If you missed our last “Dissecting Horror” panel presented in conjunction with Impact24 (featuring stunt performers), you can now stream it at your leisure embedded at the top of the article, or on our YouTube channel.
Panelists included Emmy winning stunt coordinator Hiro Koda (Netflix’s Stranger Things), stunt double and coordinator Jahnel Curfman (Netflix’s Birdbox), stunt double and coordinator Jennifer Badger (The WB’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and stunt coordinator Harry Dakanalis (Universal Pictures’ The Invisible Man).
ABOUT JAHNEL CURFMAN
Jahnel’s background in dance and gymnastics led her to work on the set of Avatar with director James Cameron for three years. It was her first movie and she filled many roles along with an exclusive ensemble that worked with Mr. Cameron daily on the performance capture development. As part of Mr. Cameron’s team, she performed stunts, did harness work, and helped create the movement of the native people. As a gymnast and martial artist, Jahnel’s physical prowess comes into play for many of her bookings. She now works full time as a stunt woman, working on projects that feature her aggressive weapons and fighting skills. Some of her credits include Cobra Kai, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Venom, Avengers: Endgame, and True Blood.
ABOUT HIRO KODA
Hiro got his first glimpse into the world of film and television when he received his SAG card at the young age of 12. By the time he was 16, he convinced his parents to let him finish high school early and move by himself across the country in order to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a stuntman. For the last 25 years, he has used his martial arts and motocross background to fulfill that dream.
In the beginning, Hiro knew little about the stunt industry. But in 1986 when stuntman and family friend, Shane Dixon, took him to visit the set of the first Lethal Weapon, Hiro was hooked. He knew he had to be a stuntman.
He began his career working on early Roger Corman films. Shortly after, he worked his way onto the popular kids’ show, Power Rangers where he spent the next 7 years perfecting his craft and learning what it took to be a stuntman. His hard work paid off. Since then, Hiro has worked on over 150 films and television shows. He has been nominated for 2 Taurus World Stunt Awards and continues to work on some of the industry’s top shows as a stunt coordinator and 2nd unit director. In 2002, Hiro became a member of the Directors Guild of America, allowing him to move into the next phase of his career as a filmmaker. His directing accomplishments include several short films, TV shows, commercials, and a full-length feature film. He became a series director on Supah Ninjas, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. Some of his other credits include Ozark, The Outsider, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Dark Tower, Jason Bourne, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Memoirs of a Geisha.
ABOUT JENNIFER BADGER
Jennifer Badger is an award-winning stunt performer, stunt coordinator, and 2nd unit director with more than 25 years of experience creating action sequences for over 200 productions. A five-time SAG Award nominee, SAG Award winner, four-time World Stunt Award nominee, and 2012 Action Icon winner, Jennifer has traveled to a multitude of countries on four different continents to be part of a variety of exciting productions..
Jennifer started her career as a child actress in 1990. Having been a competitive athlete, she transitioned into stunts in 1993 and spent several years performing on popular films and television series in Los Angeles before returning home to the southeast. Jennifer has doubled for some of Hollywood’s top stars including Angelina Jolie, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, Eliza Dushku, Megan Fox, Diane Lane, and Penelope Cruz. In 2004 Jennifer began stunt coordinating and has continued full time since then as an Action Designer and Second Unit Director.
In 2018, Jennifer was honored to join international female peers when she became the first American woman accepted into the Stunt Coordinator / Members At Large category at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Some of her credits include Scream 2 & 3, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jeepers Creepers, and The Final Destination to name a few.
ABOUT HARRY DAKANALIS
At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to become a Stunt Coordinator, and from the outset, he discovered it takes a tremendous amount of training, courage, and ambition to be successful in this field. With unwavering enthusiasm and ongoing discipline, Harry has become one of Australia’s premier Stunt Coordinators.
During his apprenticeship years, he was encouraged to pursue activities that would enhance his knowledge and understanding of the physicality of stunts. The critical disciplines of professional fighting and precision driving inform much of his work today. His fighting gave him an understanding of the dynamics of human movement, and this, together with his comprehensive knowledge of the camera, makes Harry a highly sought-after Fight Choreographer. When it comes to precision driving, one only has to look at the number of first-class television commercial credits he has accumulated. Harry is regarded as the go-to precision driver for many high-end brands sold in this region.
Part of the second generation of stunt coordinators in this country, Harry trained to be not only a professional in the execution of his work but also the coordination and management of stunt performance. A firm believer in getting things right at the front-end to minimize the need for post-production, Harry prides himself on an impeccable record of being able to fit the live-action seamlessly to any post effects required.
When it comes to features, Harry has developed an impressive portfolio of award-winning independent films. He thoroughly enjoys collaborating on these exciting and worthwhile projects which give him greater scope to flex his creative desires. Some of Harry’s credits include The Matrix, Mission: Impossible II, The Matrix Revolutions, and Dark City.
The panel was moderated by Yours Truly.
About Impact24 PR:
Impact24 PR is dedicated to capturing the spotlight for the talent behind-the-camera and behind-the-curtain. From Hollywood to Broadway and beyond, our agency offers a full range of services including public relations strategies, media outreach, social networking, awards campaigns and event programming.
Based in Los Angeles, we are a team of passionate and experienced communications experts who shape and define the public profiles of many of the industry’s leading creative artists, including composers, directors, costume designers, cinematographers, production designers, music supervisors, makeup artists, VFX, VR/AR and more.
We pride ourselves on strategically elevating each client’s personal and professional brand in alignment with their objectives, identity and persona. With thousands of print publications, millions of blogs and billions of social media interactions, we guide our clients through the complex world of entertainment with an effective, positive and results-driven approach.
Did you enjoy our “Dissecting Horror” stunt panel? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.