What is a Stunt Coordinator, and What Role Do They Have on the Film Crew?
Stunt Coordinators have one of the most exciting roles in the film crew. They are responsible for coordinating the actions that we see on television and films that are seemingly unbelievable and downright dangerous. Stunt Coordinators pull off extraordinary stunts by working closely with cast, choreography, and various other members of production to pull off insane stunts.
The stunt coordinator is responsible for safely ensuring that staff and crew remain intact when stunts are performed as well as the casting of stunt performers. A stunt coordinator must have a strong ability to work with others, extensive training in learning how to safely perform stunts, and the ability to pay very close attention to the stuntmen and performances they coordinate to ensure everyone on set remains safe.
Stunt Coordinator Responsibilities
First and foremost, stunt coordinators are responsible for ensuring the safety of the film crew. This includes making sure to choreograph all stunts in a way that places minimal risk to the individuals that are hired at stunt actors to play out the role. If a scene is too risky for an actor, a stunt actor comes in and a stunt coordinator works with the stunt actor to coordinate the stunt.
Stunt work is a highly specialized field. Stunt performers work with the stunt coordinators closely to re-enact various scenes that would be deemed too dangerous for the average person or actor to participate in on the set. Most stunt coordinators work their way into this role following time spent as a stunt actor. Therefore, they usually understand the danger involved first-hand and they realize the value in a well-coordinated stunt.
Stunt Coordinators are primarily responsible for the safety of the crew, therefore strong knowledge of health and safety hazards is a must. Additionally, stunt coordinators must be able to work closely with the stunt actors and other members of the set to ensure that the acts are choreographed and that everything comes together at the appropriate time.
Stunt coordinators sometimes work with other production staff to ensure a scene comes together just right even if there is not a major stunt in it. They must be able to responsibly ensure that any stunts or actions that are performed on the set are done so with absolute safety in mind. Stunt coordinators are also part of the casting of stunt performers in the film.
Stunt coordinators specialize in certain types of stunts most of the time. So one may specialize in water stunts or underwater activities while another specializes in air stunts. This is a highly demanding role that requires great care for others. Therefore strong interpersonal skills, communication, and the ability to fluidly understand risk and assess danger is required.
Stunt Coordinator Skills
The skills of the stunt coordinator will likely vary from one to the next. Most include strong written and verbal communication and the ability to work closely with others under pressure.
Additionally, stunt coordinators must:
● Understand health and safety regulations on set.
● Be prepared to work closely with unique actors and talent.
● Properly plan, consult asses, and enact stunts in a safe manner.
● Coordinate with others to produce stunts that are realistic yet safe.
● Solve problems and seamlessly flow from one situation to the next.
● Train others in stunt coordination, falls, and stunts in general.