Culture and Society

How do you become a stunt driver?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Ever since the movie Thunder Road hit the big screen back in 1958, car chases have been popular in movies. Car chases require skilled drivers who can perform the stunts safely and take direction to make the scene come out the way it's intended. After all, how many times can you afford to crash James Bond's Aston Martin? One way to become a stunt driver is by enrolling in a precision driving school. These courses, which are held all around the world, are up to five days long and will teach you the most common maneuvers used in films. Examples of the stunts you'll learn include hard breaking to a specific point, fishtails, full rotations with locked wheels and backward and forward slides. The cost to attend a driving school varies, with the more highly regarded ones charging thousands of dollars. Although these schools won't find work for you, they're good places to meet people who can.

    Stunt drivers also can find work outside of film, at least to gain experience or get though leaner times. For example, they may perform at county and state fairs or other events. Once they move on to commercials and feature films, top drivers can make six figures [source: Sahadi]. Stunt driving is all about safety and accuracy, not bravery and who can fly the fastest or farthest.

    If you want to be a stunt driver, it's good to start young. Many roles require looking like the young actors starring in the movies, so gaining experience before turning too old is a good idea. Stunt drivers who pass the optimum age for stunt jobs might move into stunt coordinator positions, especially if they've had some experience. It also helps to be fit, not just to look good for any on-camera shots, but for the physical nature of the job. Many car-related stunts can be physically demanding and even cause injuries.

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