Thursday, 11 April 2013

How to become a Bollywood stuntman

A Bollywood movie's action scenes can attract crowds to the theaters. At the heart of these scenes are stunts performed by doubles who enact the stunts in place of the main actors in the film. Naturally, a stuntman's life on the movie sets is fraught with danger with his life at great risk. Nevertheless, there are still people who enter this risky career. Today we even have stunt women doubling for the leading ladies of the silver screen.

How to take up a career as a stuntman or stunt woman
You probably think you can record a video of your stunts and showcase it to somebody in the Bollywood business. Another option is to catch the attention of a Bollywood director or producer and the social networking sites are a great platform to show of your skills.

Actually, though, if you want to be an official stuntman or stunt woman for Bollywood movies, you first must register yourself as a member of the Movie Stunt Artists Association (MSAA). You need to submit a formal application for membership - and pray you get selected, because barely a dozen odd applications are accepted in a year.

The next step is to get properly trained, with the training period possibly stretching to 2-3 years. You should be aware that you don't get any stipend or other pay during the training period. You have to manage your own finances.

Once the training period is over, it is not necessary that you will immediately get to work in a film. You may have to wait till an existing stuntman drops out or retires.

The induction fee for a membership slot is not properly known, but you could be paying more than Rs.75,000/-. Due to the setting up of the MSAA and its strong union, there is a pension plan in place for retirees & those who get injured while at work. As for the salary you get as an official stuntman or stuntwoman, it could be anywhere between Rs.3000/- to Rs.9,000/- for a 8 to 9 hour work day.

After about 5-6 years, you can take up the role of an assistant action director and perhaps later even become an action director yourself.

Location of Movie Stunt Artists Association: Andheri, Mumbai, Maharashtra (exact address not known as different sites are showing different addresses and phone numbers).