GENERAL DO'S & TABOO'S
Jul 23, 2019
Stunt Performer / General Information
Common sense, but many still forget.
Many GREAT performers still fail on very basic conduct, all the time! One would think such things would be obvious, but they are not. There are many big, and little things that are vitally important, especially if you are a New Performer trying to navigate a new career. But, we have all seen many, respected, TOP STUNT PROS still make these same mistakes? Its mind boggling.
These ‘Rules of Life’ as a performer and the obligations you have, should be branded in your mind as to help you lead a better, more High-Performance Life & Career!
FIRST, BE EARLY:
- If you’re on time, you’re ALREADY LATE. We’ve all seen great performers show up to set ‘right on time.’ However, in our Stunt Action Film making World, rule of thumb is: they’re already late. Now, you can technically say you ‘were NOT late.’ But it is what it is, if the Coordinator feels you are, too bad. That’s the industry you have chosen and, in that industry, ‘if you’re on time, you’re late.’ PERIOD.
So NEVER BE LATE. In this industry, minutes, even seconds can cost THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. If you think that ANYONE will be waiting for you, in most books, you are too naïve or selfish to be working in this industry anyway...
Get a grip on reality!
You may be able to skate by for a time, but in due time, you will notice that your phone is no longer ringing, and your reputation has reached the four corners of the earth.
- Have you mapped out the route the night before?
- Are you aware of potential traffic conditions, or road construction that may be happening on a once familiar route?
- If you are taking PUBLIC transportation, are you AWARE of the transfers and time between?
PLAN AHEAD, PLAN AHEAD, PLAN AHEAD!
- Have you planned for the worse? Do you have the proper phone numbers IN HAND should you get into a car accident, you can call and make people aware? (Take Pictures if you have to)!
- PRO TIP: If you’re working far from set, or have ANY doubts about getting somewhere on time, LEAVE MANY HOURS EARLY. Better be early, than SORRY and later fired. You DON'T want to get a tainted reputation! Who cares if you are the first to set, right after security, get there early.
- PRO TIP: Consider staying at a hotel nearby the night before, or, multiple nights throughout your shoot. This makes it feel like a work vacation too, it breaks up the day-to-day monotony and most importantly, you can get more rest by getting back to your bed hours earlier, versus waiting in traffic for hours!
- You can rest assured that you’ll not be in stressful traffic for hours and get some extra R & R! Many of us do this, ALL THE TIME! The $100 per night cost for a hotel is WELL WORTH IT! Simply calculate the time you spend in traffic, VS your hourly rate and you’ll be able to easily justify this TAX DEDUCTIBLE EXPENSE!
No matter what, be there early enough to find out where base camp is, find out where you will be dressing, where you are eating. Ask yourself:
- What equipment is needed when I get dressed? Are you fully padded?
- Know what items you’ll need on set. Do you need to get certain weapons here, or there? Getting to a set early, allows you time to figure all these things out, without stress.
BE EARLY. BE READY. BE PREPARED.
Ask Questions and Understand what the Job is!
- Do you know what equipment is needed for the gig?
- Do you know what YOU are expected to bring?
- Let’s say you’re driving:
- Have you checked the car?
- Have you test driven it?
- Have you checked the harness within it?
- Does it fit you, with your wardrobe?
- Can you MOVE well in it?
- Are the buckles easy to escape should something go wrong?
- Or let’s say it’s with an animal, or horse, have you met the animal / horse first?
- Or, will you be meeting the animal right before the shot? (not recommended). Knowing these things are absolutely important.
Treat the Job on camera, as the FINAL PERFORMANCE.
- No matter what, BE INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS.
- Do your HOMEWORK! Understand what is expected! Do you need to shave the night before or should you wait? Do NOT assume your hand is going to be held from Point A to Point B!
- Look into EVERY FACET, so that you have a clear understanding of the Job! By doing so, you will be far more ready for the shot and things will go smoother.
- Ask questions and get answers. Again, DO YOUR HOMEWORK, just as you would in ANY other profession. It’s common sense, but not too many exercise their common sense. Do NOT be 'that' person. Following these steps will help you get that call again and again, in the future.
- If the set is far away, make sure you have your PADS with you, or be sure you are already WEARING your pads when you arrive to set. Again and again, listen to your Stunt Coordinator and BE SURE you UNDERSTAND what is needed & expected.
COME TO SET PREPARED.
- If you’ve been told something, you are expected to be PAYING ATTENTION, LISTEN TO THE INFORMATION and ACT ON SUCH INFORMATION!
- Coordinators should give out CLEAR, PRECISE information too. Don't let people guess. Be specific and do not assume everyone knows everything
To learn more and dive deeper, check out our Monthly Stunt Mastermind here.
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