Shaun Magee -- Supernatural, Lucifer and Deadpool
What exactly does a stunt rigger do?
Whenever you see someone fly through the air, or glide, get pulled through a window or hit by a car, that sort of stuff, a lot of times that’s what we will do – I will hook them up to a hatchet system or a rope line system and make them fly.
Out of the five seasons you were involved in (8-12), which stunt was your favourite?
We did a really neat car hit with a stunt guy … a car came in and just smoked the actor. It looks fantastic – it looks like he really did get hit. It was two different shots – we pulled him in one shot, and we drove the car through another shot, then we superimposed them together and it looked phenomenal.
Most of the stuff that we used to do, in regards to stunt rigging, was pretty basic stuff. Straight pulls into bookcases, across a floor, drags; there’s all sorts of scenes where the witches will glide across a floor, that sort of stuff. It was really nothing crazy, like what we did on Deadpool or Predator, or something like that. That’s where the rigging really gets kind of fun.
That’s one of the other questions I had for you, was about working on Deadpool.
I didn’t do a whole lot on there, because I was on a movie called Skyscraper. We did a bunch of scenes were they were falling down a mountain; the rolling scenes, the fighting scenes, when they were on a mountain.
You were also working on Lucifer as well, I believe?
I doubled a bunch of people on Lucifer, I think I had maybe one or two days of rigging on that set. It’s three or four days of buildup for five seconds of fame, really. You get pulled across a room and then you get up, go to the hospital, and you get better.
Have you ever hurt yourself seriously doing stunts?
I think we all have. On Lucifer I got hairline tears in my ACL; I got thrown into a urinal, that’s a proud moment on my resume. I got thrown into a men’s urinal, it kinda sucked. There was another one where I was hanging by my arm on a show and my bicep came off. You could actually see it fall through my arm. It was kind of weird. I duct taped it and we finished, and then I went to the hospital.
I hope you guys get hazard pay or something …
People automatically think that getting hurt is part of the job; that that’s what we get paid to do. We don’t want to get hurt, I want to go home and play with my kids. We do everything we possibly can so that no one does get hurt. That’s why we train, we have pads, and we rehearse – we’re not allowed to come in on the day and do a stunt. It doesn’t work that way. Insurance won’t let it happen, Worksafe BC won’t let it happen. It all has to be drawn out and written out, approved and rehearsed. If they change something, you’re supposed to redo the rehearsals and everything. If we change two degrees on a rope, to the normal person, that’s nothing. To the guy who’s being pulled through the air, you’ve just now come four feet closer to a 2 by 4 that was never in the way before. Everything that we do is supposed to be rehearsed. We get hurt, and that’s part of the game, but we train so that we don’t.
Tell us about working on Supernatural.
This show is like a family. New shows are a bit difficult, because it’s hard to find your footing. Supernatural is like a well-oiled machine … Everybody comes in, they know it’s a long day, or a short day, they know what to expect. The boys come out and – superprofessional – always nice, no one is in a bad mood. You’re working with these people for the next eight to 10 months … you know what you’re getting into. With Jared and Jensen, you know what to expect. They’re both athletic guys and they can give it – when they can’t do this one thing, then in comes Carpy (Mike Carpenter, who I interviewed earlier, link here), and he’ll do it. Then there’s another guy, Jesse Blue, who does a lot of doubling on the show. And phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. Todd Scott and Jesse Blue both double the same guy (Jensen). I’ve never gone on set and had a shitty day.
Do you have any funny stories to share?
That day with the car, we had a whole bunch of pads by these windows because there was someone jumping out of a window, Chris, and it rained the night before. So we went to go pick up these pads – they normally weigh about 25 pounds, 30 pounds. It took like six of us to carry them – and we were up to our knees in mud … it was just one of those stupid funny days.
To finish, I understand that you were in Season 12, episode 22, “Who We Are”?
I shot a machine gun. I missed my target. Crappy shot. Then I got shot in the head. Isn’t that always how it goes?
And yes, I noticed the cross tattoo as well. Ketch doesn’t start wearing the black battle fatigues until Season 13, so maybe this was foreshadowing of some sort? Or perhaps they were going to have him stunt double for David Haydn-Jones, but didn’t? Only the writers know …
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