Heck on Wheels

By Hannah Wallace November 30, 2004

A chance encounter on a Cortez dock led charter boat captain Kim Ibasfalean to a whole new hobby, and eventually to a movie stunt car driver's certificate and a part on CSI Miami.

Ibasfalean, 36, a commercial fisherman for 12 years and owner of Capt. Kim's Boat Rides and Charters, was preparing for a charter early one morning in 2002 when a man draped with cameras approached her on the dock. He told her he was a location scout for the Denzel Washington film, Out of Time, the story of a small-town police chief who gets tangled up in an intricate murder plot. Ibasfalean did him a favor by giving him a quick boat tour of several rustic shacks built out over the water.

Eight months later, the scout brought the producers and director back for another boat tour, and when they decided on the fishing village for the shoot, she became their Cortez liaison.

The Hollywood bug bit. Ibasfalean traveled to the desert in Palmdale, Calif., to Rick Seamans' Motion Picture Driving Clinic, where she underwent an intensive weeklong training program "to teach you how to force the car to do all these amazing chase scenes you see on TV," she says, among them the Rockford turn and the flying 360. "It was probably the most fun I've ever had."

She's since done boat work for a Discovery Channel documentary; played the stunt double for a film called Rust Diamonds III, which was filmed in Fort Lauderdale and the Everglades; and drove a boat for David Caruso and Kim Delaney in an episode of CSI Miami. She also recently did stunt work for a Nike commercial.

When Ibasfalean went back to California last spring for open auditions, she was surprised and delighted to find that three-quarters of the stunt car hopefuls were women. "It was so cool being around a whole bunch of kick-butt women; everybody had a ball," she says.

Ibasfalean admits it's sometimes tempting to peel out on Cortez Road in the 1975 Ford LTD stunt car she recently purchased. "But I've never had a ticket, knock on wood."

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