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While you're busy being impressed that your favorite actor just jumped from a three-story building, in all likelihood you're admiring the performance of a stuntman, also known as a stunt double. Stunt doubles act out the riskier scenes in television shows and movies while disguised as the actor or actress they're portraying. Stunt double training is available at facilities like the International Stunt School, where students learn how to do the crazy things they do without getting injured. After years of experience, they can advance to the position of stunt coordinator, where they'll be in charge of hiring and organizing the stunt team.
Daily Contract Earnings
The Screen Actors Guild sets the standard for how much stunt doubles and coordinators get paid in theater, television and the movies. As of 2013, the minimum daily rate for stunt performers and coordinators is $859, according to the Guild. The daily rate for pilots is $1,148 if they fly on studio property, and $1,492 if on location. Coordinators who work on a flat daily rate earn $1,335 in theater and $1,012 in television.
Three-Day and Weekly Contract Earnings
As of 2013, stunt performers in television who are on a three-day contract earn $2,347 if the show is 30 minutes to an hour long, and $2,556 for shows 90 minutes to two hours long. Coordinators who are paid the three-day flat rate earn $2,744 for up to an hour and $3,066 for up to two hours. The minimum weekly rate for coordinators, performers and pilots is $3,200. Weekly flat rates for stunt coordinators is $5,261 in theater and $3,891 in television.