Do you think you have what it takes to be a Stunt Performer? People contact us daily and ask us how to become a Stunt Performer. There is no exact answer we can give to someone on how to get into the stunt business. Stuntmen and Stuntwomen all have different skills that get them hired to work in the entertainment business. What we recommend is extensive training in a field. Whether it is years of fight training, dirt bike riding, Gymnastics, or racing cars. Some of the top stunt performers currently being hired are ex-MMA fighters, Cirque du Soleil performers, collegiate gymnasts, and performers that work at live stunt shows all over the world. One thing people do not talk about is the percentage of injuries a stunt performer will go through over their career. Proper Strength training, Cardio Exercise, and Chiropractic Care is a must to keep a performers body in tune. A stunt performer usually goes through many injuries while training before they ever step on set to perform a stunt.
While Stunt Training you need to get experience on set. We recommend becoming an Extra, a Stand-In, or a production assistant in the film industry. This is where you will get much needed set etiquette. A stunt performer with good set etiquette can get more work in the industry than a higher skilled stunt performer that has bad set etiquette.
Not all extreme athletes are right for action scenes in Film and Television shows. It takes the right skill set and experience on a film set to achieve a specific action scene. When doing a stunt it takes a lot of planning and design to create a scene that not only tells a story but entertains the audience. Extreme Athletes have a specific outlet and training regimen to perform a stunts. They warm there body up in a specific way to get ready for a specific event they may compete in. While filming on a film or TV set, these stunt are usually shot the last shot of the day. So the stunt performers usually have a lot of down time before doing a stunt. This can cause fatigue and tightness in the muscles and cause injury.
Using a qualified Stunt Coordinator can design a Stunt that can utilize an Extreme Athletes skills while keeping it safe. Below you can see two Stunts that were designed by a Stunt Coordinator but fabricating specific stunt ramps to do a specific jump with a BMX. Knowing the specific trick in the air and the trajectory that the director and camera operator wants is very important. The placement of the camera, lens used and framing is so specific that without the correct stunt performer and stunt equipment they would not be able to perform the stunt and make it repeatable. It is very important to repeat a stunt multiple times for the directors. Many athletes do night like to performs stunts multiple times, due to increase percentage of injury. Stuntmen and Stuntwomen train to performs stunts multiple types so that the camera department can cover it at multiple angles.
Many Extreme athletes after retiring enter the Entertainment Industry. MMA UFC Champions like Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson, and Don Frye have made the transition into the industry using there athlete training to actor and performs stunts in feature films.
Stunt BMX Guy on Lil Wayne Music Video
Stuntman Danny Downey doing his thing on Will I am Awesome Music Video
Director Colin Tilly bringing Stuntmen center stage for his most recent music video “I wanna Know” from Alesso ft. Nico &Vinz. Colin working with T Minus Productions’ Stunt Coordinator TJ White for many years came up with the concept. Working with so many stunt performers over the years seeing them putting there life and health on the line was very interesting. He wanted to show a story of a stuntman coming into work like any other day doing big stunts while not being appreciated by many. This is said to be true by many in the industry. #StandupforStunts was created to bring awareness for stunt performers trying to get recognized by the Academy of art and sciences for Film to receive an Oscar.
Stunt performers usually work in the shadows in the film industry to give the illusion that actors are performing there own stunts. Colin’s experience with stunt performers over the years excited himself to be able to feature them in Alesso’s most recent music video “I wanna go” with over 3 million views on youtube in a week or so. Another thing to add to the creative genius of this project is that it was shot in one day….
Stuntman Wyatt Carnel getting chased by Stuntmen Oliver Keller and Ray Siegle
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.
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.
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.
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.
HollywoodStuntCoordinator.com is one of the leading websites in the world helping marketing entities, public relations houses, car conglomerates, and production companies bring live action stunt shows to life. Curtis Koller, VP of Development, stated “Working as head of casting for Disney Animation for years has helped us at T-Minus Productions utilize our creative outlets here in Hollywood to produce dynamic live stunt shows. We use the same artist at Pixar and Disney to storyboard the show to give the clients an idea of the possibilities of how our show will run. With our resources of Directors, Stunt Coordinators and high-tech stunt equipment we are able to create an original stunt show or reenact stunts that has been played out before in a film or television show of your liking.”
CEO TJ White has over 20 years of experience in front of the camera as well as behind bringing his expertise to heighten the energy in a live stunt show arena. TJ’s experience of working with some of the biggest artist in the world like Britney Spears, JLo, 50 Cent, and the Foo Fighters gives your clients the professionalism and capability to pull off a show of the highest caliber in the business.
The capabilities are endless on what T-Minus Productions can achieve to make your live stunt show the jaw-dropping production to remember. Regardless of how modest or how massive your budget is, T-Minus can ensure that they provide you with the ultimate experience to fit your needs.
Live stunt shows are the opportune way to show of your product and make the audience remember who you are. With the talented and innovative minds of this team working with you there isn’t anything that you cannot achieve. Top companies all over the world consistently call upon T-Minus Productions to create a fantasy of stunts to indulge their spectators in a bevy of wonderment.