There’s a lot more to stunts than viewers realise. In an interview with Cultress published recently, James Bamford explains the importance of performance and knowledge of cameras that have helped make him a successful stunt double, fight choreographer and have assisted as he has made the transition to directing.
“After beginning as a performer, it was clear to me that one must study the camera and those controlling [it] on set to fully understand what being a solid stunt professional is about. It’s what being a solid filmmaker is about. The camera is the key. If you don’t understand it, you don’t understand the process.”
James has worked over 70,000 hours on set with a multitude of talented directors and film crew such as Glen Winter, Kim Manners, David Nutter, Bryan Singer, Peter DeLuise, Michael Schultz and Wendey Stanzler, among others. He shares that working over 70,000 hours on films and TV shows has provided him with the best education to prepare him for the challenge of directing:
“I’ve been studying since I began working in the film industry in 1991. Studying the stunt performers, stunt coordinators, actors, and studying the directors. I can’t count how many directors I’ve worked beside over those years, but I’ve tried to take some piece of advice or learn something from each one.”
James discusses his natural progression to directing and shines a light on what goes into filming our favourite scenes. Its an interview well worth reading.
Full interview (2 pages) Arrow: James Bamford on how stunt work prepared him for directing