While walking my dog on a particularly desolate part of West St., I’ve often wondered about the unassuming “Hollywood Stunts NYC” sign that hangs over an orange alley gate between buildings. My imagination tends to set a scene of an Evel Knievel style crash course on the other side, complete with a row of flaming buses and an alligator pool. This weekend I popped into the Saturday open session to see what it was all about and found something less grandious but way more exciting.
The training center is located about three quarters of the way down a typical Greenpoint alley, lined with box trucks and wooden palettes. A set of doors opens to an airplane hanger sized space filled with trampolines, gymnastics equipment, and one of those over-sized air cusion things you’d find at the other end of a “Fear Factor” challenge. More tall than wide the space is suited perfectly for the focus of the class, the high fall. Students learn the basics then gradually make higher and higher falls, rolling out of the air cushion below with bragging rights and an adjusted sense of gravity.
The man who runs the place, Bob Cotter, has been a stunt man for 25 years. He’s worked on films such as Rounders with Matt Damon and with bands like Bon Jovi and The Rolling Stones. He opened Hollywood Stunts in 2007 in the Bronx, and then moved the center to Greenpoint. As we stood outside of the training center motioned towards a dented-up yellow cab. “We actually shot a car scene for a Norweign television show last week,” referring to his crew of professionals and graduates of the center.
Hollywood Stunts offers classes in high jumps, the trampoline, fighting for film, as well as one and three week intensives for those more serious about getting into the business. Anyone above the age of ten can sign up and the only other requirement is that you’re in good physical health and have no pre-exising injuries. They offer private group lessons and birthday parties. Check their website for more details.
Hollywood Stunts NYC
73 West Street