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How to Creatively Execute Stunts at Events—Without Sacrificing Safety

Last month's The Fall Guy premiere grabbed headlines with five action-packed stunts on the red carpet. Learn how the team pulled it off—and see some other jaw-dropping stunt moments we've loved at events.

Action-Packed Stunts at Events
Last month's premiere of The Fall Guy, starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, included five stunts in the arrivals area, plus a slew of special effects. "Toward the end of the carpet, we created a photo op for Ryan and his two doubles," said producer Eric Tremble. "Press were surprised by smoke and 10-foot flames as the doubles were ratcheted backward, crashing through the press wall."
Photo: Courtesy of Avenge Creative

At last month's red carpet premiere of The Fall Guy—Universal Pictures' new action comedy where Ryan Gosling plays a Hollywood stuntman—guests were greeted by two stunt doubles performing tricks on electric e-bikes, punctuated by bursts of flames over the top of the step-and-repeat. And that was only the start of the dramatic moments at the event, which also included stuntmen falling off 50-foot scissor lifts, being yanked backward through press walls, and throwing each other through scenic elements. 

The unique premiere was produced by Avenge Creative, a marketing and entertainment agency that has previously handled events and press junkets for buzzy movies like BarbieM3GAN, and Kung Fu Panda 4. But The Fall Guy premiere—and its action-packed stunts—was slightly new territory for Avenge Creative founder Eric Tremble

"I’ve worked on events where we’ve had stunt performers jumping out of planes or riding in on horses down the red carpet, so stunted talent arrivals aren’t new to me—but including five different stunts was a whole other level," Tremble told BizBash. "One of the biggest challenges we faced was our location and knowing the area was going to still be open to the public. Normally stunts are performed on a closed set and the stunt coordinator has time to scope things out, rehearse, and control all of the elements. Being on Hollywood Boulevard at Ovation made things more challenging, to say the least." Action-Packed Stunts at EventsThe film's main talent was dropped off while completing a 60-foot burnout in a Dodge Hellcat—while one of Gosling’s stunt doubles from the film rode on the hood of the car.Photo: Courtesy of Avenge Creative

The team had to create a secure environment that allowed the stunts to be performed safely—all while keeping the general public safe on the bustling Los Angeles street. "Luckily, we had two of the best, Chris O’Hara and Chris Schiehl, on the team to help navigate the safety of it all—but we still faced our fair share of obstacles," he said. Avenge Creative worked closely with the team at NBC/Universal, as well as the filmmakers and stunt team from the actual film, 87 North Productions

"For fabrication and special effects, we worked with our production partner, Unmatched Lighting, and the team over at J.E.M. F/X Inc., who helped bring their expertise in breakaway materials and pyrotechnics," Tremble added. "Building a team of individuals that were the best at what they do and part of the original [film] really allowed us to push the envelope as it put our fire marshal at ease. When it comes to pulling off stunts at an event, being in lockstep with your fire marshal is imperative. They hold the keys and can easily shut things down the day of the event if they felt things were not being handled safely." Action-Packed Stunts at EventsArrivals kicked off with two stuntmen performing tricks on electric e-bikes punctuated by bursts of flames over the top of the step-and-repeat. "It was wild and really got the energy up—the press line could feel the heat on their faces," said Tremble, adding: "After talent started down the carpet for interviews, Ryan’s other stunt double performed a high fall off of a 50-foot scissor lift."Photo: Courtesy of Avenge Creative

Despite the challenges, Tremble thinks incorporating stunts is a great way to make an impact at events—particularly in the entertainment industry. "People crave once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and I’ll say many people in the industry that attend these premiere events end up with event fatigue. They know what to expect," he pointed out. "So when we throw a stunt into the mix that guests were not expecting to see, it adds a whole new level of excitement. It brings the action from the big screen directly in front of the guests." Action-Packed Stunts at EventsAs a finale, fight performers threw each other through scenic elements like a candy glass window and oversize letters made of balsa wood. "We worked directly with Michelle Paris and her team at NBC/Universal, including our lead day-to-day Jennifer Webster, who brought her own stunt experience to the table from her past working with Red Bull," explained Tremble. "We were [also] extremely lucky to work directly with Chris O’Hara, the stunt designer and coordinator for the film, as well as Chris Schiehl of NBC/Universal production safety, who also worked on the film as the safety officer on set."Photo: Courtesy of Avenge Creative

So what advice does Tremble offer other event professionals who want to pull off stunts? It's all about finding experienced vendors. "Stunts involve risk and injury and need to be handled with the utmost respect and care if they are to be pulled off properly. Working with a talented, respected, and, most importantly, licensed stunt team is paramount, as well as thinking through every aspect and having a comprehensive safety plan in place," he said.

Transparent communication between the stunt team, the fire marshal, and the client is also crucial, he added. "Stunts are living, breathing elements that require constant updates and tweaks to ensure they're performed in the safest way possible. Keeping all parties informed on all aspects of the stunt allows the team to move and shift as needed, and will help manage overall expectations if something has to change last minute due to the weather or some other outside element. By keeping a constant dialogue, we were able to build trust throughout the team, which ultimately allowed us to push the stunts beyond what was originally planned."

He added, "Stunts should never be something thought through at the last minute or performed without trained professionals, as you risk not only the safety of your guests but also the overall success of your event. If the stunt isn’t performed flawlessly, it may go viral for all the wrong reasons."

Scroll down to see more impressive stunt moments we've spotted over the years. Action-Packed Stunts at EventsThe premiere party for Prime Video’s Shotgun Wedding, starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel, took over Hollywood Boulevard in January 2023—and came complete with an actual zip line, where actors dressed as a bride and groom zipped through a jungle-like setting, a nod to a scene from the new action comedy. The zip line stunt was performed by Asher Entertainment and produced by 15|40 (which also produced the event itself).Photo: Line 8 PhotographyAction-Packed Stunts at EventsTo promote the new film Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga last month, Warner Bros. tapped 15|40 to help produce and execute a headline-grabbing street celebration on LA's famed Hollywood Boulevard—complete with a metallic chariot holding stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, along with other post-apocalyptic vehicles, costumed actors, and even some fiery stunts inspired by the film.Photo: Line 8 PhotographyAction-Packed Stunts at EventsIn March, STARZ celebrated the premiere of Mary & George with a royal red carpet premiere event at The Biltmore in Los Angeles. The evening was produced by Westhaus, which kicked off the event’s 17th century theme with live fencers on the red carpet.Photo: Courtesy of WesthausAction-Packed Stunts at EventsTo build buzz for Invincible, the then-new animated series from The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Prime Video transformed the Rose Bowl into a memorable drive-in experience in March 2021. The event, produced by Thinkingbox, featured a number of clever immersive moments, including a designated radio station where attendees could hear a newscaster describing a series of deadly attacks by supervillains. Guests then drove through Art’s Tailor Shoppe (a reference to the character who creates the heroes’ costumes), where they experienced a surprise-and-delight stunt featuring costumes from the show—and some eye-catching pyrotechnics. See more: Clever Ways This Drive-Thru Immersed Fans in the Action-Packed World of Amazon Prime Video's 'Invincible'Photo: Kim Zsebe/ZB ImagesAction-Packed Stunts at EventsRed Bull is no stranger to stunts—and hosted a truly memorable one in 2019. Designed to celebrate the last supermoon of the decade and to ring in the vernal equinox, Red Bull teamed up with InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on the first-ever wingsuit jump into DTLA. Members of the Red Bull Air Force (the brand's team of aerial stuntmen) jumped from a helicopter 4,000 feet above the city while wearing branded, flying squirrel-inspired suits, soaring past the hotel before landing in the street. The suits were fitted with LED lights and pyrotechnics, creating a dramatic effect against the night sky. See more: No, It Wasn't an Alien Invasion: Inside Red Bull's Latest Viral StuntPhoto: Andy Farrington/Red Bull Content PoolAction-Packed Stunts at EventsAt Comic-Con 2017, History channel lit a 45-foot-long ship on fire in the middle of the San Diego Bay. The stunt was meant to promote the drama series Vikings; characters in full 10th century Viking costumes held a funeral procession through the Gaslamp Quarter throughout the day, meant to honor the show’s characters who have died. The procession ended with a waterfront ceremony that engulfed the ship and a lifelike Viking corpse in flames. Drinking horns were distributed following the ceremony, and guests could get temporary tattoos of the show’s logo written in ink that resembled blood. See more: Comic-Con 2017: See How Brands Stood Out With Stunts, Activations, and PartiesPhoto: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for History

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