Stunt Training School

Stunt Rigging Training Course

Ratchet RigThis course will teach the basics of stunt rigging. Every student will have the opportunity to have hands-on training, utilizing the latest rigging equipment. Students will learn about different types of wire cable and ropes and why to choose one over the other. All basic knot tying will be covered. Students will learn how to use various rigging hardware such as pulleys, nico presses, ascenders, carabineers, webbing, span-sets, spreader bars, figure eights, jerk harnesses, flying harnesses, and much more.

Many of the movies that are being produced today feature some type of stunt rigging, such as ratchets, decelerators, descenders, and flying by wire. Knowing how to rig these kinds of stunts is as much a science as it is an art. Anyone can throw some cable over a pulley and pull someone off the ground, but it takes experience, knowledge, and training to be able to put that person exactly where you want them every time.

Every student will learn how to rig up a "Ratchet" (pneumatic stunt equipment that pulls the performer through the air). You will learn about air pressure, volume and angles. Each student will get to rig and ride the ratchet and then be tested on accuracy of the stunt. You will also learn how to use the ratchet in reverse, as a decelerator. Utilizing the equipment this way, a performer can fall from various heights, without an airbag. In this part of the course, emphasis will be given on "working loads" and "breaking strength" of cable.

Knowing how to tie a proper knot could be the most important thing in a stunt performer's life. When you are hanging off a helicopter at 400 feet, you want to have NO doubt about the knot that is holding you there. When being rigged up by another stunt person or a special effects person, you have to trust that the person knows what they are doing. After taking this course, you will have the knowledge as to whether any rigging is correct or not.

Students will gain an understanding of why they must know as much as possible about this part of the stunt business. The first day of class will consist of the following overview:

A show and tell will take place covering all types of hardware.

  • Classroom discussion on all aspects of stunt rigging.
  • Videotapes of specific rigged stunts.

In the main hall, students will practice and learn about the types of knots that will be best for any given situation.

  • What the differences are between "static" and "dynamic" rope and when to use them.
  • "Working load" and "breaking strength."
  • How to hook-up the different types of hardware to a rope.
  • Rope pulleys.
  • Figure eights.
  • Carabineers and ascenders.

Students will learn the different aspects of various cables used for stunt rigging.

  • Basics of cable rigging.
  • How to work with a "nico press."
  • Rope and cable pulleys.
  • How to tie a loop-in cable when a nico press is not available.

Students will learn the basics for "compounding pulleys." (Compounding is an arrangement of ropes and pulleys that allows you to trade force for distance.) A large majority of stunt rigging requires the use of multiple pulleys to achieve the desired effect. Students will learn when to use certain pulleys, and when to use rope or cable.

Following the course, there will be show and tell on the basic stunt rigging, and a written test will follow.

  • Life-saving knot-tying.
  • The difference between static and dynamic ropes.
  • Rigging hardware such as pulley's, figure eight, and ascenders.
  • Webbing, span-sets, and different flying harnesses.

The rest of the week we will focus on all of the technical aspects of each category.

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