Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a stuntman or woman? Films and TV shows frequently have dramatic scenes involving fights, car chases, horse riding, falling, crashes and anything else you could possibly imagine. Most actors aren’t trained to expose themselves to such dangers so have body doubles who perform the daring stunts on their behalf. Here’s a little bit about what it takes to enter the world of action-packed drama:
What sort of person do you need to be:
You would need to be physically strong, have lots of stamina and a certain skill set. Good communication abilities are essential for you to explain to the production crew what you are going to do and any possible repercussions of such actions. For stunts, it is customary to have a medical team on hand just in case. For more information on Event Medical Cover, visit https://www.outdoormedicalsolutions.co.uk/event-medical-cover/
Actors must be dealt with tactfully and you should be able to do a little bit of body acting yourself as you may need assume the body language of an actor in order to body double.
You need to be extremely thorough in your planning, be able to listen to instructions from the director and always keep on top of paperwork such as risk assessments for the production office. Other attributes include the ability to identify all possible hazards and react to suddenly changing circumstances quickly and safely. A strong working knowledge of health and safety regulation is also very important.
What do Stunt Performers do?
The stunt performers are the ones who actually do the action scene required for filming. They are overseen by Stunt Action Co-ordinators who are responsible for these stunts. The co-ordinators will research what type of stunt is required for filming a particular scene and work closely with the performer, the production team. Director and Producer.
A stunt performer may be required to perform specific skills such as martial arts, boxing, driving or underwater scenes. They will be made to look like the actor they are replacing as closely as possible and will need to take on their body language so editing the film is seamless.
What Experience do you need?
You’ll need lots of experience and training to become a stuntman or woman and be accredited by the JISC (Joint Industry Stunt Committee). In order to register with this organisation, you must be qualified in martial arts or boxing and five of the following:
- Trampolining and High Diving
- Horseriding and Driving Cars and Motorbikes
- Gymnastics and Rock Climbing
- Swimming and Sub Aqua
At the very least you will need one year’s experience in these skills and qualifications. It’s a lifelong commitment too as new methods and technologies are introduced, you need to keep training to keep up.
When accepted onto the register, you need to work for 3 years as a Probationary Member before progressing onto 2 years as an Intermediate (stunt performer). After this, you can become a full member and work as a Stunt Co-ordinator.