Credit Where Credit Is Due

Editor’s Letter

By Sandy Rodriguez

The COVID-19 pandemic might have made the general public more appreciative of those individuals who carry out jobs that are essential for everyday life to run smoothly, including warehouse employees, delivery people, and supermarket employees. Many are not paid generous salaries, despite the fact that their health might be in jeopardy.

Setting all virus-realted issues aside, it seems to be that many physically risky activities are not always rewarded in a way that is in line with the degree of danger involved. For instance, except for a minuscule percentage of very high earners, athletes such as boxers or football players might struggle financially. And I doubt workers building spectacular Frank Gehry-designed towers across the street from my place of work in Downtown LA will ever be individually recognized for their contribution to the project—but perhaps they should be.

Career paths that must definitely be given more credit than they currently receive are those of stunt coordinator and stunt performer. It is because of these key components that movies and TV shows seem more realistic or exciting. They are not only needed for action films—currently very popular—but are required for most, if not all, genres. These highly-skilled, highly-trained performers work jointly with many other departments to ensure a seamless, memorable outcome.

They are knowledgeable about aspects ranging from fight choreography to stunt driving to weapon safety, and often put their lives at risk in order to thrill, impress, or simply entertain. Yet they are not recognized with Academy Awards and are not likely to become household names.

Heart of Hollywood encourages all in entertainment to highlight the important contributions of stunt performers. When discussing a movie with friends outside of the industry, I invite you to discuss how instrumental stunt performers are.

Stay safe,


Actors and stunt performers Olivier Gruner and William Christopher Ford

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