You're on this website because you are considering investing in professional stunt training and you have a few choices. What should you do next? Before making a decision and investing your money and time in professional stunt training you need to thoroughly research the training establishment and the people who run it. To let you know, we refer to ours as a "stunt training center" because of the reputation several of those referring to themselves as "stunt schools" have earned in the industry because of their large class sizes, poor safety practices, and lack of experience and connections with the working film and TV industry.
1) Check out the people who run the training on www.IMDb.com. Do they have recent credits on films and TV shows with which you are familiar? Or have they not really worked for over 20 years? Do they only have a few credits on films you've never heard of? Do they have a coordinating and/or performing demo reel you can watch posted on IMDb or elsewhere? If someone who supposably has enough knowledge to be teaching stunts doesn't have a stunt coordinating and performing demo reel showing produced clips of their work it's a serious red flag.
2) Carefully read their testimonials and talk to people who have trained with them. Look up the people who wrote the testimonials on IMDb. Do they work in the industry? Are there working stunt people and coordinators who recommend their training? If you don't personally know anyone who trained with them, see if they can provide you with someone they can talk to, and look up that person's credits before calling. One of the main things is to ask is if they felt the training was safe.
3) Find out more about them and the training they offer. Some of the things you should look for:
A) Small class sizes:
We have no more than 8 trainees in a class, so you will get the personal attention you need to learn new stunt skills safely and effectively with proper technique. We give frequent positive feedback including video playback at least daily to speed the learning process. Small class size means you learn safely and progressively, with plenty of time to practice.
B) Industry connections:
We work in the industry today as coordinators and performers and can talk to you about current practices, things you need to know to keep yourself and others safe, etc. We also have decades of experience in Hollywood with longstanding friendships. During the training session we have visitors including a number of working stunt people and sometimes stunt coordinators stop by enabling you to start networking during the training session.
C) Employment assistance:
What happens after the class? Do they offer guidance on how to get jobs? Have they ever helped the people who train with them get into the SAG-AFTRA union? Have they ever personally hired the people who trained with them as stunt performers? While we do not guarantee that you will become a working stunt performer, we offer guidance on putting together headshots and resumes, tips on how to get work, and advice that will increase your employability. To date we have helped over 50 trainees get their SAG-AFTRA cards enabling them to get started in the industry, whether personally hiring them on shows we run, recommending them to other coordinators, or guiding them through putting in claims that resulted in their getting their cards. A number of the top stunt professionals working in the industry today got their start with us. Take a look at our "Testimonals" page to see a few of them and what they had to say about us and our training.
Watch the video below to see behind-the-scenes footage from the International Stunt School and decide for yourself: