA World Wide (MEAWW), Gonsalves revealed her day to day life on the sets of 'Arrow'.
"Film Archery is very different from real archery because normally we're not shooting an arrow," Gonsalves explained. "We're dry firing the bow, which is where you release the string without an arrow. So when we're training for film archery, we start out by teaching the basic info method that we use with my school and then we move in to dry fire. So they get to shoot some real arrows for a little while, and then we move on to sort of making it look like they’re shooting an arrow."
"If it's like ‘Arrow’ where it's a heavy action show and the stunt team likes to do a lot of action, then we practice that. So once they have this sort of basic trial method down, then we practice the dry firing and we practice walking and shooting, running, and shooting and so on and so forth."
"They then learn how to move. So when the stunt guys teach them how to kick or punch, they know where the bow goes. So A, it looks good, but B, it doesn't throw them off balance so it becomes awkward."
Gonsalves has spent a lot of her time traveling around the world and learning about different archery styles from cultures around the globe. She's used some of this knowledge on 'Arrow' as well, as she revealed to MEAWW.
"So one of the characters, Cupid," she said. "The prop team decided that they would go with an Asiatic compound style, which is what you find in the Eastern part of Europe and then continue East to Japan, to India and Pakistan, and it's a composite style of bow-work made of wood, horn, and sinew, and she shot it with what they call the Turkish style and that was fun. And as far as we know, she's the only hero on TV in North America that uses that type of draw. So, interesting, actually."
Though she might be a trainer, Gonsalves also has other duties on set, namely making sure all the equipment is safe to use. This is how she summed up her daily routine on set, "Generally, we go through the training. I'll meet and we'll talk about the equipment and what they want the archer to look like or what they want the archer to do. And then we'll do some training sessions. So depending on how long the character's going to be on the show would dictate how long the lesson or lessons will be. And then I arrive on set and a lot of my job has to do with safety, to make sure that the equipment is safe, it's safe to dry fire."
"Some of what I do just depends on the situation, but my main task on set is to make sure everything is safe and everyone looks as badass as possible."
'Arrow' Season 8 is currently on a break but it will be returning with an episode of 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' airing exclusively on The CW on January 14.