Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Unsung Heroes by Neil Summers

Neil Summers. The Unsung Heroes. Vienna, WV.: The Old West Shop Publishing, 1996.

The author, himself a professional stuntman for over three decades (as of 1996) notes that stunt people are not to be confused with daredevils. While both make dangerous moves, stunt people make their actions appear as a normal flawless part of a movie scene. The stunt work itself is dangerous. Professionals have died and many more injured performing movie stunts.

There are no classes for teaching stunt skills. Stunt people are taught by other stunt people who then pass along this knowledge. Among the lessons stunt people need to learn include not just how to perform the stunts but to perform them in a the correction direction as needed for a camera to film the stunt according to what is needed for an audience to see. In the fast paced world of filming, stunt people need to retain proper caution with the need for quick arrangements of stunts. This requires much skill.

Stunt people makes actors look good. The character (and the actor playing that character) not only gets the public recognition, but this is the goal of a stunt person. The audience has to believe that character, not a stunt person, performed the stunt. A good stunt person does not get the limelight. Yet, they know they are a special elite within Hollywood,

The book presents numerous photographic examples of stunt people in action. It includes some dangerous stunts since prohibited.

No comments: