Grady Bishop is a well respected stunt coordinator around Hollywood and Florida who has worked on a ton of different movies and tv shows ranging from 2 Fast 2 Furious to the Disney and Universal parks to We’re the Millers. In the old days he made up stunts for the Nickelodeon tv series”The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo” and had the time of his life with the crew and at Nickelodeon Studios! Read our interview below and see him explain just how much fun it was and what went wrong with the show.
How did you get started in the entertainment business?
Started when I was three riding in Wild West Shows and Rodeo’s
When you were approached to do Shelby Woo how did you react?
I was grateful for the opportunity for a series. The Prod Coord Norma Sardy called me in and Executive Producer Angie Bartenbach initial interview and Alan Goodman interviewed and hired me. Best Producer I ever worked for to date.
What was a typical day like at Nickelodeon Studios?
Family and team effort. Taking action to hire place than ever before without losing srory or credibility.
Do you remember other shows being filmed where you were at?
Yes I would run from Shelby to SeaQuest, to Fortune Hunter, to Swamp Thing, to Superboy, to Thunder In Paradise.
As a Florida native how great was it to have tv production going on in the area and why it has since decreased? I’m a native Texan where the work wasnt. Made the move to Florida to do Miami Vice Stunt Show at Universal and Indiana Jones at Disney between movie jobs.
I always hear positive stories about the staff down there how great were the people that you worked with?
It was a family and team effort. No egos in the bunch ever. Until the end when NY sent Jim Burns in. That’s when all went to Hell in a hand basket and IATSE set up a picket line on show 8 of 13 that was proving we could shoot film without LA or NY helps. NY sent help and we died. As did the Studio which in now the Blue Man Group Dinner Show and the grave site of what once was Nickelodeon and family of Shelby Woo.
Considering Shelby Woo was a children’s show and high budget did that help for your arrangement in casting stunt players for the show?
It got larger each year. All Stunt Players were on AFTRA Contacts and paid well. Nothing like film but professional rate although we did it as much for the fun and teamwork than the money.
Were there any props that you ever get to see from the studio that looked cool for you to own?
I had couple for years. When we died I went to sound stage to pick up left stunt equipment. I sat in Shelby’s living room and police station set and wept. I’m not to big to say I cried off and on for several days. I grew there had my daughter while there and built great relationships and had great mentors there like Alan Goodman, Norma Sardy.
What was the most fun action sequence that you got to do on the show?
All of em. But blowing up the house was the best.
The sound stages were very large there but the show also shot on location. Was that also an advantage in playing big action stuff?
The backlot at Universal was back then a real backlot was our best asset.
Were you ever slimed at one point or seen someone else get it?
Never me but saw numerous friends slimmed.
Did you have a favorite ride at Universal Studios Florida?
Yep but its gone Kong and Back To The Future and ET because their old school.
There was also a studio tour where guests could look down above on the cast & crew working. How often was it that you could interact with them?
Yes we had fake film crew and did highfalls firegags shootouts on the lot and spoke with the guests.
Favorite behind the scenes memory.
Pre-Production meetings and anytime on set. Was warm helpful friendly supportive crew. They loved Alan the Cast and tasks handed us each week. Never the money was the story more than anything else we were rich in value of teamwork and friendship.
What do you think made Nickelodeon Studios so great and special?
The People the local people LA and NY were always jealous of us but always always liked working with us.
Would you like to see Nick Studios be reopened?
The funniest thing that happened on set.
Scared Director Chuck Vincent with life size fake alligator on set at 5:30am. Whole crew was in on it he never got me back but swore to. Great Director and friend.
Do you think your experience at the Nick Studios was a learning process in terms of the work you do now in a beneficial way?
Every Day Every Set. Will carry what I learned to the grave.