Coordinator's Corner: Jeff Barnett
What has been the biggest highlight of your career? Transitioning into a young Stunt Coordinator at such an early age was a huge deal for me. A part of me wants to say being nominated for SAG Awards, Taurus Awards, and an Emmy for best Stunt Coordinator... but I feel like the early transition from stunt guy to Coordinator in my mid-20’s was a vital step in the right direction to lay the foundation early and I’ve never looked back. What is the greatest lesson you have learned over the years as a stunt coordinator? Never let them rush you, ever. Safety and preparation is priority. If you're a stunt performer and something feels off or un-safe, always go to your Stunt Coordinator and tell him, don’t ever be afraid to speak up! What are the greatest qualities you seek out in a stunt performer? 100% honesty! Be straight up when I call and ask if you're comfortable and have the skills I need for the job - DON’T STRETCH THE TRUTH. I also extremely appreciate when the stunt is executed maybe one too many times to our liking and the stunt player's attitude gets fiercer and hungrier each time - that’s a special breed. What advice would you give up and coming stunt performers? Be patient, wait your turn, your time will come. Be sincere of who are and what you're comfortable doing. No need to fake it, you’ll be found out, and won’t work. Be honest, be respectful and have integrity. I’m a little more laid back and have more of a relaxed vibe to me so I’m really approachable and don’t mind shooting the breeze and talking story with the people I hire - I actually dig it. Be humble! Try and telegraph and always have eyes on the Stunt Coordinator so you can get what he needs before he realizes he needs it. What do you love most about the stunt community? The cohesiveness we all share. That brotherhood that’s as thick as thieves. We all have it in our own special circles we run with and work with. When the friendships flow from after work to the pool, ocean, bar, dinner, casino, on location... those are the memories I’ll hold onto forever. The most refreshing part for me is when guys can put work aside and bond over other things they’re passionate about like sports, religion, the perfect golf swing, real estate, supercross, tennis, surfing, etc... Those conversations are the ones that get me psyched because you learn who a person is on another level and appreciate them for something other than the guy you might only know between action and cut.