Another great place to start is at you local amusement park. Most amusement parks today have some sort of Stunt Show to entertain their guest. These shows are great, but are not the most complicated things to be done. This is why anyone who has great athletic skills, is a little tough and can do some of the things we discussed earlier, can get hired.
Stunt Coordinator’s Run These Shows
Usually these shows are run by a professional stunt coordinator who knows what it takes to maintain safety and still provide a great show. These coordinators do all the hiring from the auditions only. They consider resumes, but they want to see you work. They also know that they must hire newcomers because all the seasoned stunt veterans will be working on major film and television projects where the money is better, and the accomplishments are greater.
To make this happen, visit your local amusement park this year and watch the stunt show many times. Learn what it is that the stunt performers are required to do. Then spend the next off-season learning how to master these things. That way when the auditions for next year come up you will be ready.
Build Up Your Stunt Performer’s Credits
Once you get the much need experience and training, as we mentioned earlier, it is important to start building up you credits. You can do this by getting involved with small student films at your area film schools. You will have to work for free most likely, but if you are given the chance to show you stuff, take. Besides, these student filmmakers may one-day major filmmakers who will not soon forget all your hard work. The other thing that you can do is getting yourself attached to a stunt coordinator that has their own team. When they get work, they will usually hire their own team to come in and work with them. This is a good way to gain more experience and meet more influential people who can help your career grow.
The last thing that you can do is developing any special skills that you may have that others don’t have. Be the best at something that will help a production be that much better. Once you get signed on to the production, you can meet the Stunt Artist involved and make the proper connections that will help you get your next job.
The Stunt Coordinator
The Man at the Top of the Chain…
The stunt coordinator has the important job of overseeing every aspect of the stunts performed. Or as we say on set, wears many hats. From budgeting, to hiring of stunt people, and most importantly arrange the stunts to the director’s vision.
Like the production designer, director of photography, or art director, the stunt coordinator is the head of his or her department. Every aspect of a stunt has to go through the coordinator, weather it’s an explosion, car chase, or weapons firing. How big is the explosion? How little do you want the glass shards from where the guy smashes through the window? A gallon of blood or a little spurt when he gets shot? These are the questions that the stunt coordinator has to go over with the director to make sure that the director’s vision is being cared for.
Picking the right stunt performer is another very important part of the job. You don’t want to get your stunt driver to fall off a building, or have one of your stunt horse riders to flip a car. The coordinator hire the right experienced man for the right job.
Like all other jobs in the industry, stunt coordinators don’t happen over night. It takes years of working as a stuntman to get to that position. It’s important to make the connections when you’re a small fry, and work your way up.