When it comes to bringing action and excitement to audiences all around the world, it is the stunt performer who is responsible for the amazing feats witnessed on the big screen. These brave performers face serious danger every time they are hired to work. Between jumping from buildings, crashing cars, and lighting themselves on fire — every day as a stunt performer is an entirely different, dangerous day.
Hunter Ray Barker faced an all-too-familiar scenario when he and his girlfriend woke up in the middle of the night, trapped in a blazing house fire. As the smoke began to fill their room, they had little time to grab their pet cat and turtle and to escape through the flame and out of the burning home. It was in that moment that Hunter was faced with the same risk that stuntmen and women face every single day on the job, all to entertain the millions and millions of movie lovers. He knew he would dedicate the rest of his life to supporting the industry.
Hunter is the founder of Stunt Hustle, which he built in 2020. It is a stunt community platform created to celebrate and support the stunt industry and it’s performers. The platform works by sharing hundreds of stories and experiences of these stunt professionals. Whereas the stunt industry has been boycotting the Oscars for years in an attempt to gain recognition at the Academy Awards, Hunter hopes the new platform can help spread the word about these courageous men and women.
Hunter is also the President of the Stunt Players Directory, a family business started over twenty years ago by his father and veteran Stunt Coordinator, Wally Crowder. The Stunt Players Directory was the film industry’s first guide for stunt-men and women. If a Stunt Coordinator or 2nd Unit Director needed to hire a stunt person, they would use the Stunt Players Directory. Hunter runs the business today while his father still coordinates stunts and operates a chicken farm in Georgia.
When Wally was Hunter’s age at 27, he shattered his spine, breaking his back in an automobile stunt that had gone horribly wrong. Where most people might have given up after an incident like that, Wally instead got back in the driver’s seat, wanting even more. He continued to put his body on the line as a stuntman for fifty more years, flipping cars to this very day.
Despite Hunter’s working involvement in the stunt community and contrary to what many people may expect from him, he does not work as a stunt performer. Instead, he devotes his time to the business, which he views as a tribute to his renegade father and the stunt performers he considers the unsung heroes of the film industry. He dedicates every waking day to helping represent these performers in a plight to afford them the recognition they deserve.
The way he sees it, Hunter will be a champion for the stunt industry for the rest of his life. He believes it is the very least he can do for an industry that did so much for him and his family.
Being a stunt performer is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and he wants people to remember that every time they watch a movie to know that a stunt person risked their life for their entertainment.
To know more about Hunter Ray Barker and his support for the community of stunt performers, you may visit this official website.