We had the good fortune of connecting with Hiro Koda and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hiro, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I think that people are surprised to learn how physically taxing the stunt industry can be. As stunt performers, we have to be in top physical shape and be able to perform a stunt over and over again for as many times as it takes to get the shot. When we jump out of a car and hit the pavement, we are actually jumping out of a car and hitting the pavement. You have to be tough and resilient to make it in the stunt industry.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a filmmaker at heart and have a passion for the creative process of making a film or television show. I have worked with ferocity over the years to build a reputation that is respected by my peers, my team, and production. That, to me, is more valuable than a large paycheck or a long list of big name shows. The stunt people who work for me know that I will push them to their extreme potential and pull out the best in each and every one of them. All while keeping them safe and having a lot of fun along the way. I love creating that environment for them. What you are most proud of or excited about. The thing that I am most proud of is the reputation that I have built in my industry and the younger generations that I have mentored along the way. Right now, I am most excited about my Emmy nomination for Best Stunt Coordination in a Drama for Stranger Things Season 3, and Cobra Kai is now airing on Netflix! How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? I moved to L.A. when I was 16 years old to pursue my dream of becoming a stuntman. As a fresh kid in the big city, pursuing a career in an unforgiving industry, I met each challenge with the confidence and ideals that were instilled in me by my father. He was also my Sensei and sadly passed away before he ever got to see me on the big screen. He is the driving force behind my success and each of my accomplishments has been an honor to his legacy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Some of my favorite restaurants are Duke’s in Malibu, Yamashiro’s in Hollywood, Fire Fly and Front Yard at the Garland in Studio City and of course any Sugar Fish for some of the best Sushi. Great beaches to visit, from Malibu all the way to Hermosa. You have Zuma, Santa Monica Peer and Hermosa Beach Peer. Camping at Leo Carillo is pretty awesome right on the beach. Easy day trip out to Catalina Island is a must. You can take a boat or even fly in a helicopter. Lastly there are loads of great restaurants and bars in the newly developed Downtown LA!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate my shoutout to Koichi Sakamoto, a mentor and friend from my early years as a Power Ranger. He taught me how to shoot action in a way that tells a story and has been a huge influence on my shooting style and how I design action for the screen. Having worked with so many talented directors and stunt coordinators, I have been able to incorporate those characteristics that I admire into my own work method. My shows and my team know that respect, integrity, and diligence are what matter the most.