Tribute to Hal Needham


The greatest stuntman that ever lived and iconic action director died yesterday.


I was Hal Needham’s protégé for many years. He was one of the most giving and helpful people I ever met. It’s impossible to explain how much he did for me personally, and how much he meant to me.

I was also an all-around athlete that grew up with cars, boats and motorcycles and represented the United States on 12 different world teams for tumbling trampoline, professional springboard diving and high diving. I had been into stunts for about three years mostly around Austin, Texas until I was hired as a Stunt Coordinator on a film in California titled The Pack. One of the LA stuntmen I hired, Walter Wyatt, was a close friend of Hal Needham’s and help persuade me to move to LA. I went, and Walter introduced me to Hal Needham the first week I was there. It turns out that Hal had seen me on ABC’s Wide World of Sports when I won the World High Diving championships off the cliffs in Acapulco, México and Trampoline Championships that were held in London, England. I was totally starstruck by Hal and his secretary called me that night to tell me Hal wanted another meeting with me the next day. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep that night, and at the meeting Hal started telling me what it meant to double a big star. After spending a few minutes listening to Hal I thanked him for the information and told him I hope I would be able to double a star someday. Hal told me that the reason he was telling me that was because he was giving me the job of stunt doubling Burt Reynolds. I damn near passed out right on the spot! That was in 1977 and I worked with Hal and Burt Reynolds consistently after that for the next 14 years and had the opportunity to travel the world with them on one show after the other. I personally saw Hal Needham help so many people in so many different ways and some of them never knew where the blessings came from. I remember the first day of shooting on the film “The Villain” that was jam-packed with major film stars playing different cameo roles. It starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ann Margaret and I was the stunt double for Kirk Douglas, and in the beginning everyone gathered together while Hal Needham’s mother said a nice prayer to start the film off right. His son David Needham also worked most of Hal’s shows and inherited Hal’s southern charm and good manners. The crew for Hal and Burt’s shows were more like an extended family. Hal was also known as a screamer and was very demanding in all areas of filmmaking and loved breaking a lot of the supposed rules of directing. You could either love him or hate him but there is no doubt that he did more for stuntpeople in the industry than most people will ever know, and he brought stunt performers into the forefront with his feature blockbuster film titled “Hooper” that he wrote using actual incidents that had happened to him over the years. Hal and his good friend Bill Fredericks that designed and built the Budweiser rocket car teamed up to create one of the industry’s most elaborate, safe and creative camera cars “Shot Maker” that is still the state-of-the-art today.

Hal loved being controversial but he loved the film industry as much as anyone I’ve ever met. Anyone that knew Hal had to respect his abilities and go-for-it attitude in risking his life on so many occasions when he was not certain of the actual outcome of the stunt. He was the only stuntman that has ever received an Oscar (Academy award) for his contribution to the industry, not only for stunts but the technical and innovative things he introduced that made the industry better and safer. The industry’s transformation to computer generated imagery (CGI) has substituted for some of the most dangerous and difficult stunts that the top stuntmen performed in real life before its inception.

It is my intention to honor this man’s man because I don’t have to read the Hollywood Reporter or Variety to interpret who Hal Needham really was. TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, Hal Needham was a giant among men. He created the kind of energy you could feel by standing near him. He was definitely a hell raiser but at times I was able to see the boyish enthusiasm and true substance that made this man great!

God bless you Hal, there will never be another man that can fill your shoes.

With All of My Love and Respect,

Bobby Sargent

TXSTAR Presents a Bobby Sargent Seminar – Basics of Stunts for Actors


We are proud to associate with the Austin Actors Conservatory (a Screen Actors Guild group) and Jeff Grossman, for this joint seminar:



                                                      When:        Sunday, October 13, 2013

                                                      Where:       Studio E, 7612 Texas 71-E, Austin, TX 78735

                                                      Time:         12:30 pm – 6:30 pm

                                                      Check In:  Noon

                                                      Cost:           Free AAC Members, $25 AAC Fans, $35 General Public

                                                      Wear:          Loose fitting clothing suitable for movement


(12:30 pm – 2:00 pm)

Objective: Hear from an actual officer on the true behavior and convincing skills needed for television and film law enforcement roles. Come prepared to move.  Learn about police equipment, gun belt placement, uniforms, police gun and room tactics, arresting suspects, proper lock down and state law.

With JEFF GROSSMAN, SAG-AFTRA Actor/ Police Officer, SWAT Officer, Hostage Negotiator with over 25 years of experience. Worked on numerous Films and TV Shows as a Police/ SWAT Officer.

(2:15 pm – 6:30 pm)

Objective: Hear from an expert on stunt safety, pleasing the camera, fighting believably and still walking off the set in one piece.  Learn awareness of the camera, performing basic stunts, removing fear, understanding female stunts from dirty street-fighter to elegant superhero, knowing movie magic to make stunts more effective and maintaining the paycheck.

With BOBBY SARGENT with a 35+ year career in the business of stunts, stunt coordination and 2nd unit directing, whose credits range from Stunt Double for Burt Reynolds (for 14 years) in films such as Smokey and the Bandit, to stunts in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Alligator, Weekend at Bernies,
T.J. Hooker television series just to name a few.

Follow Austin Actors Conservatory on Twitter before Wednesday, November 9th for a chance to win a free ticket to this October 13th Police Tactics/Basic Stunts for the Actor Seminar


This seminar is for informational purposes and does not constitute
SAG-AFTRA’s endorsement of any particular product, service, or provider.


Gain an awareness of the camera and the different scenarios that will greatly benefit your craft in general. Learn how to communicate with the camera without dialogue and the impact it has on your performance. A working actor or actress should be expected to know how to perform basic stunts and this knowledge speaks volumes when you are on the set. Will the director or stunt coordinator have to spend valuable time trying to explain things to you. Most up-and-coming actors have no idea how your experience and comfort level when performing an action sequence can reflect upon you. Actresses should take a look at the roles that Angelina Jolie plays. Upstanding sophisticated, elegant and charming to a down and dirty extremely capable streetfighter and superhero. Just remember if you can’t do the job there’s always another actor or stunt double ready to snatch up the work. How capable are you to qualify for the role and the demands that come with it. How versatile do you want to be? How many roles do you want to qualify for? Are you capable enough to show up on a set tomorrow and perform the most basic punch, slap, kick, reaction, simple fall to the ground etc. etc. etc.? Safely performing these simple skills requires you to know a little movie magic to make them effective.

TXSTAR to star at Fantastic Fest

We are proud to announce that Bobby Sargent and a handful of our stunt performers will be tearing it up during Fantastic Fest 2013 at the brand new Alamo Drafthouse in Cedar Park.

Here’s this from the Fantastic Fest website:
Easily the most bombastic, explosive event in FF history, Danger Gods! is an in-person tribute to the top five surviving, pioneering stuntmen from Hollywood’s greatest action era, the ’70s and ’80s. The following decades-spanning stunt legends will appear live for the show… Chuck Bail, Bob Ivy, John “Bud” Cardos, Gary Kent, and Bobby Sargent. The night will start with an in-theater overview of their daredevil history, featuring eye-bulging clips and a Q&A with the stuntmen. THEN… the audience will move outside for an explosive, turbo-fueled, death-defying LIVE STUNT SHOW featuring the legends themselves! Death-defying stunts include car rollovers! Stunt fights! High falls – on fire! Cars on fire! Men on fire! Monster trucks… possibly on fire! It’s going to be an evening of nerve-shredding thrills and wild impossibilities performed by Hollywood’s real, immortal DANGER GODS!!!

A Rose for the Devil [short film]

This is a short film shot in Austin, Texas for Aaron Baker (writer/editor), featuring:

Aaron Baker – Writer/Editor

Val Gameiro – Director

Craig Chartier – Director of Photography

Lizabeth Waters – Pamela Isley

Jennifer Fielding – Dr. Harleen Quinzel

Zachary Gossett – Guard





Still Casting for Feature Film: Bridge To Redemption

Although we’ve received quite a lot of submissions, we are still looking for more candidates for the roles below.

Please send an e-mail to casting _at_ TXSTARentertainment _dot_ com including your name and role in the subject line, and attach your headshot and resume (in Word or PDF form). If you have other pictures of yourself, do submit those as well.

Any experience with motorcycles and/or stunts is a plus.

PLEASE do not send web photos, or pictures that are too small, or out of focus.

If you’ve already submitted, we don’t need to see your submission again. We are looking for very specific looks.

BILLY early 30’s, handsome Billy is Ashley’s boyfriend and helps her run the bar, and has a chip on his shoulder about Cody. He also owns a big rottweiler. He was lucky enough to have his car break down in front of Ashley’s house and they’ve been together ever since. He’s protective of her, and a little overbearing, the kind of guy that can be set off easily, but always careful of it in front of Ashley.
CODY 18-24, good looking w/country boy charm Cody is a young man with a dream, whose life gets turned upside down one fateful day, leaving him make up for the damage done, and more. ambitious and dreaming about making it big, he’s fighting to redeem himself and his family name and reputation in the eyes of the people. After getting out of prison, he has to be nice but is ready to explode at any minute due to his rising frustration. A small town doesn’t forget, especially when the sheriff is out to send him back in.
DEPUTY GATES 30s, nice-looking well-built, well-educated African-American man The county assigned him to Sheriff Eally who bombards him with racial slurs, yet he remains cool
HODGES 50-60s A boastful, overweight traveling salesman with more swagger and credit cards than good sense. He never met a stranger, and week do anything to be the center of attention.
MINNI Late 60s A short, pale freckled heavy older lady with red hair who smokes a pipe. She is set in her ways and direct.
MR. THOMPSON Late 60s The owner. Warm, tender, giving man, who’s accepted the task of raising his granddaughter. He’s struggling with dealing with an adolescent girl in the 21st century. Long great hair, possibly beard.
STRYKER Late 30s Handsome. Not muscular. Looks like Ted Bundy. charismatic. A chameleon. A convicted brutal killer.
TRACY Early to mid Mid 20s Typical cowgirl, coming out of her clothes, 3 sizes too small. A walking show boat, too damn happy. Flirts with everybody for the big tips.
WOMAN Mid 30s Flighty. thinks she’s more beautiful than she is. Has a higher opinion of herself than others. Involves a tasteful romantic scene.
YOUNG GUY 20s Smart ass, well built, but has never been to prison. Cocky.

The TXSTAR Stunt and Action Team performs at the Smithville Film Expo 2012

SMFC Smithville Music and Film Commission logoMay 15, 2012

The Smithville Music and Film Commission (SMFC) would like to personally thank you for your participation in the first-ever Reel Film Expo.

Smithville was named the first Film Friendly city by the Texas Film Commission in 2008 and since then, we have attracted dozens of projects including feature length films, short independent movies documentaries, web series, and commercials. The SMFC has assisted in these projects from scouting to casting to production. Now, we are taking the next step with the promotional end of the process. The Reel Film Expo is our first large, public exhibition of the projects we’ve been proud to support the past several years.

Your participation is key in building a public following for Smithville as a film and touring destination for guests who love cinema. We can’t express enough our appreciation for your efforts in providing attractions and exhibits that are interesting to visitors who aren’t passive consumers of movies, but active viewers who appreciate all aspects of filmmaking.

Thank you again for your participation in the first-ever Smithville Reel Film Expo. We hope to see you
again for next year’s event


Skeeter Sewart
Chairperson, Smithville Music and Film Commission

Exciting Opportunity in Reality TV

ADRENALINE – do you have what it takes?

TXSTAR Entertainment is proud to offer an opportunity to participate in the production of a new reality television series that is in the final stages of development titled “Adrenaline”. If you have watched television in the past couple of years I’m sure you realize Reality Television is sweeping the airways with their low production cost, and high yield programming. “Adrenaline” is a series that travels to major film locations throughout the world to feature the most spectacular stunts and action sequences of today’s blockbuster motion pictures, and other big action productions. Each episode will be fast-paced and action packed with a unique insight into stunt performers and their risky business. One of our Executive Producers is Lawana Scales, formerly the Program Director for both CBS and NBC and the recipient of nine Emmys. Lawana will assure the most advantageous placement opportunities for “Adrenaline” at the Top where it belongs. Our other Executive Producer is Bobby Sargent, a 35 year veteran Stuntman, Stunt Coordinator, Second Unit Director and Director. Bobby is also a member of the Hollywood Stuntman Hall of Fame and can take us where no cameras have been before to share what really goes on behind the scenes. Minerva Madrid-Urie, a two-time Emmy-winning Producer is on board to assure a top-quality series that stays a cut above the rest. Being Hispanic, she is interested in placing this series in all Spanish-speaking countries. Jay Kirtley, a valued Associate Producer will assure “Adrenaline” the opportunity for worldwide exposure. Jay has a 30 year history with Sony providing elaborate video suites and production facilities including computer and internet programming throughout the US, and Spanish-speaking countries. Jay is currently involved in a multi-million dollar project setting up the production facilities for Julio Zapala’s new Latino network “Continental”, based out of Miami. The enormity and scope of this network is unsurpassed. In a conversation with Jay, Mr. Zapata expressed interest and enthusiasm in acquiring “Adrenaline” for his network.

Our series will delve into the psyche of Stunt Performers from inspiration and preparation to completion of the stunt or stunt sequence. Several behind-the-scenes cameras will cover the crucial preparation from each department’s contribution necessary to complete the sequence. We will be there to see the Cinematographer and Camera Operators review the choreography and coverage of each stunt to assure continuity and completion of the action sequence. Vehicles of all kinds have been developed or adapted to allow cameras to go and stay in the middle of the action and we will take you there.
TXSTAR is offering the ability for your local sponsors to be attached to this program with high energy and impact.”Adrenaline ” represents a targeted audience with a focus on consumers that enjoy action on the big screen and in their daily lives. Our goal is to include and connect with our audience whenever possible.

The Production: Quality and broad ranging appeal would make “Adrenaline” a unique and powerful acquisition for any television venue. This program will be fresh every week allowing the viewer insight into the world of motion pictures in a way that has never been seen before. Meet the people, feel the danger, experience the pressure that exists when your life and the lives of others are in your hands. Feel the exhilaration by the stunt performers, and the entire cast and crew when a big stunt or stunt sequence is completed successfully . In the words of a stunt man “you can experience the pucker factor”. Let us bring your audience to the edge of their seat and a desire for more.

If you’re interested in adding some Adrenaline into your broadcast lineup, contact us for more information. We will gladly answer any questions or set up a meeting at your convenience.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Have you always wanted to make a film?

Filmmaking… where dreams come true on the silver screen. Have you ever walked away from a movie theater thinking, “man, I could’ve done better than that…” or maybe, while reading an article, have a sudden flash of insight and thought, “this would make a great movie!”

With the dropping costs of film gear, it is now more affordable than ever to get your big idea of the silver screen. But you can’t do it alone. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and there are lots of aspects to cover and plan.

From a producer who can manage the entire process and ensure the film comes in on or under time and budget, to a director who has the vision (whether it be you or someone you hire), to the other support crew who help the actors look good and capture their performance on high quality digital HD video… there’s a lot to know, and mistakes can be very costly.

To whom would you rather entrust your hard-earned investment? A seasoned stunt coordinator and director like Bobby Sargent with over 40 years experience and connections in the film business, or a kid out of college with a stills camera?

Like anything in life, you get what you pay for… what would you like your mark to look like?

Let TXSTAR Entertainment help you realize your dream. We have the experience, the expertise, the talent and connections to get your film made, and made right.

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