Blueman Groups calls Stunt company again to create death defying stunt to announce there return to the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. The Blueman Group is 20 years old and they love to go big with everything they do. T Minus Productions did there live show in Los Angeles with a 189 ft decelerator highfall at there Hollywood Bowl Show. So it was not a surprise that when they were returning to the Luxor Hotel this year they wanted it to be an event people would talk about.
100 media corespondents listening to one Blueman play the drums to announce the opening of there new theater. Just then two spot lights pan straight up 28 floors inside the Luxor Hotel to see 2 Bluemen repel down to the theater level to open the curtain of the theater.
Live events are very hard to incorporate stunts and it takes extensive planning and rehearsal to pull it off safely. When trying to do stunt like this you should always use a professional. Stunts are dangerous and should only be stunt by experienced individuals.
Blueman repelling down 28 stories inside the Luxor Hotel in Vegas
Blueman Group with T Minus Productions TJ White and Lauren Pacheco
Blueman Group getting ready repelling down 28 stories inside the Luxor Hotel in Vegas with T Minus Stunt Rigging Inc. Crew
Check out Marshall Mathers / Eminem” exciting music video for the film South Paw with Jake Gyllenhall. Using high concept action you would see in a marvel film. This music video pushes the limit when it comes to action, stunts and octane in 5 minutes. Marshall did an amazing job doing his own stunts on wire flying over a flat bed truck after crashing on a motorcycle.
DNA films brought in veteran Action Director / Stunt Coordinator Andy Armstrong from Armstrong Action and TJ White from T Minus Productions to design and supervise the action for this music video. Using professional Stunt bike riders, Parkour, fight specialist, Wire Specialist and a stunt driver to safely perform these stunts within the 5 day shoot in LA. Andy Armstrong best know for the last 2 Spiderman films was able to show the production team a design of his action to be able to shoot in all in the time they had. Most films take weeks to achieve what you will see is this video.
Def Jam artist Logic goes big with his latest music video for his newest album “Under Pressure”. Logic, a self proclaimed movie buff, started story boarding months before actual production with Greenglow Films Director Stephen Wayne Mallett. Producers Alec Eskander and Kevin Lee oversaw production for Greenglow Films.
Using so many guns you really have to bring in a professional Armour like Mike Tristano. Mike is best know for films like; 310: to Yuma and Jeepers Creepers II. Using so many guns we only used qualified Stuntmen that have had extensive training with weapons, fights and falls. In this particular video Greenglow Films Contacted Jim Zahnd and TJ White to stunt coordinate the action in this first person shooter video game style music video. T-Minus Productions’ Stunt Department cast all of the stunt performers for the video. T-Minus Productions used some of the top Stunt Doubles in the business for actors such as Bruce Willis, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Ashton Kutcher and Chad Micheal Murray. Using these highly trained stunt performers allowed production to be able to rehearse the fight scenes and film the music video all in the same day.
Using an experienced Stunt Coordinator and the right amount stunt performers allows a production to save money in re-takes, safety from injuries, overtime, and equipment damages. Proper planning allows the director, producer, and talent to acheive their vision. On set the Stunt Coordinator and his or her team can work with the Director and camera department to get something really dynamic action pieces. Take a look at Logic’s action packed Music Video “Under Pressure” below.
Logic : Under Pressure – Music Video for Def Jam Records
Stuntman Nicholas Verdi was also the POV Cameraman
Stunt Driver Chris Nielsen Crashing through Plate Glass
When planning a car stunt, Directors, Producers, and Production Designers utilize the expertise of a Stunt Coordinator, Action director or 2nd Unit Director to guide them. Many people have seen the Ken Block drifting videos or the high octane stunt driving in Need for Speed or Fast and the Furious Franchises. But being able to have these cars perform like they do in those action scenes takes months of prep. Just like this Subaru car that has been modified before it came to the testing site at Willow Springs raceway to test. Even with the added modification from the owner of this vehicle, it took additional modification to make the car do what it needed to do for this particular commercial. You have to remember the cars used in the big drifting videos and films have hundreds of thousands of dollars in modification to perform these dynamic stunts.
Testing is a very important step for a Stunt team to prep a car. It comes down to the type of tires you use, the air pressure, the temperature of the environment, the horse power of the vehicle, and the breaking system. To have the vehicle dance around like a ballerina on the asphalt takes preparation, time, and experience. A Stunt driver must have the proper breaking system in the car. This breaking system has to be installed by qualified car prep riggers. During testing and even on the day of the shoot there are adjustments that are always made to tweak the car to be able to do the action the director requires. This is when you need your car prep to be savvy, efficient, and knowledgable. These systems can be well over $2500.00 for just one car.
When looking for a vehicle to use in these exciting action scenes contact a qualified Stunt Coordinator to assist you in prepping and choosing the right vehicle. This will save you time and money on the day of shoot. There is nothing worse then getting to set and not getting what the director wants while shooting. It also takes a qualified experienced Stunt Driver to perform the stunt driving.
For those of you that watch the highly successful AMC series MADMEN you can appreciate the art of advertising. AD men and women of today have the arduous job of not only capturing the perfect image, crafting the most memorable slogan, and pitching the most tantalizing moving image, but they have to go beyond that and make use of the new platforms that Don Draper did not have access to that have formed in the last few decades. These new frontiers as you know are the Internet, the surmounting amount of social media platforms, and alongside that is the smartphones and tablets. Advertising agencies are always trying to capture the largest audience for the least amount of money and with these new spaces to showcase their Ads they are also banking on the free advertising which lends a hand from the internet. This is the art of the Viral Video.
In Today’s market not everyone has a TV, instead they have the internet. They can stream videos on their smartphones, tablets, personal computer or laptops so advertising on the Television is becoming a rare feat. The new commonality is the internet so the advertising agencies call upon Hollywood production companies to produce commercials that they can then post on their brand’s Youtube, Vimeo, or Vevo pages. Using a platform like these enable the agency to view analytics of where their campaign is being viewed and in what market. Using these platforms allows the general public to share these videos on other platforms like Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, Pintrest, or Instagram which is essentially free advertising for them. This sometimes takes a life of it’s own and makes the video go viral, which means its viewed by millions of people.
The gaming industry understands impressions and hits and is in on the “Hidden Camera” Viral Video craze. The popular Ubisoft game, “Watch Dogs”, has just done it again using Los Angeles based production company Lifeboat Productions to produce an Ashton Kutcher inspired Punk’d gag on the streets of Downtown LA. One element the creative and production team knew from the start was to get a great reaction from the “Mark”, you would have to do something over the top. Using Special Effects blowing up lights and transformers really get the Prankee invested in the scene. To take it over the top you have to really take them out of their comfort zone and shock them. This was done by making them believe they caused a car accident in the middle of a busy intersection Downtown LA.
LifeBoat Productions contacted Los Angeles based Stunt Design Company T-Minus Productions to oversee the action. Safety is always the first priority when doing a live stunt in front of unsuspecting participants. This increases the danger of the stunt. It takes precise timing and planning out every step to do this safe and make it look authentic. Using qualified and experienced Stunt Coordinators helps production achieve this seamlessly.
This particular video went viral within hours and has had over 12.1 million views on youtube in 2 weeks of it release. With the right creative content, excellent execution, and of course High Octane Live Action Stunts, you will get millions of views. See what all the fuss was about in the video below.
Action Director, Xavier Gens “Hitman” and the “Divide” brings action and comedy to this funny commercial for French cable company Numeri Cable. Director Xavier Gens used very stylized camera shots which was coordinated along with wire work. He brings the viewer inside the world of big action movies in this commercial. Using creative lighting and highly skilled Stunt performers and T Minus Stunt Rigging Inc. to wire the crew, the end results in a sharp, high-res, almost first person video game commercial.
Motocross has been around since the early 1900’s starting in the UK. Races were popping up all over the world with various countries pitting their team up for stardom. Finally making it to the US in the 1960’s the sport was vastly changing with new tweaks to the bikes suspension and frames. When the 90’s hit, sub categories for Motocross were being created such as supercross, arenacross, supermoto, and freestyle motocross. Many BMX riders turn Freestyle motocross or FMX riders. In 1993 Bob Kohl was the first FMX rider to perform successfully the “Holy Grail” of motocross stunts at that time, which was the infamous backflip. From there riders have been pushing the limits. But let’s step back a few decades, Freestyle Motocross arguably started back in
1963 when famed stuntman Bud Ekins doubled Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. At that time this type of stunt was mind blowing. Jumping a bike over a 6ft tall barbed wire fence hadn’t been done before. What made it even more challenging was Ekins had to do it on a Triumph TR6 Trophy 650cc motorcycle which is a hefty 400 pounds. This is quite the feat which makes it one of the most memorable motorcycle stunts in history and pushes Bud Ekins further into stunt fame. While men like Bob Kohl, Carey Hart, Travis Pastrana, Brian Deegan, Mike Metzger, Caleb Wyatt, and a flurry of others have all pushed the limits of their bikes and body, their inspiration may have very well been the work of Bud Ekins.
It is no wonder this sport has gained a worldwide mainstream audience. It is death defying, loud, extreme, and if the tricks are pulled off safely then the payoff is superbly glorious. Live stunt shows like the ones that Metal Mulisha puts on are packed with hundreds of thousands of people. The marketing and broadcasting of these events alone are entertaining for audiences and even more profitable for sponsors. Executives of corporate events, company grand openings, product launches, expos, and many more unlikely events are tracking down these motocross individuals to perform these shows for their clients. The increase of live stunt shows involving these talented motocross riders has exponentially jumped. Freestyle Stunt Companies come fully equipment with their dirt-bikes, ramps, and the personnel to run the show. This plug and play system allows for a fast set up and breakdown for a day event or even a week long event.
These highly skilled motocross riders sometimes start BMX riding, then move into supercross riding professionally for years before moving into their freestyle work. These riders are constantly evolving their tricks. The oohs and aahs of a crowd watching a stunt rider fly off a ramp doing their favorite tricks such a no footer, suicide can, hart attack, or even a Superman is enough that these motocross shows are one of the most requested events that Stunt Coordinators are asked to organize. FMX has been influencing entertainment from films like the Great Escape to the most recent Bourne Legacy, to TV shows like Nitro Circus, even music videos like P Diddy’s ‘Bad Boys For Life’ cameo’d motocross with many videos since then including the sport, to world wide events like the X games. This sport is enrapturing itself in entertainment like never before. These riders and machines are evolving like the industry making the stunts they perform unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
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.
Stunt Coordinator /Stunt Driver TJ White and Stunt Driver Chris Nielsen getting ready to speed through the canyons for Calvin Harris Video.
English DJ Calvin Harris featuring artist Example team up on new single “We will be coming back”. Picking a beautiful location in the Malibu canyons of los angels was just one of the decisions Calvin and his team decided on. Going with a young edgy director Saman Kesnazarz known for “The Penelopes – Sally in the Galaxy music video. Saman developed this concept of a Steve McQueen style car chase with a 1970’s feel through the canyons of Los Angeles..
This was achieved by bringing in stunt coordinator TJ White from T Minus Productions and the Z Crane camera car. T Minus Productions is a full serviced production company that designs stunt sequences from inception and gives productions the tools and the talent to achieve in a manageable time.
Action Director TJ White also known for directing 2nd unit for such action sequences for N’Sync, Velvet Revolver, The Hard Easy and soon to be released “Feed the Dog” helped design the driving sequences. TJ being a stunt driver himself knows the limitations you can have with specific cars. In this particular video they choose very old classic cars that have not been driven this extreme in years.
Stunt Driver Mike Owen talking with DJ Calvin Harris about safety.
Car chases are very technical and take time to plan out. It takes an experience stunt coordinator and 1st Assistant Director to plan out the scene. Stunt Coordinators usually pull out hot wheel cars that little kids play with to show the crew how the driving scene will go. This is done many times so that every crew member is able to see where the cars will be going and where the real danger will be. Once that is done the Stunt Coordinator will have the stunt drivers get in there selected cars with the camera car and drive the route at 1/4 or 1/2 speed this is so the camera can practice there shot and everyone could see the action.
Z Crane getting ready to shoot chase scene with stunt drivers.
On this particular music video the Stunt Coordinator TJ White was also the Stunt Driver / Doubling for Example driving a 1974 Porsche 911. These cars not having the same technology as the newer ones relies on the experience of the driver to perform the stunt safety.
Driving though the blocked of canyon roads in the access of 70 + MPH gave the speed needed to make this particular video the same feel as a Steve McQueen or a Fast and the Furious film.
Feel free to watch the Calvin Harris ft Example music video below.
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.