A Brief History
Today, we ask, “Do you admire an actor or actress when you see them jumping off skyscrapers and tall buildings and landing safely and strategically on to vehicles?” Well, they seldom perform these stunts themselves. Instead, stuntmen and women have been an integral part of all movies, whether it is Hollywood or any other genre.
The audience hardly gets to know the name of the stuntman. Nevertheless, they play an instrumental role in the movies shot behind the scenes.
In this article, let us find out a few crucial aspects of stunts and the individuals performing them in movies in the paragraphs that follow.
Digging Deeper: 4 Essential Elements About Stuntmen
Check out the information below.
Awards for stuntmen
The public hardly gets to see these award ceremonies, but interestingly, stuntmen win their own rewards. They belong as members to the Screen Actors Guild. Also, they receive the same remuneration as the other actors do.
The awards they receive are in various categories like “Best fight scene,” “Best vehicle stunt,” and so on. Some forums cater to the needs of the stuntmen. Thus their contribution to the cinema does not go unnoticed or unseen.
Stuntmen receive compensation for hurting themselves
Doing the job of a stuntman means that you are into business. And by all means, performing stunts are full of dangers and hazards, and as a stuntman, they get paid for getting hurt or injuring yourself; however, it will not be wrong to say that most of the studios have rescue teams, M3’s stunt rescue team being a classic example.
Most of the stunts that they perform involve safeguarding measures that render these stunts least hazardous; however, that does not necessarily mean that no stuntman in Hollywood has ever injured himself.
Although death is a far cry, nevertheless, there have been several instances in the past where stunts have taken away the life of these actors.
Jackie Chan is one of the first stuntmen in the industry
He started at the age of 6, taking training in music, dance, and martial arts. He is well known for performing a few of the most dangerous stunts in the industry.
Types of stunts
As far as the different kinds of stunts are concerned, you will come across 4 main types if you can distinguish between them. They are the Practical effects, Mechanical effects, Vehicular stunts, and the ones that are generated by the computer.
The practical stunts include the likes of stage combat that include martial arts, sword fighting, and acrobatics. The mechanical effects include using high tension wires that enable the actors to get pulled up if the stunt requires the actor to jump off a tall building into another or from one building to another.
Vehicular stunts involve the use of vehicles and the likes of handbrake turn or bootleg turn. Car crashes and vehicle chases are frequent too.
Lastly computer-generated stunts include visual and special effects that simulate real-life experiences.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever wanted to perform stunts in movies? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Werner, Jeffery R. Incredible Stunts: The Chaos, Crashes, and Courage of the World’s Wildest Stuntmen and Daredevils. Incredible Features, 2009.
The featured image in this article, the iconic shot of Harold Lloyd hanging from the clock in Safety Last! (1923), is in the public domain, because it was published in the United States between 1924 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed. Unless its author has been dead for the required period, it is copyrighted in the countries or areas that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works, such as Canada (50 pma), Mainland China (50 pma, not Hong Kong or Macao), Germany (70 pma), Mexico (100 pma), Switzerland (70 pma), and other countries with individual treaties. See Commons:Hirtle chart for further explanation.