Dave Stinson: MXL:OS *Property of Mutant X Lives: Operating System.
Stunt Man Extraordinaire
Dave did some stunt work on the set of Mutant X.. so we thought we'd ask him what stunt work was all about...
Full Name: Matthew David Stinson
DoB: Nov. 30 1971
Favourite Takeout Food? Panzerotti, deep-fried with mushrooms and pineapple
What first got you into stunt work and why do you like it so much?
I wanted to be an actor ever since I was small, and I was always involved in martial arts. Stunts seemed to be a nice marriage of those two skills, the performance of acting and the physicality of martial arts. Stunt work is more fun than any other job I have ever had times 10. Essentially I get paid to play.
What safety equipment is involved when performing stunts?
Your brain is the biggest piece of safety equipment you have. Use your head and manage all the risks. Then pads, pads and lots of pads.
Have you ever been injured doing a stunt?
Yes (cue the violins) but I am all better now.
What are you doing at the moment?
Answering your questions..
Okay seriously I am eagerly awaiting the theatrical release of Dawn of the Dead. I had several very cool zombie roles in that movie, one of which I got to fight with Ving Rhames in a mall fountain and eventually get shot in the face. It was by far the coolest stuff I have ever done for film/TV. The make-up and effects are incredible.
What was your stunt role in Mutant X?
I was a GSA Agent who gets his a$$ kicked by Shalimar, and in another episode I doubled an Internet café manager who gets his a$$ kicked by a different girl. You need high self-esteem to do stunts.
What was is like working with the cast aka Victoria Pratt.. how many takes?
It was fun. The scene was pretty simple and Victoria is a pro, plus the show has a great fight coordinator so extra takes are usually done for the sake of camera rather than performer error (unless it's mine). It was really short and sweet
Any good on the set stories.. (cmon you can tell us..)
Sorry but I have really nothing juicy to tell (if thats what you're looking for) from any set I have worked on. I love the on set experience, it's a tonne of fun for me and I probably wouldn't bother to notice any peripheral drama that might be going on.
You're also an Martial Arts instructor too, was that to help you with your stunt work?
was a martial artist before I became a stunt man but it is helpful in many ways. Aikido, the martial art I teach, involves lots of throwing so there is a strong focus on the practice of falling safely, invaluable to stunts. Also I have been able to assist in fight choreography for shows like Nikita, and as a performer my training makes it easier to help "sell" an otherwise untrained actor's technique, making a fight sequence look more realistic.
What's the most dangerous stunt you've done to date?
Probably riding a bicycle in between two approaching motorcycles and then head on at an oncoming police car, only to steer clear at the last moment. I don't really consider that too dangerous because I completely trusted the stuntman driving the police car. Coincidentally the stuntman driving that car was also the coordinator for Mutant X who hired me to work on the show
I know there is a certificate or something required to do stunts - how difficult is that?
In Canada there is no certificate required (aside from union membership) for stunts, stunt performers are generally people with a skill of speciality that could be applied to stunts, like martial arts, auto/motorcycle racing, gymnastics etc. Those skills can get you initially involved in the stunt business, but it really helps to be well rounded. A speciality is fine but if stunts are your goal, it is always beneficial to pursue additional training. Martial arts is my speciality, but I also sought out training in as many other applicable endeavours as I could, gymnastics, SCUBA, firearms etc. A lot of the more stunt specific skills you can learn by being on set, things like timing and camera position, as well as the use of stunt equipment like air rams and ratchets. Picking up those kinds of skills is much like apprenticing in a trade.
What's your dream stunt?
I would love to get thrown out of a window. I got very excited once before when I thought I was going to get to do that, but it turned out the window was going to be open before I went through it and I wasn't bring thrown as much as dumped. They ended up not getting to that shot anyway.
We see you have a website... your own work?
It's all me, the site has gone through several evolutions but I am quite proud of it. When I am no longer doing stunts or teaching Aikido I can always begin a career in web development (after about 9 more years of schooling)
Just For Fun
[The following is just for fun, no offence intended...especially towards anybody's cowboy boots]
Can you solve 2(2X3) correctly?
Do you wear cowboy boots, and if so why are they pointed?
I don't wear cowboy boots, I hate to think of the poor cowboy who had to die to make them.
Can you loan me $20?
Call my people, they'll set up a meeting and we can go over the specifics. Do you have a preffered currency?
What do you do when someone gives you a strange look?
a. Glare at them
b. Stop what you're doing.. it wasnt much fun anyway
c. Walk up to them and start shaking their hand
d. Completely ignore them..
usually tell them "it's okay I work at Wal-Mart, I'm supposed to be doing this to the manikin"
On a rainy day do you:
a. Stay inside all day b. Run like a maniac outside and start singing 'Singing In The Rain' c. Pay no attention to the rain... after all that's what umbrellas are for
It never rains in Canada
MXL:OS would like to thank Dave Stinson for participating in this interview and wish him all the best in future stunts!