Directors have always been a progression for writers, cameramen, writers and producers. It has changed over the years from more stunt coordinators turning to direct second unit. This was a production unit that usually was the action unit but now most studios and production companies see that using another unit to shoot simultaneously with your primary talent helps the project not only be more efficient but enables the production to get more content.
One of today’s most legendary stuntmen and stunt coordinators Hal Needham best known for directing the Smokey and the Bandit franchise, The Cannon Ball Run franchise, Stroker Ace, and Rad is one of the first to break the barrrier. Since then many more stuntmen have made that jump such as 2nd Unit Director David Ellis best know for 2nd Unit directing Waterworld, Matrix Relaoded and The Perfect Storm. David has also has had success directing two Final Destination films, Snakes on the Plane starring Samuel L Jackson, and Shark Night 3D. He has used his years of experience performing and coordinating stunts to direct action sequences in a story telling way.
TV is also an avenue for Stunt Coordinators to enter into the directing route like Stunt coordinator David Barrett. David has directed hunreds of hours of TV like E-Ring, Cold Case, 90210, and NCIS-LA. Emmett/Furla Films just released David feature film directorial debut Fire with Fire staring Josh Duhamel, Bruce Willis and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
Another Stunt family turned directors has been the waugh family. There father Fred Waugh stunt coordinator for the Amazing Spider-man 1978, Swat 1978, and Hart to Hart. One son Ric Roman Waugh director of Felon starting Val Kilmer and coming to theaters soon Snitch starring Dwayne Johnson. The other son Scott Waugh co-directed with fellow stuntman Mike McCoy Act of Valor through there production company Bandito Brothers. Scott is currently in pre-production on his next film Need for Speed that Electronic Arts and Dreamworks SKG are producing.
Another Stunt Coordinator been know for directing 2nd unit for the Bourne Franchise is Dan Bradley. Dan Brandley has been a stunt coordinator for such films as Indepence Day, 3 Kings, Spider-man 2 and 3, and Jackass: The Movie. Moving into directing first unit was the only logical choice for Dan choicing Red Dawn in theaters now produced by MGM and Contrafilm.
Red Dawn Trailer – In Theaters Now
Snitch Trailer – Coming to Theaters soon
Fire With Fire on DVD now