THE DOCUMENTS YOU NEED
Here are the materials that every professional needs to have:
Media Kit (Optional)
Your RESUME for stunts and entertainment is going to look very different from the ones you may have seen for other fields of work. Your resume is typically delivered either online or on the back of the same page as your headshot in castings or hustles.
Your resume should feature this information:
• SAG - Exclude if you're non-union
• Contact - Phone number, email, website, and social media handles.
• Credits - (Refer to my resume to see how I organized these)
• Skills - do NOT exaggerate this section or include any skills that you are not actually skilled in. If exposed, you'll be a joke in the industry and never get a job again. *squints at Ninja Warrior people that claim they do parkour* >:[
• Specialty - For example, my specialty is Parkour. This can go at the top of your resume.
• ID's - Indicate whether your not you have any of these things: US Passport, Drivers License, Commercial Driver's License, Motorcycle License, a useful vehicle like a van. If you run out of space on your resume, these details should be the first to go.
• References - Having a few references can be really useful. If you had a good experience with a stunt coordinator or employer, ask them for permission to feature them as a reference in your resume. The stunt community is tight-knit, so if a stunt coordinator sees that you've listed a comrade of his as a reference, you're going to make a very favorable impression. I was told to put my references' phone numbers as opposed to their email. I don't remember why, but that's your call.
After years of experience, researching others' resumes in the industry, and learning from professionals, I have developed what I think is a solid resume format for parkour and stunts. I have a provided a downloadable version of my resume for you to edit as a template. It is a ".pages" document, which is an apple program.
If you don't have enough work history to fill out all of the fields that I have, don't worry about it. Just put down what you have, and don't be afraid to include work that is outside the field of parkour and entertainment.
TIP: Your resume absolutely should not be more than one page long. If you fill up the page, make the text smaller or start removing/ abbreviating things by priority to make space.
You generally need to have a few different kinds of photos on hand in this industry. I have listed them along with a couple of examples (of course, you can find more examples on google):
• PORTRAIT HEADSHOT
The standard head and shoulders. It is advised to have more or less natural makeup, no distracting clothing items or jewelry, and your hair as it normally looks. Don't be afraid of photoshop. The general rule is that things that are temporary, like pimples and cuts, are removed- and things that are permanent like moles and birthmarks stay.
• 3/4ths HEADSHOT
This one is specific to stunts. It should be from the upper thigh - up. It is advised to wear fitted, flattering clothing that shows your body type.
• Action Shots
Make sure you have a few action shots handy. You can use them to make a composite headshot or submit them individually in castings (generally only when they are asked for).
• Composite Shot
This is usually only used in stunts- either at castings or when you're hustling. Some people use it, some don't. Take it on a case by case basis. If a stunt you're going for involves a special skill (like a fire-burn) and you have a photo of that, you may want to opt for a composite that includes that photo when applying.
When To Use: Always have a place online where your headshot can be accessed at any time. At castings or when hustling (if you don't know what "hustling" is, we will discuss it later) print out your headshot on a sturdy quality paper (I recommend semi-gloss) and have your resume on the back of it. Include your name at a low opacity in a corner of the headshot. The headshot should take up the size of the entire page, 8.5" x 11". I normally print mine at Fed-Ex Office.
Go Pro $$: If you have the budget, headshots are worth spending money on. The difference between amateur and professional photos can be massive. These are professional images that you will use to get work, and probably use for a long time.
The amount I have normally spent on headshots is $200.00. Do a google search of photographers in your area and see if you can find one within your budget. My favorite photos that I've ever had of myself (and have used for years) were taken by Scott Bass.
DIY: If you don't want to go with a pro and have your own camera (or a friend with a camera), I highly suggest buying a reflector and taking yours in natural light outdoors.
• Have the sun/light-source above and behind the subject so that their hair and frame is backlit. Use the reflector to bounce light back onto their face. The second 3/4ths headshot example was taken like this, and would have been perfect if we had used a reflector.
• Ideal focal length is from 85mm up. I take mine at 105mm. Don't take it at any less than 50mm. You'll look like a damn fish.
• Do not use an F-Stop higher than f/4. f/2.8 or larger is ideal.
• Use a shutter speed of 1/200 (if you're not using flash you can go a bit higher) to allow your subject to move a bit and look natural.
Update: It is advised to update your headshot at least every two years or every time you have a significant change in your appearance... I am due for some purple-haired headshots right now 😅
SELFIES - VERY IMPORTANT: It is extremely common nowadays for casting directors and stunt coordinators to ask you to send them a "selfie showing what you look like right now." When they say that, that is exactly what they mean. Take a moment to make yourself not look wrecked and send an actual selfie. Do not be one of those people who send their professional headshot when a selfie is asked for. There are quite a few people who do that and they are wrooong.
Take. A. Selfie.
A MEDIA KIT is basically a visual resume to show off your social media stats. This is primarily used when casting for commercials, asking for free goods or sponsorships in exchange for social media posts, or casting for anything in which your online presence is of importance to the employer (which is a lot these days).
The media kit was the hardest for me to figure out because the examples I found online were for vastly different services and also generally ugly af. The only public media kit I found that was decent was Ryan Lochte's Media Kit, which is what I mostly based mine off of. It took me like three weeks to create this media kit and be happy with it, so I'm just going to give you the editable files and save you the headache.
The Media Kit downloads are .PSD Photoshop files. The one thing I cannot do for you in this article is teach you how to use Photoshop- but there are a plethora of Photoshop tutorials online for you to parooze should you not know how to use it.
• TITLE PAGE
Your name in giant letters. Brief description. Website or most prominent social profile.
A giant, awesome photo.
I suggest using a clean action shot (or a 3/4ths headshot if you want to be like Ryan Lochte).
• BIO/ SOCIAL STATS
Use this page to highlight the things that make you unique, as well as the other skills you have on top of parkour. This page will also include your social media stats. I got mine on there by simply taking screenshots of my instagram analytics on my phone, airdropping them to my computer, and photoshopping out the white background.
If you can work in a nice image of yourself where it doesn't interrupt the information, that would be great. You don't have to get as fancy as I did and photoshop out the background- I'll refer you to once again to Ryan Lochte's Media Kit to see the more simple, yet equally aesthetic way they laid that one out.
• VISUAL WORK HISTORY
Pick the cream of the crop of the work you have done and put it here. If you haven't done anything yet that you feel would be appropriate for this page, you can keep your media kit at just the first two pages and that would be absolutely fine to use.
This should go without saying, but you can change the categories and title to whatever you want depending on your work history. You can even use this page for something else altogether. This applies to all of the downloads I've provided by the way.
One Photoshop tutorial I will give you is how to save the three pages of your Media Kit as a PDF File, because figuring that out was a massive pain.
Have all of your Media Kit page files open, then go "File" → "Automate" → "PDF Presentation" → check the "Add Open Files" box, put your pages in order inside the box, then SAVE! Woohoo!