As a close-up magician, I was using gambling cheating techniques.
A James Bond movie is a stuntman's dream. I was in a helicopter firing a machine gun at Piers Brosnan escaping on a motorbike.
My whole life I've actually been training to be a stunt man without realising it. I've always loved extreme sports, and I now I get paid for it.
I was in a peacetime army. It was like something out of a Le Carre novel: studying the habits of your enemy. It was very exciting. It's interesting living life as a civilian, then on Friday night you're parachuting into a foreign country.
If a magician makes a mistake, it's sometimes forgiven by the audience. If a gambling cheat makes a mistake, they will almost certainly lose their lives - and probably in a horrible manner.
A good stunt has to have both style and substance. It's a combination of impact and notoriety, the element of danger, technical execution, and the skill of the stunt performer.
I realised how much misdirection is in stunt co-coordinating. It's similar to magic, the tricks we use to make people think the stunt is real. I also have a lifelong fascination with gambling cheats. I'm not one, but I do have a fascination with it.
Stunt performing is a highly structured career path - you have to gain qualifications in six different sports to a high standard. It takes four or five years and costs at least £20,000; a black belt in a martial art from scratch costs a fortune.
Yakima Canutt was famously John Wayne's stunt double, and in the Western movie 'Stagecoach,' there is a fantastic scene where there are some horses thundering along, pulling a carriage. He climbs out onto the horses and drops down underneath them, so he's being dragged along, and then he lets go.
A James Bond movie is a stuntman's dream.
I work in film, TV, commercials and do live PR stunts for companies. A lot of my time is spent reading scripts and looking at designing sequences, speaking to directors and producers about how they want the sequences to look, how they will work and budgeting those stunts.
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