Hollywood Stunt Driver Opens Stunt School in Georgia
Renowned Hollywood stunt driver Bobby Ore is opening a school in Georgia to teach aspiring stunt drivers the tricks of the trade.
Bobby Ore Motorsports' Stunt Driving School's new home is Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, Ga., home of former NASCAR driver Bill Elliot and his son Chase Elliot, who currently races in the Sprint Cup Series.
The move is in response to Georgia's blossoming film and television industry, which reached $6 billion in economic impact during fiscal 2015.
"Just like Texas was a big film place for many years, then Florida and the Carolinas, now it's Georgia," Ore said. "Right now Georgia is the place to be for film, and who can blame them? You've got every kind of atmosphere from flatlands to hills. Good gosh, you've got everything you could want."
Since "Furious 7" shot in Atlanta, scores of stunt driving hopefuls have moved to the area seeking work, according to a spokesperson for the school.
"We've gotten a good response, a lot of phone calls," Ore said. "People are happy we're here."
Ore's driving credits in movies include "Being John Malkovich," "Liar Liar," "Gone in Sixty Seconds," "Seabiscuit" and "Three Kings."
Stunts drivers can learn during the three-day introductory course include sliding 90s and 180-degree turns. Students can also ride along with Ore while he performs his trademark move, driving the car on two wheels.
In a scene that was ultimately cut from "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," Ore played a driving instructor to actress Cameron Diaz, who turns the car on two wheels by mistake — in reality, Diaz had a dummy wheel and Ore performed the stunt with a small wheel hidden under the glove compartment. He ended the stunt by doing a sliding 90 degree turn that parked the car so the actress was looking directly into the camera.
"With a little shot like that, you don't want to put their face into the camera," Ore said. "You have to know what you're doing."
If students pass Ore's test after their first course, they're eligible to sign up for a three-day advanced course.
"The advanced class is just faster, tighter, but the techniques remain the same," he said. "They have to hit their marks within a certain amount of distance in inches."
Ore grew up in rural Oklahoma has been interested in cars since childhood, when he would spend his allowance buying "old clunkers" his dad would help him fix up and drive in their 200-foot driveway.
"It was nothing fancy, a dirt road," Ore said. "At least it got me into the driver's seat."
When Ore saw pictures of cars performing stunts in magazines, he would often find a place in the country to attempt the stunt himself. Amazingly, he never flipped his car or caused an accident during the learning process.
"Without getting too technical on it, it was just a matter of getting the weight of the vehicle to shift at the right point, when I wanted to, and then just refining that," Ore said. "I found less is more with steering."
After graduating from high school, Ore enlisted in the Marine Corps, but he continued educating himself about driving. When he got out of the service, he started racing in earnest, enjoying a brief NASCAR stint before turning his focus to auto commercials and later performing stunts in movies. But there's a big difference between racing and stunt driving, he said.
"The bottom line with racing is you want to go around the track in the shortest distance possible in the fastest time," he said. "Stunt is creating that illusion that you're out of control, a messy crash and all that — what we call controlled uncontrollability."
Ore founded his Motion Picture Driving School in 1996, and later it segued into the Bobby Ore Motorsports Stunt Driving School and Stunt Driving Experience, which trains would-be stunt drivers for films as well as military personnel, law enforcement officers and dignitary protection specialists. He now has schools in Sebring, Fla., Camarillo, Calif., and Georgia.
"It's worked out well, between military and law enforcement agencies," Ore said. "We just had our 20th year anniversary. It's been good to me."
Classes start May 7.