Somerset Times

My Personal Project - Stephanie Sprague

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 3, Term Three, 2019

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I am Stephanie Sprague and for my Personal Project, I am completing a Professional Stunt Course and edit a Showreel containing clips from the course in order to learn about behind the scenes of movies and apply for work in the acting industry. My aim for the project is to receive certification, learn new skills and work towards a career in stunt acting.

My goal for my Personal Project 2019 had four components: complete a Professional Stunt Course at the Australian Stunt Academy in Nerang, Gold Coast, edit a Showreel containing clips from the course, use my newly acquired qualification in an application to a casting agency and finally, reimburse my parents for the cost of the course.

Through the completion of this programme I aimed to receive a certificate, documenting success in the course, and learn many new skills which can subsequently be used in a future adjunct career of movie stunt acting. This chosen goal is highly challenging on a number of levels; first, physically, the course required underlying physical skills and constant attention to performance and accuracy to limit the risk of injury if not properly executed. Secondly, mentally push myself to complete some of the stunts that may be scary. Finally, the editing process would take a lot of patience and be very tedious. I chose this project as I have always been interested in the behind the scenes movie industry and wanted to work with directors. As a Level 8 gymnast, Stunt Acting seemed perfect for me. I would get to work in a movie while doing something I love, flipping, tumbling and film fighting.

To complete my project, I had to research stunt acting. I ended up finding the Stunt Academy through a family member who had taken a course before. Although I was under the age of 18, I was allowed to complete the course as I had prior gymnastics training (and driving on private property)! When it came to editing the showreel, being a Somerset media arts student helped when it came to film techniques. Using premier pro and after effects were useful in creating an effective and eye-catching showreel.

Throughout the course I learned many new skills and tricks, stunts I never thought I would ever pull off. The stunt co-ordinator, Colin Handley, was extremely helpful and taught me all my stunts. The project proved to be helpful in building relationships with the other stunt people that were doing the course and co-ordinators teaching me in the course which helped make me feel comfortable and allowed me to trust them, especially when I was laying my safety in their hands. I also developed relationships with the agencies I contacted. These relationships allow me to expand on my knowledge of the stunt industry and also have more contacts with other people in my career.

I am so grateful for the experience I was offered and certainly encourage anyone who would consider the course to do it. In the future, this project could help me fulfill my ambition to become a stunt actor. The experience and lessons I have gained from the stunt course have taught me to go for my dreams and goals. The showreel has already provided some future hopes in acting with agencies and could have a future impact on my acting.

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