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For Atlanta’s film stunt people, broken bones and falling off buildings are all in a day’s work


In his book, The Full Burn, author Kevin Conley aptly summed up the life of a stunt performer. “There are deeds that your body will not let you do,” he wrote. “Stuntmen do them anyway. They aren’t foolish about it. They’re incredibly ingenious at devising ways to make it look as if they’ve pulled off something far more painful and dangerous than what they actually did.”

It takes a highly developed skill set, physical prowess and steely self-confidence to excel as a top stunt performer and, for those with the credentials, there couldn’t be a better time to be working in Georgia’s booming film and television industry, especially in the Atlanta area. The past decade has seen the ranks of professional, locally-based stunt performers swell from under 50 to more than 400 with many relocating from other areas like Los Angeles. Yet only a select number of these men and women actually enjoy steady employment throughout the year, despite the increase in film and TV productions.

Stuntman/stunt coordinator David Paul Lord is one of the few authentic Georgia natives working here (“Born in Smyrna, attended Campbell High School, go Panthers!”). Lord’s stunt credits include Die Hard With a VengeanceHustle & Flow and Analyze This.

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