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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Stunts in Day Time Television Soap Operas

Actresses with there Stunt Doubles on “Days of Our lives”

A soap opera, sometimes called “soap” for short, is an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming. The name soap opera stems from the original dramatic serials broadcast on radio that had soap manufacturers, such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers, as sponsors and producers. These early radio series were broadcast in weekday daytime slots, usually five days a week, when most listeners would be housewives; thus the shows were aimed at and consumed by a predominantly female audience.

Soap operas became a staple of daytime television in the United States in the early 1950s. Along with game shows, reruns of situation comedies, and talk shows, the soap opera was traditionally a fixture in the American broadcast networks’ daytime schedules. Christina S. Beck argues the significance of soap operas are based on viewers’ co-constructing narratives to show how both traditional and online soaps help negotiated the lived experience of people.
Many long-running US soap operas established particular environments for their stories. The Doctors and General Hospital, in the beginning, told stories almost exclusively from inside the confines of a hospital. As the World Turns dealt heavily with Chris Hughes’ law practice and the travails of his wife Nancy who, tired of being “the loyal housewife” in the 1970s, became one of the first older women on the American serials to become a working woman. Guiding Light dealt with Bert Bauer (Charita Bauer) and her alcoholic husband Bill, and their endless marital troubles. When Bert’s status shifted to caring mother and town matriarch, her children’s marital troubles were showcased. Search for Tomorrow mostly told its story through the eyes of Joanne Gardner (Mary Stuart). Even when stories revolved around other characters, Joanne was frequently a key player in their story lines. Days of our Lives initially focused on Dr. Tom Horton and his steadfast wife Alice. The show later branched out to focus more on their five children. The Edge of Night featured as its central character Mike Karr, a police detective (later an attorney), and largely dealt with organized crime. The Young and the Restless first focused on two families, the prosperous Brooks Family with four daughters, and the working class Foster family of a single working mother with three children. Its story lines explored realistic problems including cancer, mental illness, poverty and infidelity.

While these soap have been airing for may years that have also made great stride on making there dramatic sense look as good as scripted prime time TV shows.  This is done by using highly qualified stunt coordinators in the business.  Because an average soap shoots an episode a day it takes a skilled stunt coordinator to effectively design and supervise action scenes.  There is not a lot of time to set up the stunt so production relies on the Stunt Coordinator and his or her team of stunt performers to come in to set prepared to do the stunt quickly and safe.  It is rare if a stunt performed will be able to do a second take due to the time constraints’ the production team and director have.

In 2011 the Academy of Art and Sciences of Television gave  day time Emmy to Tim Davison for Stunt Coordinating General Hospital.  In 2012 Stunt Coordinator Tim Davison is nominated for a second time for General Hospital along with Stunt Coordinator Terry James for Days of our Lives.  Terry James was nominated for two Emmy’s last year for Days of our Lives and Young and the Restless.  Terry is the longest running stunt coordinator for any day time television show  supervising all aspect of the Stunts for Young and the Restless for the past 25 years.

The Taurus World Stunt Awards Presented by Red Bull

2012 Taurus Stunt Awards at Paramount Studios

Every year we look forward to the Award Season, as to be able to admire those in the industry of entertainment for their accomplishments in acting, directing, lighting, and even wardrobe.  But rarely do the people who create the action and excitement get acknowledged.  That is why we are so proud of the group of people that show gratitude towards the hardest working professionals in the entertainment industry. The Taurus™ World Stunt Awards honor the movie industry’s unsung heroes, the world’s best stunt professionals. They risk their lives to perform the most daring stunts that bring action and excitement to the movie-going public.

This is the Oscars for the Stunt men and women that make every summer blockbuster to commercial rememberable.
It is amazing to attend any award event, but The Taurus World Stunt Awards is by far much more rewarding.  It allows those who stood in harms’ way to make the actor shine or allow the audience to believe he/she is performing an unbelievable act that brings the character to life, to be recognized for their accomplishments.  The Stunt community is a very humble, tight-knit group of individuals that pride themselves on athleticism, safety, and a no-fear attitude.

The Taurus™ World Stunt Awards were envisioned by Red Bull Energy Drink CEO Dietrich Mateschitz and benefits the Taurus™ World Stunt Awards Foundation.   They recognize everything from Best Fight to Best Coordination and everything in between.  We at HollywoodStuntCoordinator.com appreciate all that the men and women have accomplish this past year and look forward to another successful and SAFE year of entertaining and excitement.


Written by: Keith Porter – Director of Stunt Dept.

Blockbuster Films and the Action they bring to the Screen

On the set of Avengers in Cleveland ,Ohio

It All Begins with a DREAM

Creating a “Blockbuster” always begins with a dream to accomplish the unbelievable or tell a story beyond expectations of the viewers.  Every year, the “Blockbuster” is usually action packed or a dramatically emotional draining adventure.  But both bring an element of breath taking moments, either by words or visual stimulation.

The term “Blockbuster” started in the 1950’s. It has several meanings, but the first is “A bomb that could level a city block” but was adapted by the film Industry to describe how well a film does, thus, “A stunning new and unexpected event or object that generates enormous sales or revenues”.  Ironic, that one has nothing to do with the other, but both create attention.   Even though, before the event of the use in film, it was only used to describe an athlete.  In the 1950’s, Grace Kelly was the first to be acclimated as a “Blockbuster”.

Since then we associate the term with Summer Movies, such as this year’s highly anticipated “Avengers” and the soon to be release “Batman”.  These high-budget movies make or break the studios and production companies.  But the common denominator is usually “ACTION”.  From Indian Jones, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, and every other movie that draws viewers into the theaters, people want to feel and visualize things they will never encounter themselves.

The use of Stunts, explosions, weapons, and even flying, give the viewer an experience that they dream of.  As stunt professionals we are able to create that illusion and belief that it is possible to live your dream.   But, and we do stress, the effects and stunts are completely thought out, designed for SAFETY, and to exceed the imagination of the possible.  Every stunt in the “BlockBuster” is carefully thought out, down to the last “I” being dotted and “T” being crossed.

Talented stunt coordinators, like TJ White, ensure that productions are expertly controlled and deliver the best product needed.  More and more productions require the best action and heart stopping entertainment that stunt professionals offer.  Blockbusters wouldn’t be where they are without the excitement we provide.
You DREAM it, we create it…….



Chris Brown Music Video “Sweet Love” Hired T-Minus Productions Stunt Team

The Universal Studios Back Lot in Hollywood Was the Scene for Chris Brown’s Upcoming Video

CEO and Producer for Riveting Entertainment, Andrew Listermann called in T Minus Productions and Stunt Coordinator, TJ White to help design and stunt rig Chris Brown’s “Sweet Love” music video. On the back lot of Universal Studios in Hollywood, T Minus Productions’ Stunt crew erected a flying structure to levitate three models at a time while Chris Brown walked and sang through Universal’s streets of New York City.

The 23 year-old singer, songwriter, rapper and dancer signed with Jive Records in 2004 and later released his self-titled debut album that landed the number two spot on the US Billboard 200 chart, featuring his hit single ‘Run It!” Chris Brown was the first male artist to have his debut single top the chart since Puff Daddy in 1997.

In 2007, Brown released his second studio album, Exclusive, and his third studio album in 2009. Both topped the US charts and were certified double platinum by the RIAA. In 2011, Brown released his biggest album, F.A.M.E., which became the number one album on the Billboard 200. With singles such as, “Yeah 3x,” “Look at Me Now” featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes, and “Beautiful People” featuring Benny Benassi. He then earned his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Album in the 54th Grammy Awards. In early 2012, Brown released the single, “Sweet Love” the first single on his “Fortune” album to be released this July.

This has been the third music video that TJ White has worked with Chris Brown. The last time he was with Chris he oversaw the stunts on Chris’s music video “Next To You” which also featured pop icon, Justin Bieber. In that video, they secured Justin with a wire while he was singing on the edge of a building and also did a car hit for “American Pie” actress Shannon Elisabeth. The hit was said to be so dramatic that production couldn’t believe Shannon’s stunt double walked away with out a scratch.

T Minus Productions and Stunt Coordinator, TJ White have worked closely with Riveting Entertainment on many of their stunt related projects such as 50 Cent, P Diddy and Usher.

Hollywood Stunt Drivers and Action Directors


Hollywood Stunt Drivers and Action Directors have been putting emotion into America’s hot-rods for years.

One of our all time faves illustrates this perfectly – Duel. Often overlooked, Stephen Spielberg’s directorial debut film was an intense ride, start to finish. All with just one lead actor, Richard Weaver.

(If you haven’t seen Duel – it’s about a terrified motorist that is stalked on a remote desert road by a menacing tanker truck.)

Spielberg chose the hero car, a red 1971 Plymouth Valiant, to stand out in the wide shots of the desert highway. The vehicle also personified the polite-until-pushed, middle class American.

The antagonist vehicle steals the show. Spielberg selected a 1955 Peterbilt 281 because of the elongated hood, the split windshield and round headlights. These features gave it more of a “face”, adding to the menacing personality. It worked for Spielberg and also for John Lasseter in Disney / Pixar’s Cars. The character Mater, voice by Larry the Cable Guy, bears a striking resemblance to Duel’s Peterbilt.

The majority of the film takes place on a remote desert highway as the truck swerves, brakes, and speeds in attempt to crash the Plymouth and Richard Weaver. It’s friggin awesome. Spielberg and stunt drivers Cary Loftin, Carol Daniels and Dale Van Sickel’s make the viewing experience more intense than what the NASCAR Track Pack can deliver today. Their moves, angles, and close-ups make you feel like you are hanging on to the bumper for dear life!

This 1971 film stands the test of time because the vehicles capture basic, raw human emotion. The film was masterfully executed. OK, so we’re biased 😉

If you have not seen this old-school film, do yourself a favor and rent it this weekend. And don’t take the back roads next time you drive to Vegas!



From Ohio to Hollywood 32 Years in the Stunt Business

Terry James and son TJ White on Justin Bieber Video set


If you listen closely to the back roads of Northeast Ohio, you may still hear Terry James 1967 El Camino big block echoing.

In the 60’s and 70’s, the Motorcity was pumping out some serious horse-power. And the young, lead-foot drivers of Geauga County, Ohio were eating it up. The towns of Middlefield, Burton and Chardon were stomping grounds of many a street and drag racer. They were just far enough outside Cleveland to avoid the police, but close enough to have good asphalt!

To this day, classic car shows and drag racing at Thompson Raceway  are still thriving, thanks to the passion and elbow grease of these hundreds of pioneers.  While most of these guys still tinker with their hot-rods, one of them took his passion and talents to the Silver Screen.

Producer Terry James moved to LA in the 1970’s and quickly began driving and performing stunts for film and TV. His passion for cars, speed, and safety is on display in car-centric classics such as B.J. and the Bear, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, and The Cannonball Run. He has performed, stunt coordinated and directed 2nd unit on countless shows, including: Stripes, The X-Files, Prison Break, Thank you for Smoking, and Michael Bay’s Transformers, and many others. Terry has also been nominated for an Emmy for Young and the Restless and Days of Our loves in 2011 and was just nominated for an 2012 Emmy for Days of our Lives.

As a producer, his thrillers are keeping audiences on the edge of their seats, while giving investors a nice ROI.

His latest film, HUFF, starring Charlie O’Connell and Clint Howard, is in the can and beginning to show at festivals.

Huff News



Justin Bieber Stunt Driving in “Boyfriend” Music Video

Stunt Driver perform stunts on Boyfriend Music video set

Helping Artist Create A New Image


For years young musical artist have been changing their “Bubble-gum” Pop image to a now seemingly “Grown-Up” feel. Between N’Sync, Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera , and now Justin Bieber. Making this change is a creative and style rebirth for these young artist. They create edgier lyrics, sexier dance numbers, and most add a high energy stunt sequence to convey the transition from young star to adult sensation.

N’Sync found new and creative ways to bring excitement to their videos, before they were considered “Grown-Up”. Then Timberlake broke out on his own, and showed his maturing and ever expanding range in music and movies. Justin Bierber is heading in that same direction, now with his new “Boyfriend” video. Director “X” was able to capture the intense and sexy feel needed to take Bieber to the next level. TJ White, stunt coordinator, has more than 80 music videos to his credit, and was on hand in the latest Bieber video. Showcasing the use of high powered American Muscle cars and the talent needed to operate these vehicles in a confined space. The use of cars, high wire rigging, and other stunts help artist to translate their evolution to the next level of their careers.

Justin Bieber is definitely showing his ability to achieve his transition into the “Bad boy” with his video “Boyfriend” and being in Flloyd Mayweather’s corner at his last fight in Las Vegas. More and more artists are noticing what the stunt aspect can really do to achieve a look in their videos to attract viewers to the vision of the lyrics. Using highly trained and talented stunt coordinators, like TJ White, allows the record label and artist to expand their imagination when putting the words into visual media. Also, using such professionals, they are confident in the final project and the outstanding commitment to Safety.

Written by :

Keith Porter

Director of Stunt Department

Making Commercials look “Badass”

Old Navy Commercial


Stunts in commercials have been making products, companies, and businesses look exciting and bold.  Adding such elements as bungee jumping (Bud Light), girls fighting in a water fountain (Go Daddy), high speed car/motorcycle maneuvers, drifting, even jumping over things (Fiat, NASCAR, Chevy), or a Sasquatch who gets picked on (Jack Links Beef Jerky).  Commercial stunts can be as minimal as riding a motorcycle into a Progressive ad to as big as doing a barrel roll in a Chevy Sonic for a Super Bowl Commercial.

Mountain Dew was one of the biggest Ad campaigns using exciting stunts to gain interest in their product.  Even Channing Tatum did a spot where he was in a Trans Am, does a barrel roll and grabs a Mountain Dew out of an unsuspecting patron’s hand outside of a convenience store.  Another great ad is for NASCAR, coordinated by TJ White, which shows being a FAN is fanatical, the precision driving and overall action made viewers notice how intense the sport of NASCAR can be.
Let’s not forget probably the most recent string of amazing commercials for Allstate Insurance, MAYHEM.  The use of actor Dean Winters, (OZ, Rescue Me, 30 Rock), has shown just how much you need to buy insurance.  The stunt coordinator,  Rene Mousseux, and rigging team have made that series of commercials unforgettable.  High falls, car stunts, pyrotechnics, and most of all… Safety, make those commercials successful and entertaining.

The biggest stage for any commercial is the Super Bowl, when companies pay up to $3.5million for a 30sec spot.  Even non-sports viewers will dial in to watch just the commercials.  Most will Google Super Bowl Commercials just to see them, which is why companies will strive to get the best bang for the buck.  That is where we come in, to exceed the imagination and limits to a campaign by integrating amazing stunts and add the WOW factor.