One minute he’s a sword-wielding medieval knight, the next a gun-toting cowboy.
Meet Chapel Allerton resident and fight director Richard Brighton.
The 28-year-old choreographs, performs and teaches historical fight scenes for screen and stage.
He worked on period fight demonstrations at Leeds’s Royal Armouries for six years, before gaining four black belts in different martial arts and setting up his own company called Swordplay.
Richard, who has 100 stage weapons worth £10,000, is now hoping to break into blockbuster films after treading the boards himself and working on TV productions.
He said: “I do think I’m incredibly lucky, I get to play with swords all day – it’s like being Zorro.
“Usually people are really excited by my title, especially guys as they ask you two or three times if they’ve understood it right.
“I often get called a fight director, so I often have to explain it.”
He said there are less than 50 people in the UK working as fight directors.
As part of his job Richard has studied historic combat and weapons to the point where he now splits his time between teaching technique at drama schools and choreographing scenes and teaching actors for film and theatre.
After training as an actor at Bretton Hall, in Wakefield, he worked at the Armouries under top creative director John Waller but left before the department was hit by redundancies last year.
Almost 10 years to the day since he first started working in Leeds, Richard now hopes to be on the brink of a breakthrough into mainstream cinema, after working on last year’s Three Musketeers film premiere.
He said: “If you do a really large Hollywood film you are almost set for life. There are very few fight directors that do the largest films as once you’ve done one they call you rather than the other way around.”
Richard will next work for 20th Century Fox, teaching competition winners how fight scenes from the Chronicle film were put together.
For more details visit www.swordplay.org.uk