It’s easier to fake reality when you use reality.
The 2010 movie The Fighter had to shoot boxing scenes, but they didn’t want it to take so long. So what did they do? Said producer and starring actor Mark Wahlberg:
Every filmmaker that we talked to about directing this movie was like you can’t shoot the fights in 20 days, you need 35 days. And I said, "Well, we’re going to shoot the whole movie in 33 days and we’re going to shoot all the fights in three days." And they said, "How are you going to do that? It’s never going to work." And I said, "Because we’re going to film them like actual fights."
So we literally did every fight from the actual beginning, coming out of the dressing room into the arena, into the ring, first bell, introductions, to the last bell, and everything. And we just did it over and over and over again.
And what I kept telling everybody is that HBO does it in one take and they don’t know what’s going to happen and they never miss a thing. We have the luxury of showing them what we’re going to do in the morning before we shoot it and doing it over and over and over again. So why do you need 20 days?
They discovered the most economical and effective way to make something fake look real is to film it the way you would the real thing. The film earned over $94 million dollars and won two Academy Awards.
– How "The Fighter" shot 35 days worth of fight scenes in only three days, 37 Signals>>
– The Fighter>>
Found thanks to Kottke.org>>