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  • Special Action Manikins

Creating a new business idea needs perseverance and passion...

One of our 'Hero' Special Action Manikins

People said to me “You can’t do that, it won’t work”. But I did, and it does!

I’m often asked how I came up with the concept of Special Action Manikins. So here’s how an idea became a successful business. It’s a story about the value of opportunity, experience, action and perseverance.

In 2011, I was the stunt co-ordinator for a low-budget feature called ‘8 Minutes Idle’.

The script called for the lead actress to fall through an office ceiling. In conversation with the director, I suggested we use a stunt performer. Budget, however, didn’t allow this, so I suggested I made a manikin to replicate the lead actress. I don’t know what prompted this as I had never made a manikin or ‘dummy’ before! But here was an opportunity.

This first manikin was basic - but it was articulated and made not a bad pass for the lead actress! Carrying my new colleague, I climbed into the space over the ceiling and waited for the word ‘Action!’, upon which I dropped her through the pre-cut tiles to the floor below. The real actress was ready to step into the scene at the appropriate moment, pick herself up and walk off. The director was very pleased!

At a ‘behind the scenes’ interview later I explained what I’d done; and had an epiphany… “I’m here today with Samantha – she’s my stunt action manikin!” And Special Action Manikins was born.

After many years of working as a stunt co-ordinator with the same old, restrictive types of dummy, my experience told me there was demand for a much more credible and practical solution. One that allowed a director more leeway to stay on the shot by providing a figure that better simulated a real person in appearance and reaction

So I took action – and set out to build a business.

This led to years of R&D. I built many manikins and evolved their capabilities as I went. Against accusations of pursuing a ‘hobby’, scratching of heads and industry resistance to new ideas I followed my instincts and my belief in an innovative, safer and more practical solution. This perseverance has brought me to a place where Special Action Manikins has provided services to productions like Peaky Blinders and the Fast and Furious franchise.

Enjoyment of the creative process and a sense of achievement in overcoming challenges fuels more creativity. Special Action Manikins thrives on the challenge of delivering solutions to complex stunt requirements wherever and whenever they arise. To do this, Special Action Manikins has a team of skilled technicians to call upon.

Opportunity + Experience + Action + Perseverance = Results!


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