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Never too old to fly: Meet Phuket stuntman Ian Jamieson

PHUKET: If you think your life is exciting, then you haven't met Ian Jamieson.


By Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Wednesday 19 March 2014, 05:45PM


Ian Jamieson.

Ian Jamieson.

Even at 61-years-old, the Australian still thrives on the danger that has set his life apart from the normal harangue of the nine-to-five grind.

Since 1976, Jamieson has been performing live stunts, including falls from 25 metre-high scaffolds. Each time, he has pushed the envelope by first introducing blindfolds and, later, even explosives.

On April 19, Jamieson will perform his first ever live stunt in Thailand when he rides a 250cc motocross bike at 90 kph off a bike ramp and catapults himself over rotating helicopter blades at Phuket's Surakul Stadium.

“It's something that hasn't happened in Thailand, especially a stunt of this magnitude,” the Aussie says, “When you go to the level of flying over helicopters, that goes past stunts and into life-risking. It's one of the things I do.”

Considering Jamieson currently holds five world records – 270m human torch fire run (without a breathing apparatus); 35 m high fall into explosives while blindfolded; 29 m high fall while on fire into explosives; 16.45m motor bike catapult over four cars; and a 38m human catapult over five buses – he’s not short on experience.

“There’s the blade draft, the blades will be spinning, the speed of the bike, and I have to find a suitable trampoline to help me train; all these things I have to take into consideration, but I can make it work,” he says.

Despite his travels all over the world, the Adelaide-native considers Phuket his home.

Jamieson first fell in love with Phuket in the early 1980s while he was filming a television special here. He subsequently moved his family to the island in 1991, set up a bungy jump attraction in 1994, and can recall when Phuket got its first traffic light.

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“It was just the one set of lights at the intersection of Central Festival. Back then it was on amber, blinking for months on end. The traffic was 90 per cent motor bike,” Jamieson says.

The Aussie wants to continue to add to the massive growth that Phuket has undergone through the years by opening a stunt academy in Chalong.

Jamieson, a longtime stunt coordinator, has previously operated his own school in Australia, and has taught some of the top stunt coordinators in the movie business. Some of his alums have gone on to work on The Matrix and The Hobbit.

Unlike many, he has been able to fulfill his dreams: he has been a film producer, written two books, and survived a scrape with death in Poland, when he fell blindfolded 30 m onto the ground in 1986 (he left the hospital three hours later and successfully performed the stunt later that week).

“All my life people have said you can't do [this],” Jamieson says, “Becoming a stunt man has opened a lot of doors for me. I think this particular stunt is a great opportunity to showcase Phuket.”

Class Act Media is a proud sponsor of Ian Jamieson’s world record live stunt at Surakul Stadium on April 19. For more information, visit ianbjamieson.com

 

 

 

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