WHAT IS CONSIDERED A STUNT?
A stunt is any physical action requiring an actor to fight, fall, dance, jump, run, skateboard, and in general, perform in an athletic manner and/or in hazardous situation.
Stunts often require the services of a stunt player to double the actor. Inexperienced actors will often assure directors that they are capable of performing their own stunts. They are not. Stunts, safely performed, require training, experience, and natural ability.
Similarly, most directors are not stunt coordinators. Coordinating stunts requires specific knowledge and safety considerations.
Keep in mind that many common activities, which may be simple tasks for someone familiar with the tool, toy, appliance or device, can be dangerous to someone unfamiliar with its proper and safe operation. Some examples: bicycles, skateboards, a manual transmission, motor scooters and motorcycles.
All stunts must be approved by Faculty and Production Operations before shooting. Any script action that reads like a stunt will need to be discussed. If it is determined the action can be achieved safely and without the use of a stunt person, then Production Operations will let you know. However, if the action requires a stunt person or stunt coordinator, then you will be required to hire them.
WHAT IS A STUNT COORDINATOR?
A Stunt Coordinator is a stunt player who assumes the responsibility for supervising all the stunt work and all stunt players in a picture. In addition to hiring the stunt performers and arranging for any necessary equipment, the coordinator works with the director and cinematographer to work out the best possible camera angles for each gag to achieve the most effective visual impact. He or she also has the responsibility for keeping all members of the crew and the stunt people safe during filming.
WORKING WITH THE STUNT COORDINATOR
The performances of all stunts or hazards is preceded by a meeting on the site of the event with all people concerned. This meeting includes a “walk-thru” or “dry-run” with the stunt coordinator and/or special effects crew and all of the persons involved in the event. An understanding of the intended action, possible deviations, and authority to abort should be made clear. All stunts and special effects should be reviewed by all participants prior to execution to help ensure that they are performed in the safest manner possible.