HOW THE HELL... Make it in Hol­ly­wood

12-PAGE SPECIAL Pro­fes­sional Hol­ly­wood stunt per­former, and one of the very best stunt dou­bles in the busi­ness with over 100 fea­ture films and TV stunts to his name

Motorcycle News (UK) - - How The Hell -

‘Usu­ally to work in the movies as a stunt per­former you have to be­come a mem­ber of the Bri­tish Stunt Reg­is­ter, an elite or­gan­i­sa­tion for pro­fes­sion­als with de­mand­ing en­try re­quire­ments in­clud­ing reaching an ex­tremely high level of com­pe­tence in at least six dif­fer­ent sport­ing dis­ci­plines.

“I had a back­ground in mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing and mar­tial arts and it took me around four years to train my other dis­ci­plines up to the re­quired stan­dards. Start­ing out in the in­dus­try is pretty tough. It’s hard to get jobs when peo­ple don’t know who you are. It’s im­per­a­tive to keep as sharp as pos­si­ble so when the op­por­tu­ni­ties come, you are fully pre­pared.

“As a stunt per­former you have to gain peo­ple’s trust and prove your­self ev­ery time you work with some­one new. Peo­ple are re­ly­ing on you to be ac­cu­rate and in con­trol so as not to place your­self or any of the cast or crew at un­nec­es­sary risk.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant to keep on top of your game by rid­ing all the time, even after a 14-hour day. I also watch a lot of mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing, stunt rid­ing, and even crashes as you can learn from them. Be­fore I per­formed the high­side on Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble 5, I watched hun­dreds of clips of rac­ing crashes to see which one had the right look and was achiev­able un­der film­ing con­di­tions.

“But the week be­fore we flew out to Morocco to film the bike se­quence, Bautista had a huge high­side in Mo­togp qual­i­fy­ing, which is some­thing we’ve never re­ally seen in movies be­fore and would look great in the chase!

“You have to be adapt­able and ver­sa­tile as you never know what bike you’ll have to ride next. So you’ll need to keep your­self at as high a level as pos­si­ble in stunt rid­ing, road rac­ing, mo­tocross, en­duro, tri­als etc. You’ll be brought into a movie for a spe­cific skill and ex­per­tise so you’ll need to ex­press your opin­ions on what works and what doesn’t, but you must also be adapt­able, work through prob­lems and ul­ti­mately make the di­rec­tor’s vi­sion come to life and make ac­tion se­quences as good as they can be.”

Rick English

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