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  • Writer's pictureErol Mehmet

Stunt performing

When my son asked me why I wanted to be a stuntman I had a quick and easy answer, I was impressed by action movies and I wanted to be in them.

I don’t know how I would feel if he said he wants to do the same, maybe we could do father and son stunts so I know I would always be there to catch him.

There goes my macho street credibility. I’m a big softie really.

Even to this day, I have total admiration for many stunt performers all over the world. I respect their bravery, their creativity and their ability to pull off the most impressive stunts.

It takes great skill and understanding to choreograph safe, realistic and breathtaking action scenes of which some audiences won’t appreciate the complexity and risk factor.

As a child, watching TV for the first 8 years of my life was a little bit of an emotional journey. When I was a small boy I remember the moment I realised that people weren’t really shooting each other dead on the TV and that it was all pretend - I felt quite relieved really.

I began to have a fascination with how the action on TV or in movies looked so real. I couldn’t work out how the actors would fight and not hurt each other. However, it all made sense after my dad explained to me about stuntmen and stuntwomen.

The action man seed was sewn after I watched the famous nunchaku scene in ‘Enter the Dragon’. I wanted to be like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung - that was when I took a great interest in martial arts.

Years went by, I trained to be a stuntman and here I am today.

I have a passion for what I do and I also have a very good awareness of risk and danger having done 25 years of service in the London Fire Brigade.

Stuntmen and stuntwomen are responsible for some of the most impressive thrilling scenes that we see in the movies and on TV. They put themselves at risk to pull off complicated fight scenes, high falls, car chases and explosions - all the things that capture an audience and instil excitement or fear.

I could talk about so many famous, successful and very talented stuntmen and stuntwomen and I will over time through different blog posts that I write.

For me, one of the all-time most talented stuntman and performer is Jackie Chan, a very successful Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film director and producer. He is well known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons and innovative stunts which he normally performs himself. Jackie Chan has appeared in over 150 films.

To reduce the risk of injury or death, most stunts are choreographed or mechanically rigged and safety mechanisms are built into the performance. However, even with the best choreography and safety precautions, there are sadly some fatal accidents in the stunt world.

Stunts can be very dangerous and physically testing. Most film and TV stunt performers must be trained in a variety of disciplines including martial arts and stage combat and must be a certified trained member of a professional stunt performer’s organisation first so that they can obtain the needed insurance to perform on stage or screen.

For me, stunt performing has been an important part of my life and I hope to be jumping through hoops, not off burning buildings, well into my 80’s!

If you would like to talk about any aspect of stunt performing or you are interested in working together, contact me today. I’m always keen to link up with people in the industry knowing that I can learn something from everyone.

Tel: 07770934916

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