Some actors like the physical demands and excitement of stunt work and have the conditioning, skills and training to execute these stunts safely. But what if you’re an actor who embraces character arcs rather than bruises and Band-Aids? More and more actors are being asked to perform their own stunts, especially when it comes to low budget films. What should you know when it comes to stunts and safety on the set?
The stunt coordinator and the 1st AD are responsible for safety on the set. Although the stunt coordinator oversees safety on the set, the First Assistant Director is actually the first person in charge of safety. If you feel unsafe over something you are being asked to do, and the stunt coordinator is busy, you should approach the 1st AD with your concerns.
Actors have the right to ask for a stunt double. If you are asked to do a stunt not previously discussed or agreed upon, you can request a stunt double. Pushing yourself to perform a stunt you don’t feel qualified to do only increases the risk of getting injured.
Actors have the right to request a stunt coordinator. When required to perform a stunt or stunt-related activity and there is no stunt coordinator present, you can ask for one. A stunt coordinator can take care of getting you a stunt double, or find a way to adapt the action into something you can do safely.