The men and women who protect the world's biggest stars are set to spill their secrets in a new documentary.

Bodyguards and Protection Agents who have worked for people including Justin Bieber, Nelson Mandela and 50 Cent will share their never before told stories in Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower.

The trailer has just been released for the documentary which is set to hit cinemas in December.

But to whet your appetite even more, here are some highlights from our interview with Shawn Engbrecht from CASS global security who shared some fascinating insights about the tactics he and his employees use to protect the world's most famous people.

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WHAT ARE THE BASIC RULES WHEN PROTECTING A CELEBRITY?

1. Be friendly but never familiar.

2. Be proactive and think ahead.

3. Speak when spoken to.

4. Pay attention to details: Turn on the car 10 minutes prior to your client's arrival and use the air conditioner to cool it down. The little things count.

5. Your best weapon is your brain, followed by your mouth. Use them in that order and 90 per cent of your problems vanish.

6. One should exist with a healthy paranoia pertaining to actions caught on video. Do NOT place yourself in a position where a video could go viral. Just ask Mel Gibson or Reese Witherspoon, both of whom self-immolated during alcohol fuelled moments of a seriously flawed decision making process. In both of those cases, that would never have occurred had a bodyguard been there to deflect and downsize the incident.

7. Banging on the counter with your fist accomplishes little. We see it all the time, especially with the B-grade clients and their "bodyguards".

Justin Bieber exited the Sibéria Spa with his two bodyguards and his driver. Photo / Splash News Australia
Justin Bieber exited the Sibéria Spa with his two bodyguards and his driver. Photo / Splash News Australia

We always do our best to work with others. Why be arrogant and turn people off when you can instead make an ally for the future? It's paid off for us on more than one occasion.

For example, we were protecting a couple who rank in the Forbes 100 most powerful people when they met with an A-grade Hollywood superstar and we were swamped. It was an unscripted walk in a public area in the evening and there was zero we could do to control it.

There were six of us and we were seriously at risk. It's the ONLY time when working a celebrity detail I was wondering if we were going to get out of there in one piece. It is not a pleasant experience.

To their enduring credit, the security manager at the hotel, which is in fact a global landmark, saw what was happening and dispatched his entire security staff, which numbered in the dozens, to render assistance.

We got out, barely, and the manager got an exquisitely expensive bottle of single malt from me for Christmas. But it would never have occurred if CASS hadn't done their absolute best to play by their rules on their home turf. He also realised that if the situation was reversed, we would leap into the fray for him.

So now you know why we don't work for the B team. Remember, arrogance kills.

WHAT KIND OF SURVEILLANCE EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?

The trick is to never repeat yourself. There are occasions where we will place highly overt cameras on a property that a six-year-old could make note of. The opposition thinks, "Wow, not very professional!" which is exactly what we want them to do.

So in the process of avoiding the "obvious" ones they blunder into the covert alarms they can't see, which is why any gap in the hedge has a motion sensor nearby and you can be sure the one branch that overhangs the fence has a thermal detection unit mere feet away.

Angelina Jolie causes a frenzy walking through LAX airport in Los Angeles, which is why she has a bodyguard by her side. Photo / Splash News Australia
Angelina Jolie causes a frenzy walking through LAX airport in Los Angeles, which is why she has a bodyguard by her side. Photo / Splash News Australia

WHEN HAS CLEVER THINKING SAVED THE DAY?

There was a logistic failure (not ours) and a very well known face was stuck at an airport with one of our guys. The person in question is recognisable worldwide so our operative knew he had some challenges getting her to the far side of town.

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So when in doubt, be bold. They took the subway and to any onlooker who started to take an undue interest in our client, our bodyguard loudly proclaimed that the person he was with was entering a lookalike contest with the star in question and didn't she look amazingly like the real thing? It worked and we actually had people wishing the celebrity luck as she entered the contest to be herself.

WHAT IF A CELEBRITY IS BEING STALKED?

The trick to detecting them (stalkers) is strong counter-surveillance skills. Remember that the guys in the suits are only good to about three metres and all they look at are hands and eyes. That's why they are the close protection part of the program. They don't have the time to look 50 metres up the road.

Also remember that every bad guy needs to figure out how to attack, which in turn means he must be able to see the celebrity in question. To see the celebrity he must be able to be seen by us. You can't look the part of the crazy and not get noticed ... so they try to blend in.

We set up a system with plain clothes individuals in the crowd who are actively seeking this type of person. The Secret Service does the same thing. To do that well we set up a sophisticated set of camera traps, profiles, and funnels all designed to clearly identify the hostile in question.