Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Trent. Trent Wonders, “how do people do movie stunts” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Trent!

There’s nothing quite like going to the movies, is there? A huge screen, incredible surround sound, comfortable seats, and a lap full of popcorn…what’s not to love?

What kind of movie do you like to see at the theater? Do you enjoy funny, animated, or scary films? Many kids love action movies! Watching the action hero on the screen, you may be amazed at how they can dodge death at every turn. From death-defying leaps from trains to giant explosions, today’s movie stars survive some unbelievable dangers.

Of course, you probably know that most actors aren’t really defying death throughout the filming of a movie. The most popular actors bring in  way too much money for movie producers to consider putting them in harm’s way.

So, how do they film all those incredible scenes? All of those examples we’ve mentioned—and the hundreds more you can probably think of—are called stunts. Sometimes filmmakers film actual reality, such as two people talking. At other times, though, they create scenes that are illusions called stunts. The action in these scenes looks real, but it’s far from it.

Stunts have been around since the earliest days of movies. Filmmakers had to figure out how to include fight scenes without anyone getting hurt. They and the actors they worked with used many techniques to do so.

Of course, movies have become much more complex since then. Today, they involve more complicated stunts. These can include fires, explosions, car chases, and much more. Often, these scenes require real people to be involved. However, movie stars are reluctant to risk their health—and sometimes lives—creating stunts.

That’s why filmmakers began to use stunt people. These were real actors who would perform dangerous feats instead of the main stars. They don’t make as much money as the movie stars, and they often get injured on the job. Maybe that doesn’t sound quite fair. But stunt jobs involve lots of excitement. Plus, it’s just fun to be in movies! Stunt people also have many techniques to do their jobs safely. Many go to special schools for training and learn ways to avoid injury.

Today, some movie stars do their own stunts. For example, movie star Jackie Chan got his start as a stunt person. Still, most actors leave the more complicated, dangerous feats for the stunt people to handle.

Today, many of the most dangerous stunts are created with special effects. These still look real on the big screen. However, they don’t require putting anyone in harm’s way. Many believe this may provide a safer future for movie stunts.

Would you like to be a Hollywood stunt person one day? Maybe you’d prefer to be the movie star! Even if you’re not interested in being in front of the camera, you can still enjoy the many stunts performed on the big screen!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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