When you think of action, viewers tend to only think of summer blockbusters. Television was built on family shows, comedy, and variety shows all adapted from radio shows of the same genre. Then came “Slap-Stick” which began showing falls and use of props to convey a unique story. As the medium of entertainment started requiring more action, Stunt Coordinators stepped up to the challenge.
Shows requiring the talent and expertise of stunt performers started gaining the viewers’ attention. Westerns, Super Heroes, and even quirky European Comedies allowed studios and producers to give the Stunt Coordinator more room to create dangerous looking, but safe action and excitement for the viewer.
In the late 70’s and 80’s, viewers were introduced to television’s transformation which opened many doors for the decades to come. The A-Team, Hawaii Five-0, Dukes of Hazzard, Blue Thunder, Magnum P.I., Miami Vice, and of course, every stunt performer’s favorite… The Fall Guy. All of these opened the virtual pallet of imagination for stunt coordinators. Dukes of Hazzard used over 300 General Lees during production. Flying cars, intense fights, explosions, aerial stunts, and everything you would see by going to a blockbuster in the theaters, were now seen in your own homes.
In 2012, we have seen on television an unbelievable amount of options over the past several years when it comes to deciding which of the over 500 channels of entertainment to watch. Every network, production company, studio and show is looking for the WOW factor. From Daytime Drama series, to Reality Shows, to every show that uses an Acronym (i.e. N.C.I.S or C.S.I. insert your city name here), and even comedies are relying on talented stunt coordinators to make their product POP and WOW. Coordinators, such as TJ White, have the trust and admiration of those looking to excite and safely create television shows that viewers can’t stop watching.
Written by: Keith Porter – Director of Stunt Department