What has been the biggest highlight of your career? Receiving the Red Bull Taurus Award as Best Stunt Coordinator for LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. What is the greatest lesson you have learned over the years as a stunt coordinator? Aside from safety, good communication is the most important quality of a good stunt coordinator. Shots and sequences in movies are more often than not, extremely specific.
If one is not able to relay the information properly, in regards to what is trying to be achieved, often times multiple takes are needed just to figure out the goal. When it is time to do big gags that take huge, time-consuming resets, communication is of the utmost importance. What are the greatest qualities you seek out in a stunt performer? Skill sets aside, a good performer must listen and be attentive. I also am drawn to performers who are always working on their craft to become better film makers, by learning all the parts of how films are made, even outside of the stunt department. Being a better film maker will make one a better performer. What advice would you give up and coming stunt performers? TRAIN, LEARN and STUDY. If you want to make a great living in this business, look to the performers that already are. Find out what they do, what they study. They are the benchmarks for what you are trying to achieve. At work, keep your eyes open and mouths closed. Having said that, if you have a question about work, find the coordinator (when not busy) or a fellow performer and ask them. More experienced stunt people are more than happy to educate you as the more people who are aware, the more safe and efficient a set will run.
What do you love most about the stunt community? There is nothing like the comradery of stunt people. We are in a very unique business where, regardless of your personal feelings for someone, there will most likely be a time where you will need to rely and trust that person with your life. This is an unbreakable bond.
Once you have gone down this road with another, the bond made is one, that at least in the example of trust and safety, will last a lifetime. I will always put my life on the line for any stunt performer on any set. And I know the ones whom I have created this bond with will forever do the same for me.