A stunt is an unusual and difficult physical feat, or any act requiring a special skill, performed for artistic purposes in
TV, theatre, or cinema. Stunts are a big part of many action movies.
computer generated imagery special effects, these effects were limited to the use of models, false perspective and other in-camera effects - unless the creator could find someone willing to jump from car to car or hang from the edge of a skyscraper- the stunt performer.
One of the most-frequently used practical stunts is
stage combat. Although contact is normally avoided, many elements of stage combat, such as sword fighting, martial arts, and acrobaticsrequired contact between performers in order to facilitate the creation of a particular effect, such as noise or physical interaction.
Stunt performances are highly choreographed and may be rigorously rehearsed for hours, days and sometimes weeks before a performance. Seasoned professionals will commonly treat a performance as if they have never done it before, since the risks in stunt work are high, every move and position must be correct to reduce risk of injury from accidents.
* Tripping and falling down
* High jump
* Extreme Sports
* High Diving
HK spin, Gainer falls, suicide backflips and other martial artsstunts seen in martial arts films
A physical stunt is usually performed with help of mechanics.
For example, if the plot requires the hero to jump to a high place, the film crew could put the actor in a special harness, and use
aircraft high tension wireto pull him up. Piano wire is sometimes used to fly objects, but an actor is never suspended from it as it is brittle and can break under shock impacts. " Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) is a kung-fumovie that was heavily reliant on wire stunts.
Performers of vehicular stunts require extensive training and may employ specially adapted vehicles. Stunts can be as simple as a
handbraketurn, also known as the bootleg turn, or as advanced as car chases, jumps and crashes involving dozens of vehicles. Rémy Julienneis a well known pioneering automotive stunt performer and coordinator.
Computer generated effects
In the late 20th century stunt men were placed in dangerous situations less and less as
filmmakers turned to relatively inexpensive (and much safer) computer graphicseffects using harnesses, fans, blue- or green screens, and a huge array of other devices and digital effects. " The Matrix" (1999) is a hit action movie that used CGI stunts extensively.
* Face replacement
tars who do stunts
In the early days of cinema, some actors such as
Buster Keatonand Charlie Chaplindid most of their own physical stunts. However, as these performances were usually very dangerous and many movie stars were not so athletic, filmmakers and insurancecompanies turned to hiring stunt doubles to do the stunts.
Most action movie actors today use stunt doubles, though some of them do a few of their own stunts to please movie fans. One famous exception to this norm has been
Jackie Chanfrom Hong Kong. Igor Breakenback, an actor, stuntmanand once Jackie Chan's Body Doublewho is highly skilled in I Go Ryu Jiu Jitsu, also does all his stunts without assistance or wires. Phanom Yeerum, an actorwho is highly skilled in Muay Thai, also does all his stunts without assistance.
Popular Indian actor
Jayanused to do physical stunts without stunt doubles. He was killed in a helicopter crash while doing a stunt for a Malayalamlanguage movie in 1980. Hrithik Roshantoo performed his own stunts for the much acclaimed films Krrish and Dhoom 2 that sprang him to instant stardom after his break with the movie Kaho Na Pyar Hai in which he played a macho man in the second half.
Notable among the professional Hollywood stuntmen are
Yakima Canuttand Dar Robinson.
In his movies,
Tom Cruiseperforms many of his own stunts without doubles, including the "" Trilogy and "Minority Report" Fact|date=July 2007.
Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensonas Aragornperformed all of his own stunts, including swordplay, insisting it would look more authentic, and sustained several injuries as a result.
ome notable movie stunts
Good Luck With That"Actor and Stuntman Igor Breakenbackdoes the worlds first Yoga Ball Fight, involving more then 20 Yoga Balls at the same time.The Stunt Action Feature Comedy " Good Luck With That" has some never before seen real stunts, real pain, no wires, and no CGI!
Safety Last"Silent comedian Harold Lloydclimbs the entire height of a Los Angeles, California, skyscraper without wires, or nets. Lloyd dangles from a broken clock face on the topmost floor above moving traffic despite having only three fingers on his right hand.
Steamboat Bill, Jr."The front of a house falls down with Buster Keatonstanding in the exact position of an open window, leaving him unharmed. His stone-faced expression remains.
Joe CanuttJudah Ben-Hur rides his chariotover the wreck of a competitor. He is launched over the front of his chariot and barely manages to hang on to the front as he climbs back up.
* "The Great Escape"Pursued by Germans,
Bud Ekinsas Capt. Virgil “The Cooler King” Hilts jumps his motorcycleconvert|60|ft|0 over a barbed-wire fence... but does not quite make it to safety.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"Trapped by the Superposse, Butch and Sundance leap off a cliff into raging waters knowing that the "fall will probably kill [them] ". Mickey Gilbertdoubled for Robert Redfordand Howard Curtisdoubled for Paul Newman.
* "Papillon"Papillon makes his final bid for freedom by leaping from a cliff into the sea.
Dar Robinsondoubled for Steve McQueen, his first major stunt in a Hollywoodfilm.
* "Live and Let Die"
Ross Kanangaas James Bonduses four crocodiles as stepping stones to reach safety on the other side. Kananga, who owned the crocodile farm seen in the film, and after whom the main villain is named, did the stunt five times wearing the same crocodile skin shoes as his character had chosen to wear. During the fourth attempt, the last crocodile bit through the shoe and into his foot. The fifth attempt is one seen on film, with the tied-down crocodiles snapping at his feet as he passes over them.
* "Live and Let Die"In the same film,
Jerry Comeauxas James Bondjumps his speedboat convert|70|ft|0 over a police car, a record that remained for 15 years.
* "The Man with the Golden Gun"
"Bumps" Williardas James Bonddriving a AMC Hornetleaps a broken bridge and spins around 360 degrees in mid-air, doing an "aerial twist". Willard was paid £30,000 for the stunt, which was held under EON Productions copyrightfor several years afterwards.
* "The Man Who Would Be King"A major character dies when the rope bridge he is standing on is cut. British stuntman Joe Powell volunteered for the stunt after the rest of the stuntmen came down with a mysterious ailment. He fell convert|80|ft|0 onto cardboard boxes balanced on the edge of a ravine. If he had missed the boxes, no safety wire or parachute would have stopped him falling to the bottom of the ravine. Making the situation more dangerous was the rope bridge, which caused Powell to spin as he fell.
* "The Spy Who Loved Me"
Rick Sylvesterplaying James Bondescapes the bad guys by skiingoff a cliff in the Austrian Alps(actually Mount Asgardin the Arctic Circle) then releasing a parachute. Sylvester waited two weeks for the weather atop Mount Asgardto change. Finally he had a 15 minute window to make the jump. Five cameras were meant to record the stunt, but only the master shot worked. Sylvester was allegedly paid US$100,000 for the stunt. As he falls, one of his skis hits the parachute on its way down. It shows just how dangerous the stunt really was.
A.J. Bakunasas Hollywood stuntman Hooper leaps from a helicopter onto an airbag convert|232|ft|0 below, a record that remains to this day.
* "Highpoint"The hero fights the villain atop the world's tallest freestanding structure,
Toronto's CN Tower, and the villain loses. Doubling the villain was Dar Robinson who opened his parachute just convert|300|ft|0 from the ground after a fall lasting six seconds. Robinson was paid US$100,000.
* "Conan the Barbarian"
Corrie Jansenleaps convert|182|ft|0 from a cliff, a record freefall for a woman.
Raiders of the Lost Ark" Indiana Jonesclimbs underneath a moving truck and is dragged along behind it before climbing back on board. The stunt was performed by Terry Leonard. Leonard agreed to do the stunt only if his good friend, stuntman Glenn H. Randall Jr., was driving the truck.
Smokey and the Bandit II"The Bandit leaps his Pontiac Trans-Am motorcarfrom the back of trailer, setting a record that remains to this day.
Sharky's Machine"Sharky ( Burt Reynolds) punches the villain through the window of the [http://atlantaregency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp Hyatt Regency Atlanta] .To achieve the affect, stuntman Dar Robinson. ran at the window, then at the last moment, spun around to go backwards through the glass and land on an airbag. It is the highest freefall (convert|220|ft|0) from a building without a cable or parachute.
Blue Thunder"Renegade cop Roy Scheider, flying the state-of the-art “Blue Thunder” helicopter, is chased by a policehelicopter down storm drains in Los Angeles, weaving between the varying support legs until his pursuer eventually crashes.
Romancing the Stone" Vince Deadrick Jr.and Terry Leonardas Joan Wilder and Jack Colton leap from a car as it falls over an convert|80|ft|0|adj=on waterfall.
Back to the Future"During the skateboardchase, Marty McFlyruns over the top of Biff Tannen's convertible and rejoins his skateboard on the other side.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"While rampaging through a mall, Genghis Khan rides up to a trampoline, does a somersault off of it, and lands back on his skateboard.
Dar Robinsonasked to play the part of the albinokiller in this Burt Reynolds directed Elmore Leonardadaptation so the audience would be more shocked by the villain's death. Without cutting away, Robinson was filmed falling backwards off a hotel balcony emptying his revolver at Reynolds' as he fell. A thin cable ran up Robinson's leg to a harness around his waist to arrest his fall just feet off the ground.
The Living Daylights"This was the third variation on a stunt that had appeared first in Moonraker and then in Octopussy; James Bondbattles a bad guy while they are both hanging outside a plane. In this case, Bond and the villainous Necros fight as they cling to a cargo net filled with bags of opium hanging out the rear of a Sovietcargo plane. All three stunt sequences were done with ace parachutists Jake Lombardand B.J. Worth. Lombard, who had previously doubled for Roger Moore, took the part of Necros here, while Worth finally got to play Bond by doubling Timothy Dalton.
Amsterdamned" Nick Gillardas Eric Visser jumps his speedboat over a bridge in Amsterdam, breaking the record previously set by Live and Let Die.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" Vic Armstrongas Indiana Jonesrides his horse onto a ledge and jumps onto a moving Nazi tank.
* ""The killer
robotT-1000 flies a helicopter in a freeway chase after a S.W.A.T.van driven by The Terminatorand at one point flies under an overpass. As if to prove the stunt was done for real, the pilot attempts a second underpass, but flies away at the last second.
Cliffhanger (film)"Corrupt Treasury agentTravers hijacks a jet carrying US$100 million, then slides down a cable to the villains' Learjet. British stuntman Simon Craneperformed the stunt. When the film's budget could not afford the one million dollars needed to complete the sequence, lead actor Sylvester Stalloneagreed to cut his salary by the same amount.
Billy Mortsdoubles for actor Keanu Reevesas L.A.P.D. copJack Traven, who rips the door off a Jaguar sports car then leaps to the open door of a speeding bus, his feet scraping against the ground.
GoldenEye" Wayne Michaelsas James Bond bungee jumps over a damto break into a Russian chemical weapons factory. Michaels reached convert|100|mph|0 during the jump and came perilously close to the sloping surface of the dam, which was studded with irons struts that could have torn him to pieces. The stunt was further complicated as Bond had to take out a gun during the fall, which threw Michaels off trajectory.
The World Is Not Enough"Echoing The Man with the Golden Gun, Gary Powellas James Bondleaps his boat in a 360 degree spin, wrecking a gun emplacement on the bad girl's boat.
* "Casino Royale (2006)"
Sebastian Foucanas an African bombmaker eludes Daniel Craig's James Bondusing free runningstyle parkour. Foucan's (and the stunt's) notation in the opening credits were a first.
tunts that have gone wrong
Stuntwork accounts for over half of all film-related injuries, with an average of 5 deaths for every 2,000 injuries. From 1980 to 1990 there were 37 deaths relating to accidents during stunts, twenty-four of these deaths involved the use of helicopters.
The Skywayman" (1920 movie)A plane crash killed stunt [Nopilot Ormer Locklear.
* "Noah's Ark(film)(1929)" Several people died, one man lost a leg and a number were injured in a scene where several hundred extras were caught in the 'Great Flood'. The deaths were instrumental in the introduction of film safety regulations in the following year.
* "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
Margaret Hamiltonwas badly burned during a scene in which her character 'vanished' in a burst of flame and smoke, a delay in activating a trap-door catching her in the pyrotechnic device. Her stuntwoman was also injured in a scene involving a smoking broomstick
How the West Was Won (film)(1962)"Stuntman Bob Morganwas seriously injured filming a gunfight on a moving train. Chains holding logs on a flatbed car broke, crushing Morgan as he crouched beside them.
The Flight of the Phoenix(1965)"Stunt pilot Paul Mantzwas killed, and another stuntman seriously injured, when the title plane failed to clear a sand dune and crashed.
Kamen Rider" (1971-1973)"During a scene for Episode 9 ("The Terrifying Cobra-Man"), lead actor Hiroshi Fujioka, fractured his thighbonein a motorcycle stunt when he rode into a telephone poleat 50mph, forcing him out of action. Producers had to use stock and unused footage which was dubbed by Rokurô Naya for the next four episode, causing a dip in the ratings. Producers eventually had no choice but to substituted him with a second character played by Takeshi Sasaki. Fujioka made a return in Episode 53 ("Monster Jaguarman - Deathmatch by Motorcycle Fight"). As neither actors could be axed, the show eded up having two heroes (as opposed to one).
Steel (1979 movie)" A.J. Bakunasdied doubling for George Kennedy in a fall from the Kincaid Towersin Lexington, Kentucky, for the movie "Steel". Bakunas had successfully performed a fall from the ninth floor of the construction site, but when he learned that Dar Robinson had broken his record high fall for a non-movie related publicity stunt, Bakunas returned to perform the fall from the top of the convert|300|ft|m|sing=on construction site. Bakunas performed the fall expertly, but the airbag split and Bakunas was killed.
For Your Eyes Only" (1981)While filming a high speed chase in the bobsleigh-run the four-man bob came out of the run at the wrong place and hit a tree. One of its occupants, a young stuntman named Paolo Rigon, was killed.
* "" (1982)The making of the movie Twilight Zone had consequences that overshadowed the film itself. During the filming of a segment directed by John Landis on
July 23, 1982, actor Vic Morrowand child actors My-Ca Dinh Le(aged 7) and Renee Shin-Yi Chen(aged 6) died in an accident involving a helicopter being used on the set. Without warning, it spun out of control and crashed, decapitating Morrow and one of the children with its blades. The remaining child was crushed to death as the helicoptercrashed.
Cannonball Run II" (1984)Stuntwoman Heidi van Beltz is left a paraplegicafter being thrown from her car during a crash.
* "Top Gun" (1986)Stunt pilot
Art Schollwas killed in an aircraft crash.
Armour of God" (1986)During the filming of a scene which called for Jackie Chanto jump from a wall to a tree branch, unhappy with the first shoot, he performed a second shoot that went wrong as his grip on the branch slipped and Jackie fell 15 feet to the ground below. He landed hard on his head, causing part of his skull to crack and shoot up into his brain. He was flown to the hospital and was in surgery 8 hours later. He now has a plastic plug, and a permanent hole in his head. He is also slightly hard of hearing in one ear from that fall.
Million Dollar Mystery" (1987)Stuntman Dar Robinsondies in a motorcycle accident.
Hired to Kill" (1989)Stuntman Clint Carpenter dies in a helicopter stunt.
* "The Crow" (1993)In one of the most high profile stunt deaths
Brandon Leethe star of the The Crowwas killed 8 days before that film's completion. Prop Masters working under time constraints had failed to notice that the previous firing of a cartridge with only a primer and a bullet in had caused a bullet to lodge in the forcing cone of one of their revolvers. When the first unit used this gun to shoot the death scene, the chamber was loaded with blanks which had no bullets. However, there was still the bullet in the barrel, which was propelled out by the blank cartridge's explosion. Despite being rushed to hospital Lee died within a matter of hours.
Gone Fishin' (film)" (1995)Stuntwoman Janet Wilder is killed and four other people are injured when a speedboat misjudges a ramp and lands in a crowd.
Ah Kam(a.k.a The Stunt Woman)" (1996)Actress Michelle Yeoh, who usually perform her own stunts was seriously injured when she misjudged convert|18|ft|m|sing=on jump off a bridge onto a truck, fracturing a vertebra and was in traction for a month, this sequence can be seen at the end of the film. This was her last stuntwork before Tomorrow Never Dies
* "World Wrestling Federation" eventProfessional wrestler
Owen Hartdied in May 1999's WWE/WWF PPV Over the Edge 1999 after he was scheduled to glide down from the rafters for a ring entrance. This stunt was botched and Owen fell over convert|50|ft|m to the ring below.
XXx"' (2002)Stuntman Harry L. O'Connor was killed in an accident when he failed to rappel parasailing line to land on the submarine, he impacted a bridge at high speed and was killed instantly.
Recognition of stunt performers
Movies such as "Hooper" and "
The Stunt Man" and the 80s television show " The Fall Guy" sought to raise the profile of the stunt performer and debunk the myth that movie stars perform all their own stunts. Noted stunt coordinators Hal Needham, Craig R. Baxleyand Vic Armstrongwent on to direct the action films The Cannonball Run, Action Jackson, Joshua Tree (1993 film). Vic Armstrongbecame the first stuntman to win both an Academy Award (for developing a descender rig as a safe alternative to airbags) and a Baftaaward (for lifetime achievement in film). But the status of stuntmen in Hollywood is still low; despite the fact that few films of any genre or type could be made without them, stunt performers are still seen as working mainly in action movies. Repeated campaigns for a "Best Stunts" Academy Award have been rejected.
In 2001, the first "World Stunt Awards" was held in
Los Angeles. Presented by actor Alec Baldwin, the event had A-list stars presenting the statues to Hollywood's unsung heroes. Arnold Schwarzeneggerwas presented with the first "Lifetime Achievement" award. He presented the awards in 2001. The awards show hands out eight awards: Best Fight, Best Fire Stunt, Best High Work, Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Man, Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Woman, Best Speciality Stunt, Best Work with a Vehicle and Best Stunt Coordinator and/or 2nd Unit Director.
Equality in stunts
In past Hollywood movies it was common for men to double for women and
White Americanstunt performers to double for African-Americanperformers. Veteran stunt man David Sharpe, a man of shorter than average height, often doubled for women in movie serials of the 1930s and '40s. It is now against union rules for stunt performers to double an actor of a different gender or race unless the stunt is so dangerous that there are no other volunteers, for example when B.J. Worthdoubled for the black Jamaican actor Grace Jones parachutingoff the Eiffel Towerin " A View to a Kill". The rise of action heroines like Angelina Jolieand African-American stars like Will Smithhas offered wider opportunities for stunt performers from diverse backgrounds.
The future of stuntwork
A backlash against dangerous stunts following the death of Sonya Jones Fact|date=February 2007, coinciding with developments in Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) that make such stunts unnecessary threatens to reduce stunt performers to the status of body doubles. And yet a backlash against movies that resemble
video games could lead to a resurrection in pure stuntwork. Movies such as The Matrixand have shown how CGI and stunts can be integrated for maximum effect. But - if for no other reason than safety - it is doubtful that the records established by Hooper and Sharky's Machine will be broken anytime soon.
* [http://www.fundistraction.com/2007/05/2007-taurus-world-stunt-awards.html Writeup and Images of the 2007 Taurus World Stunt Awards]
* [http://www.taurusworldstuntawards.com/ Taurus World Stunt Awards]
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