I am asked all the time, how did you come up with the idea to start Stuntcamp. Well, this answer has a few parts to it.
The original idea came about in Las Vegas, NV. A good friend was opening a studio just behind Las Vegas airport. She kept saying, “I want to do something different”. Like everyone, she wanted to put on some sort of stunt show. Live shows are tough because it’ either BIG or it’s a compromise. The studio had way too much invested to get the doors open, so the budget just wouldn’t allow me to “go big”. So thinking outside the box, I suggested we do some sort of interactive stunt activity. We set up a few stunts for visitors to try, things that could be exciting yet safe for untrained people to do, The event was a complete success and the idea of Stuntcamp was born.
It wasn’t until several years later when I move to the Netherlands and found out there was not so much movie/stuntwork here, I decided to bring the concept back. Also people kept telling me, It would be so cool to be a stuntman. Why not, why not show people what it’s like to be a stuntman for the day. For 2 years after that, I looked for investors and a location. Banks don’t loan money to most start up businesses here, especially a foreigner like myself with an unproven idea. I was on the verge of giving up, but the result would have probably sent me back to America. That was not an option for me as it took so much to get my residency here to be with my wife and girls. I decided to go for it, brought some money from America and not look back. So together with my wife we started Stuntcamp! We build what stunts we could with the equipment I had and went to work. Three months of around the clock, 7 days a week work with the help of many friends and family and we were ready to open, The first year looked good, people were very excited and interested in seeing what this whole “Stuntcamp” thing was. The newness wore off and the second year scared us, but things quickly turned around and we are now in our 4th year and going strong.
There are so many people that are responsible for getting this off the ground, but there are two in particular that need to be recognized. First is my wife and partner Karin Borden. As well as working at Stuntcamp, she does everything behind the scenes; administration, promotion, sales, staff etc. Secondly our good friend Laurens Bruggeman. He came onboard right after I got the keys to the building. He worked his regular job during the day and then came to help me with construction at night. Of course there are many more, most of Karin’s family and almost everyone I had met in Raalte had some sort of hand in getting the doors open. Stuntcamp will never replace my love for film and TV, but the rewards that come from the smiles on kids and adult faces are more than I can describe.