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Cinema Junkie Episode 212: Crew Call — Stunt Performers Edition

Get an insider’s look at job where you get set on fire, thrown off buildings

Stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director Brad Martin (center with...

Credit: Brad Martin

Above: Stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director Brad Martin (center with camera) on the set of "The Expendables 3."

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When Brad Martin goes into work there’s a very real possibility his boss could ask to set him on fire. That's because he’s a stunt man.

Comic-Con just wrapped up ... Read more →

Aired: July 28, 2021 | Transcript

Most people would be wary of a job that asked that they be set on fire, thrown off of buildings, and occasionally blown up but not Brad Martin.

As a kid growing up in the 1980s he was inspired by the crazy antics of Lee Majors in TV's "The Fall Guy," who was a Hollywood stuntman.

"I just remembered that that was a career that I had heard of when I was growing up," Martin recalled. "And I was like wait a second, that’s something that sounds perfect for me."

And it was. Brad Martin is now a stuntman, stunt coordinator and second unit director with credits on "The Matrix Reloaded," "Live Free and Die Hard," "Tropic Thunder," "Batman V Superman," and TV’s "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier."

Photo credit: Brad Martin

Brad Martin in costume to double as Spider-Man.

Photo credit: Brad Martin

Brad Martin demonstrating some wire work on "The Other Guys."

Stuntman have occasionally been the focus of movies whether it’s Richard Rush’s trippy what’s real, what’s an illusion romp "The Stunt Man" or the raucous portrait of Australian stuntman Grant Page in Brian Trenchard-Smith’s "Stunt Rock" or Quentin Tarantio's recent "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." But perhaps the best known film about stuntmen is the one made by stuntman-turned director Hal Needham, "Hooper."

There’s also a new documentary out called "Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story," which explores the particular challenges of being a stuntwoman in Hollywood.

Photo credit: Mickey Facchinello

Mickey Facchinello on the set of "Black Widow" where she stunt doubled for actress Scarlett Johansson.

Mickey Facchinello is one of the stunt women featured in that film. She’s worked in the industry less than a decade but has already demonstrated her versatility in terms of dealing with the ever changing landscape for stunt work. So in addition to doing traditional action and doubling for stars she has also brought her expertise to the computer realm doing "pre-viz" or previsualization, which involves visualizing complex action in a movie before filming as well as motion capture for animation, video games and movies.

Photo credit: Mickey Facchinello

Mickey Facchinello (far right) doing motion capture work.

For this podcast, I speak with Martin and Facchinello about how to become a stunt person and what the job entails.

I also recommend that you check out my podcasts with stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski and with stuntman Fernando Jay Huerto paying tribute to Jackie Chan.

Then check out the new Geeky Gourmet where I show you how to make edible blood and then use it as a special effect in a movie.

Geeky Gourmet Serves Up Edible Blood

Reported by Beth Accomando , Video by Roland Lizarondo

And just like stunt performers have a team to support them, Cinema Junkie has a kick-ass crew that includes podcast coordinator Kinsee Morlan, technical director Rebecca Chacon and director of sound design Emily Jankowski.

If you would like to submit a Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey, then email me at baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line.

  • Your curated weekly guide to local arts and culture in San Diego, from Arts Calendar Editor Julia Dixon Evans, delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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