For as long as there has been cinema, there has been a proud and noble group of professionals brave (or crazy) enough to perform the perilous and impressive stunts which make movies great.
In this independent full length documentary (available in its entirety online thanks to its filmmakers Aiste Jauraite and Skaiste Jauraite) - IN PRAISE OF ACTION - we get a rare in-depth look behind the scenes of the “invisible” people who risk life and limb to bring the most spectacular scenes in movies to life.
As told by those who have worked in the profession for decades, it’s fascinating to see how stunts have been such an important part of filmmaking from the very earliest days.
From the first horse falls in The Great Train Robbery to the highly choreographed (but still incredibly dangerous) feats of professional stunt doubles on some of Hollywood’s biggest modern blockbusters, we get first hand accounts of the great lengths (and huge risks) these stunt people have endured for the sake of cinema.
Appreciating the Stunt People
It’s pretty amazing how little recognition stunt people have received in Hollywood over the years compared to their peers in the filmmaking industry. For any filmmaker trying to choreograph and safely plan stunts of their own, it becomes quickly apparent just how much skill goes into the craft - especially at the highest blockbuster levels.
And while we certainly wouldn’t recommend trying any of the above at home, if you are interested in the industry (or just adding smaller, safer DIY stunts to your own project), here are some great resources and interviews to give you more insights into the craft.
Including How We Recreated the Epic Cliff Jump from '300' with Everyday Materials, 3 Things You Should Know about Using Breakaway Glass and Exploring the Wonderful World of Stunts with a Pro Stunt Coordinator.