It's also worth checking out The Action Reel - our podcast and blog full of industry advice, news, interviews, stories about the stunt and action industry and much much more.
Firstly, it's important for you to decide what type of performer you wish to be. There are a few options to chose from and they all have different entries into the industry:
We've created a podcast interview with one of the Directors of the BAA through The Action Reel, our podcast and blog. She goes into great depth about how to become a stunt performer in the UK, it's full of advice and guidance that you won't find anywhere else! If you listen to the end, you'll get a great freebie!
Actor and Action Actor
Should you wish to become an actor, you will need some form of formal acting training and to register with an agent. The more skills to your bow as an actor, the more in demand you may become and in this competitive industry. If you wish to be a screen action actor you should train in screen combat, have high level martial arts training and learn a large range of action/stunt techniques. This will make you a more versatile performer.
Skilled Supporting Artist
Another type of performer a Skilled Supporting Artist or Special Action Extra. At the BAA we use the Skilled Supporting Artist terminology or (SSA) for short.
The role of an SSA is to perform mainly screen combat on productions that require larger performance groups. For example: period/modern battles or large group hooligan scenes. You could be fighting alongside stunt performers and lead actors, depending on how experienced and trained you are.
Training in acting and screen combat are recommended in order to be as proficient as possible.
Any performance route in the screen industry is tough to break into and to make regular reliable work from. That being said, we have hundreds of students who are making a steady income from either skilled supporting artist work, acting or stunt performing.
These successful performers have ensured that they continue to work and promote themselves. To be taken seriously against the wealth of talent in the action industry and to be successful in this business, you must promote yourself as a business. You cannot expect the phone to ring for work, you must be proactive and motivated to network yourself.
As a minimum requirement, you should possess professional headshots, body shots and a showreel.
Absolutely. Our courses are designed to do just that, to introduce you to the world of screen action first hand. Our courses have been designed by some of the UK’s leading British stunt co-ordinators and performers and are essential training for those looking to become stunt performers, actors or skilled supporting artists.
We are the UK's leading screen action training academy having trained performers from all over the globe, from famous actors, leading UK and Hollywood stunt performers to international and Olympic sporting champions. We have also trained over 70% of the new stunt performers over the past 3 years.
Our courses will prepare you for what the life of an action performer could be like. You will meet lots of like-minded people and be taught by some of the most experienced British stunt co-ordinators and performers in the industry.
The Warrior Masterclass is the only screen combat course recognised by the UK film and TV industry and is an essential course for action performers of all levels and experience. Due to the phenomenal success of our industry recognised Warrior Masterclass screen combat course, those with the Warrior qualifications are in high demand from Productions within the industry.
B.L.A.S.T is the UK's only industry health and safety approved stunt training course. Instructed by UK leading British Stunt Register stunt performers and co-ordinators, it represents the highest standard of dedicated stunt training available in the industry. Designed for both experienced performers and trainee's, B.L.A.S.T puts you through a series of realistic on-set style stunt scenarios and will test the limits of your physical and mental ability. This course is a great introduction to screen action and is essential experience for those looking to become a performer on the big screen.
We get asked this a lot from potential and current students. There are a lot of rumours out there, many of which have no basis of truth. We have also been asked many, many times whether it's worth joining the new British Stunt Register. We will try to address those points below:
In 2017, the JISC Stunt Register which was governed by Equity, PACT, BBC, ITV and JIGS was disbanded due to a myriad of internal issues. Some members of the JISC Stunt Register decided to go out on their own and form a new British Stunt Association and have called it the British Stunt Register. A large amount of members of the disbanded JISC stunt register have now joined the new British Stunt Register and pay annual membership fees.
There remains however, many original members of the JISC Stunt Register who have decided not to join this new society and have decided to carry on working in the stunt industry without being a member of any stunt association. It is not law in the UK to join a stunt association to become a stunt performer and you can operate as a stunt performer without any stunt society/association membership.
The new British Stunt Register are no longer governed by Equity, PACT, BBC, ITV, JIGS. They have an elected committee and currently govern themselves.
The new British Stunt Register association have decided to change the entrance training rules of the old JISC Stunt Register and are in the process (as from August 2018) in making some amendments to the sporting skills. Our advice for those who are currently training based on the original JISC rules is to carry on with your training until any new rule changes are released.
In our opinion, and having board members of the BAA who were long time members of the disbanded JISC Stunt Register, we feel it is important to belong to a stunt society and the British Stunt Register is currently the only association of any standing. Whether there will be other UK stunt associations set up in the future, remains to be seen.
The simple answer is no. There is no law to say you have to be a member of a stunt association to perform stunts in the UK. In terms of insurance, any performer can get personal accident insurance from a number of UK based insurance companies and Production company liability insurance should be able to protect a performer against liability.
Getting into the UK stunt industry is extremely tough. It remains a small and elite industry which is difficult to make contacts in, if you're not part of an association.