I always get asked whether actors who make this claim are being honest. There is no easy answer to this question. Originally, in most of the old west movies of the early 1900’s, actors would do their own stunts. They would be expected to know how to throw a punch and sell a hit. If you look back at those movies, you can certainly tell that they were better actors than stunt performers though.
Along with work from DC, Marvel, Image, and IDW, Matthew Dow Smith has several licensed properties on his resume supplying the art for the comic versions of Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Mirror's Edge. Dow speaks about these projects as a creative and professional opportunity for those aspiring to work in comics.
When I decided I wanted to be a stunt person people thought I was crazy and to this day, I am not entirely convinced they are wrong. I knew nothing really about the business. It sounds silly, but I never even knew that stunt people existed until my mid 20’s. I didn’t assume that the actors did it all, I just never even thought about how it was all put together. That’s why I was never really good at watching horror movies… I could never just see it as make-up and special effects. So with all this in mind, when someone suggested I become a stunt person and I thought that sounded interesting, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
If I said last year that Hollywood couldn’t get any more unoriginal, I lied. No one ever went broke overestimating the lack of creativity in America’s most creative medium. It was déjà vu all over again in 2010, with a constant parade of sequels, remakes and the latest form of recycling, “reboots.”
While the Harry Potter series went off in new, not necessarily better directions, other franchises continued wearing out their welcomes, whether with the seventh edition (“Saw”), the fourth (“Shrek”), the third (“Narnia”) or the second (“Sex and the City”). Attempts to launch new franchises – as close as Hollywood can come to original thought – fell flat in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and “The Last Airbender.”
Who’s got the best handshake – Indiana Jones or The Man With No Name? Why did Scott Pilgrim fail at the box office? What does the iPad mean for the comic industry? And, how do you turn Brandon Routh from Superman to Italy’s premier private investigator?
As a life-long comic geek and more recent comic book movie producer, when the guys here first told me of their plans to launch this site, I thought it was a great idea. And then when they asked if I might write a regular spot I jumped at the chance. I can’t wait to get going but when I sat down to write my first column, I figured I should probably introduce myself and let you guys decide if you’re interested in joining me.
For most of my life, I was in sales and management. The closest I got to film making was writing, directing and filming a teaching film for a concrete company I worked for over 20 years ago. I really enjoyed doing it though and I guess the feeling stuck with me all these years.
I am an observer and learn many things from being on sets. I love the opportunities that God has given me to learn and grow by watching other actors. My favorite sets to be on, so far, are the movies: The Joneses with Demi Moore and The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock..
Does the thought of getting up at 2 or 3 AM to go to work appeal to you? How about a job where the “average” working day is a minimum of 12 hours and frequently goes on for 14-16 hours instead? If so, then let me introduce you to the world of Extras!
So who can be an extra? Anybody! What’s the number one thing extras casting companies look for? “The Look" or "The Type" but what the heck does that mean?
When I first thought about being a stunt performer, I can’t really remember what I thought the career entailed. One thing I am sure of though was that the reality really didn’t end up matching the dream. It was harder, more painful, more exciting and more rewarding than I ever dreamed.