This scene was found in Billy Madison (1995).

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How do they shoot dangerous stunt scenes?

  • 3
    If you went to Studios park at Disneyland Paris when "Moteurs, Action!" stunt show was running they did this several times a day in front of a live audience (youtube from someone with a good seat) with no CGI. It's surprising just how long they let the stuntperson burn.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 14:22
  • 14
    As a film student before CGI and even video, I needed a shot for a short film where a guy was screaming with his head on fire. I took a shot of him screaming, and a separate shot of a wad of newspaper on fire in front of a black background. I projected both on the same screen at the same time, lining up the flaming ball over his screaming head, and filmed that. The resulting shot -- less than one second long -- looked surprisingly convincing. (That's not how stunt people manage this effect. I just wanted to mention this anecdote.) Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 17:15
  • 6
    How do they shoot dangerous stunt scenes? Quickly.
    – n_b
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


The stuntman/stuntwoman wears a special flame-retardant suit under their costume. In addition, any skin which is not covered by the suit gets coated with a special gel which is flame-resistant. Additionally, there are a few people with fire extinguishers in hand who jump in immediately after the director cuts the scene to extinguish the flames.

  • 1
    I love that they have a flamethrower in that first video Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:03

For that movie it was probably using a pyro gel. It's a special gel that burns at a lower temperature (800F) and doesn't spread much, so it can be applied more precisely. To protect themselves the actors use a combination of a Stunt Gel (acts as a temperature isolation) and fire resistant clothes.

That said, it's a high risk stunt and not for amateurs. The safer way would be to use CGI to add the flames digitally later, although possibly won't look as convincing as real flames.

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