Stuntmen or doubles are a vital and well-used resource on the Tribe. They become involved in certain scenes that may be too dangerous for cast to participate in, or sometimes when characters are involved in scenes with tasks that cannot be performed by the cast, such as driving!
Throughout all series of the Tribe, stuntmen and doubles have been used for many scenes. Such scenes include:
Most of these scenes saw some dangerous action going on which required people other than cast members acting out the scenes. Some actors often perform their own stunts in certain TV shows and films, however due to the age of most of the Tribe cast members the arrangement is that stuntmen and doubles perform all dangerous scenes for them.
Special equipment is used varying from huge mattresses, ropes, chains, padding and other protective gear. It is a specialist area within production and highly professional people are employed to ensure that nothing goes wrong to both stuntmen, cast or camera crew.
In the episode of Zoot being pushed off the stairs by Lex there was a stunt double used. They literally did fall over the side and fell onto a huge air mattress.
When Dal was driving around the farm on a tractor a double was used because he didn`t know how to operate the heavy machinery. In this instance there was a member of the Cloud 9 team who knew how to operate the machinery and so she was dressed and made up in Dals costume and performed the scenes which required the driving of the tractor.
Salene falling down the stairs was performed by a stunt double. Of course they need to know how to fall properly in this situation and so a male stunt person donned Salenes red hair and costume and precisely stumbled down the stairs after arguing with Alice. Additionally there was a scene in Series III where Salene was about to jump off a building. As she was standing on the side of the building Tori Spence was attached by a special rope and harness to ensure safety for the close up scenes, however when the jump was finally made with the long film shots a stunt double was used.
Should there be any fighting scenes to be shot, a professional trainer will come in and teach the cast the appropriate moves and actions to make in order for the scene to look realistic and get the most suitable film footage. This also applies for any dance sequences used also. Such examples of these include: Ebony and Bray fighting, Tai San preparing for her dance competition.
When the barn fell in on Lex a stunt double was brought in to play him! The black dreadlocks were styled in place, the same leather costume was put on and the scene was then acted out as the barn collapsed on Alice and Lex.
Likewise a stunt double, in this case a plastic doll, is used for any potentially dangerous scenes in which Brady is involved. This includes scenes which involve characters running with baby in hand, and more importantly remembered in the music video shoot with Brady being held high above Bray and Trudy`s head. The long shots of this were done with a plastic baby while the close-ups could be taken with the real Brady.
When Ebony fell off the wharf into the sea a special double was used to ensure that no harm would come to Meryl Cassie if she performed the stunt herself. It required a specific `fall` and the added safety issue of filming whilst in the sea.
In summary the reason why stuntmen are contracted is because of the elements of danger involved in any one scene. Should anything go wrong with an actual cast member participating in their own stunt, further filming schedules may be disrupted and furthermore they may be injured. It is also potentially very dangerous if they were not professionally trained to perform such dangerous moves.