Veteran Saskatoon stuntman wants to spread knowledge to budding artists

Saskatoon based stunt person Daniel Ford Beavis will be sharing his skills with fellow risk-takers at a workshop in the city this week.

Workshop subjects include fighting, breaking bottles and fire

Daniel Ford Beavis will be offering a workshop in Saskatoon this week for people who want to learn to do stunts for theatre, movies and television. (CBC)

The star can only advance the narrative so far.

I think I've been involved in over 1,000 people being lit on fire.- Daniel Ford Beavis 

He may be able to run to the window of a burning building, but that's when the director yells 'cut!' and people like Daniel Ford Beavis take over.

Ford Beavis is a Saskatoon based stunt person, who will be sharing his knowledge to other risk-takers at a workshop in the city this week.

When asked how he got into the business, Ford Beavis couldn't help himself.

"You could say I fell into it," he told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

The truth is a lot of sweat went into it. Ford Beavis honed his fighting skills as a martial arts instructor, and conquered any fear of heights as a skydiver. Then, in university, a decision to take an acting class opened a new door to Ford Beavis, leaving him to ask an important question.

"How can I put this all together?"

The answer: learn how to break bottles, stage fights, fall from great heights, smash up cars, and set people on fire. 

"I think I've been involved in over 1,000 people being lit on fire," he said. "Everything we do is calculated risk. We are trying to tell a story and put on a show and do it safely."

The crew from the WolfCop movies was one of the featured attractions at Fan Expo Regina back in 2014. It was one of the many films that Ford Beavis was able to perform stunts for. (Eric Anderson/CBC)

Hollywood north 

Ford Beavis forged a solid career right here in Saskatchewan. For years he was the fight director with Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan. Ford Beavis also went from film to film, TV show to TV show, although that worked has slowed now.

Now that he's a father, Ford Beavis is happy to take on the role of teacher and mentor and it's why he's staging the workshop this week in Saskatoon. His advice to young women and men who are ready to take the punches and falls to make movies magic is not to forget the acting part of the job.

"If I am going to stunt double for somebody I have to move like them and act like them," he said. "Or, what I have to be able to do is say the line, 'Hey you,' before I get shot and die and we move on in the scene."

with files from Saskatoon Morning