The Stunt Co-ordinator

Name

Steve Truglia

Age

“Never ask a stuntman his age”

Where

On the set of Saving Private Ryan

How much do you get paid?

A nice six-figure income, but in this game you can earn anything from literally nothing to millions. TV commercials are good money because of repeat fees, which could come to 60 grand for a few days work.

How did you get into it?

I’d been into extreme sports all my life, but couldn’t find a job that ticked all the boxes. This does. To get onto Equity’s stunt register will cost you 20 grand and four years’ graft, but even then work isn’t guaranteed.

What are the hours like?

Mostly Monday to Fridays, but ten-hour days are normal. You often start at 7am, although there are well-defined breaks, which you can get paid for if you miss them. There are overtime rates and night work is quite common.

What’s your average working day like?

I’m usually there early, looking at the location, making sure special effects are in place, talking to the director and the director of photography. The stunts, some of which I perform, could involve horses, fire, a mountain in a blizzard – anything.

What’s the best perk of your job?

I go to places I normally wouldn’t, and get the chance to play with a lot of really expensive toys. You get to rock up on set and drive the very best cars and sometimes smash them up. And the pay’s good.

Worst Experience?

I lost a load of work on Tomorrow Never Dies because I’d torn my Achilles tendon while using a springboard for some TV work. I was out of action for six months.

And most importantly, is your job good for meeting women?

You’d think so, but no, because in a bar people don’t believe you. Women are, like, “Yeah, right, and tomorrow you’re a jet pilot.” I say I work in TV.

The Elephant Semen Extractor

Name

Thomas Hildebrandt

Age

45

Where

Berlin Zoo

How much do you get paid?

Not very much. We get paid like second-class scientists. I’m one of the leading experts in the world, but I’m from the old East Germany, and the government has still not increased our pay in line with West German scientists.

How did you get into it?

I’m a veterinarian, and I got into this after a colleague of mine found out, while extracting faeces from a bull elephant, that elephants have a very sensitive spot in their rectum which causes erections.

What are the hours like?

Normal, really, but you do sometimes have to do it in strange circumstances: I once had to do it in front of a government minister after local scientists had failed to have any success with an artificial vagina.

What’s your average working day like?

When I’m collecting semen, I put protective clothing on, insert my hand into the bull elephant’s rectum and then massage the rectal wall. It takes about five minutes for the semen to come – we collect about 200ml at a time.

What’s the best perk of your job?

To see a live baby elephant based on our work – we’ve had almost 20 now.

Worst Experience?

Any time that the elephant urinates into the sample, because all the effort goes to waste, and you can also get covered in an avalanche of urine. When it happens you have to wait for three hours then start again.

And most importantly, is your job good for meeting women?

What, like in a cocktail bar? I think it’s more strange than impressive, really. It has caused some interest, but not really any attraction.