Stunt Performer

Stunt perfomers replace film actors in scenes that are dangerous, for example, where the character has to jump from an exploding car, and so on. They need to know exactly how to perform the stunt so that it looks real to the audience but is safe to perform.



There are various types of stunt roles, two of which are called “nondescript” and “double”. As a double, the stunt performer must look and act like the actor. In the nondescript role, the stunt performer doesn’t replace a person, but is a nameless, incidental character, for example, a driver in a freeway chase scene.

Stunts can make a movie exciting, and therefore probably more profitable. The director decides how the stunts will appear on the screen. Stunt coordinators plan the stunts, set the scene and hire a recommended stunt performer. A stunt co-ordinator will immediately know if a stunt scene will take a long time to perform, although on film it may eventually last only a few seconds. Stunt performers work closely with the prop, make-up and wardrobe artists. They also work with the special effects team to ensure safety and forestall problems.

Stunt performers are dedicated professionals who work hard to make stunts believable, but also act responsibly by taking extra precautions, such as making use of cables and air bags.


Personal Requirements

  • minimum 16 years old
  • physical and mental fitness
  • determination
  • cool, calm disposition
  • ability to keep a cool head at all times
  • thrive under pressure
  • an engineering / mathematical disposition


How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific school or subject requirements


What to Study

In-service training may be provided under the supervision of an experienced stunt performer.
The Stunt Company offers a course in stunt and special effects training and teaches vital life skills.


Employment

  • film and advertising industry
  • possible places of employment are with movie directors and stunt co-ordinators.
  • there is also opportunity for self-employment


Further Information

The Stunt Company
Unit 11 Rosbur Park
Carlisle Street
Paarden Eiland, 7405
Tel: (021) 511-9151
www.stuntco.co.za


Getting Started

  • try to obtain part-time or voluntary work in this field
  • make an appointment to speak to a stunt performer about this type of career


Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations


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