Balance high above the ground on just a rope to amaze circus crowds.
They captivate audiences because they look spur-of-the-moment and spontaneous. In reality, however, the explosions, car wrecks, fistfights, and falls you see on TV and in movies aren’t at all impromptu. Instead, they’re carefully planned, prepared for, and rehearsed by a Stunt Coordinator.
As a Stunt Coordinator, you rarely perform stunts. Always, however, you’re the person planning them. Employed by film studios or production companies, you’re tasked with choreographing stunts and special effects. Whether it’s a knife fight in a bar, a superhero flying through the air, or a helicopter crashing into the ground, you’re paid as a Stunt Coordinator to produce the “cool” factor efficiently, affordably, and — most importantly — safely.
To accomplish that, you collaborate with Special Effects Technicians, Makeup Artists, and Prop Masters to design stunts. First, you study scripts in order to determine stunt requirements, then conduct risk assessments to determine potential hazards, such as fire, noise, animals, weapons, water, moving vehicles, etc. Next, you implement safety measures, including emergency and evacuation plans, personal protective equipment, and exclusion zones.
You might also recruit subject-matter experts as Consultants, such as Deep Sea Divers who consult on underwater stunts or Pilots who consult on stunts involving aircraft. In addition, you hire and train qualified Stunt Performers, and coordinate stunt logistics, including stunt locations, equipment, permits, and materials. Finally, you oversee the rehearsal of stunts prior to filming.
With the exception of a General leading his or her platoon into battle, yours is probably the only job where you can order people to light themselves on fire, scale tall buildings, and jump out of airplanes. Wield your power wisely!