To say that our work here at Danger Boy is diverse would be an understatement, particularly these past couple of weeks. One of the more “out there” stunts that we have been asked to create this past year was an epic battle between Romans and Barbarians that took place last Monday in Yonge-Dundas Square. This live stunt was for the Toronto launch of the of the new Xbox One console, and specifically to create a lot of buzz around the next gen exclusive game called Ryse®: Son of Rome.
Danger Boy was asked to design a dynamic fight scene between fourteen authentically costumed Roman and Barbarian stunt performers. The battle was complete with pyrotechnic arrows (hey, it’s a video game and doesn’t have to be completely based on reality…), background explosions, and lots and lots of blood, guts and gore when the Romans inevitably kicked the Barbarians to the curb.
We spent weeks in the shop and the costume department building everything from battle axes to authentic buckskin Barbarian costumes. The most fun we had was in creating the blood effects. Usually we are doing blood for film and TV where there is time to “reset” between camera takes when the blood can be added, or cleaned up as needed. This was not the case in this five minute long live stunt where we had just one take to get it right. For this dynamic live action stunt we designed and built custom, wirelessly triggered, “blood belt packs” that could pump out up to a half a liter of blood from any of the eight characters who got axed during the scene. The fake blood was plumbed to any part of their body via surgical tubing and could be triggered in any sequence based on the live timing of the event.
This stunt show that we did for X-Box Ryse® represents a new form of advertising that we are being asked to help create content for more and more of these days. I call it viral stunt marketing. The goal is twofold: 1) to make a scene for the live audience and certainly impress the hell out of them and 2) for the content created by the stunt to hopefully go “viral” on social media sites like Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. It is a different way to think about stunt performances, choreography and story but we are really enjoying some of the new venues and opportunities it is opening up for us.
It was a huge amount of work for a five minute show but it was also a lot of fun and the kind of thing that we hope to have the opportunity to do again sometime soon.
Danger Boy recently went to Mexico with our sister company Circus Orange to implement all their pyrotechnics, special effects and rigging. When we work in a foreign country we always work with a “local license” on the pyro side of things. This local company helps us with all of our local pyro needs, from sourcing to transportation, on site storage and show day implementation. In the case of our show in Mexico, the local company encouraged us to use locally manufactured pyro. This video documents some of our experiences with this Mexican pyro.
This past Monday the Danger Boy stunt team had the awesome opportunity to create a dramatic live stunt for the X-Box Call of Duty: Ghosts release in Toronto. The site was Yonge-Dundas Square, which was made up to look just like a military encampment with everything from real Humvee vehicles to training exercises, costumed performers with replica firearms and, of course, demos of the awesome new Call of Duty video game.
Danger Boy was asked to create stunt performance to fit in with this scene. Our client wanted something truly over the top so we went out and sourced a real ex-Canadian military Kiowa helicopter, and rigged it so that it could be hoisted 60’ in the air by an industrial crane. We then created a stunt scenario where the helicopter appeared to be “shot up” and catch fire while “flying” above the square. The two characters inside were forced to throw down ropes and rappel down to safety with the help of a “ground control” character waving signal flares.
Of course this whole scene was done with special effects magic, pyrotechnics, and our daredevil stunt rappellers. The whole thing was then made even more real with the live sound effects from our friend Mr. Ian Goodtimes. We performed the stunt twice just before midnight, and it had a huge impact on the crowd of eager gamers who all seemed to appreciate seeing the action of their favorite game come to life right before their eyes.
Yesterday a simply spectacular day at the Danger Boy “office”. After weeks of careful preparations, rehearsals and getting a half dozen or so super difficult to obtain permits we finally got to implement our big Samsung Mega Water Stunt at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. This really was a dream stunt as it incorporated the new Flyboard “water jet pack” technology that we have been itching to work with for so long now. If you haven’t seen this awesome new watersports device check it out right now! Basically it is an assembly that attaches to a high performance jet ski that takes all the water output from the jet ski and puts it right under the stunt performers feet. A 4” diameter hose feeds the water from the jet ski up to 50’ to the Flyboard itself which is strapped to the performers feet. The results are spectacular. It is one of those images where it feels like you are looking right at the future. The Flyboard performer can travel up to 35’ off the water, do flips, twists and all manner of stunts over a lake or large pool. Amazing!
The Flyboard was just part of this awesome live stunt. Another huge aspect of the event was the “Samsung Stunt Barge” which was the hub of all the activity on the water. The Danger Boy team built a massive Samsung branded set on the stunt barge and added a DJ, an MC and super-pumping sound system. Of course in true Danger Boy style we loaded the barge up with tens of thousands of dollars worth of high-elevation pyrotechnic effects. For the finale of the Flybaord stunt show the huge “MEGA” sign burst into brightly lit pyro with 300 individual pyro lances where it burned for 45 seconds as comets fired up to 250’ in the air as the Flyboarder sailed through the foreground.
Danger Boy has done a few TV segments on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet before and we always have a lot of fun with them. It is one of the few shows left on Discovery that still has more science than BS and we appreciate that. Last week they asked us for some assistance as they were doing a segment on police surveillance drones (AKA quadcopters, UAVs etc) and they wanted Danger Boy to “spice it up” a bit with some real world explosions. This sounded super exciting as we love big blow ups and, drones are something that we have been getting into recently with the purchase of our shop DJI Phantom quadcopter. Right away we loved the Phantom quadcopter but we realize that it is just a consumer model. We were really looking forward to seeing what the real high end surveillance drones could do.
Our team gathered on an secret site near Burlington Ontario where the police are allowed to blow stuff up whenever they like. We then staged a couple of pretty large scale gas bombs directly behind the Daily Planet host Ziya Tong. In her opening sequence the police drone hovered overhead capturing the shot as Ziya read her intro. On cue we set off a 40’ diameter gas bomb went off behind her and everyone loved it. Ziya then interviewed our old friend Andy Olesen of the Peel Region police and they talked drones. It will be a fun segment.
After the shoot was over we still had one “hit” left. Now you can’t really disassemble a gas bomb and take it home. Not safely at anyway… We decided to blow this one off with our own drone (AKA Danger Drone) hovering very close above with a GoPro in tow. Check out the crazy video we got of the gas bomb exploding right from Danger Drone’s POV. It was literally covered in gas at the end of that shot but all is well though and Danger Drone will certainly live to fly another day.
Thanks to everyone who helped put this dangerous outing together: The Peel Police and the Daily Planet.
Because we are a full service pyrotechnic and special effects company, who specialize in doing dangerous deeds, we get some pretty unusual and awesome phone calls from time to time. Last week was a good example of this.
The Halton Bomb Squad was having their annual public outreach day at their facility and they thought it would be fun to show off some of their fancy big boy toys. The main attraction was their fully remote control tracked bomb-disposal robot. The thing is, a bomb-disposal robot is only as much fun as the bomb it disposes of, right? This is where Danger Boy came in. Constable Andy Olesen asked our team to use our special effects knowledge to fabricate a “bomb” that would be safe enough to be functioned near a live audience, but impressive enough to really wow everyone. We had just the thing. We created a “salt and pepper” bomb and, I can’t go into the exact details here, but let’s just say it had the desired effect. The robot scooped up the bomb, drove it to a safe location across a closed off street, backed safely away and BOOM. Off it went.
This was a good example of how our certified special effects pyrotechnicians can create custom explosions and hits for almost any scenario you could dream up. It was also nice to develop a relationship with the bomb squad and find out a little bit more about how they do things. And of course it was really great to play with all their expensive toys.
On Friday night we teamed up with The Toronto Bagpiper and Circus Orange Inc. to create an all new hybrid act called the Pyro Piper. What is a Pyro Piper you ask? Well, it is pretty much just what it says – a bag pipe act combined with a boat load of pyrotechnics. It is a little bit crazy for sure but we had fun doing it and, who knows, maybe it is an act that will catch on.
This is one of those cases where we had to be very careful because we were combining pyrotechnics with weird things like bear skin hats and irreplaceable bag pipes. We thought it turned out pretty good.
Some times we like to look back at some of our big success from the past. This time last year we were right in the middle of a Canada wide tour with our favorite new country artist, Johnny Reid on his Fire it Up tour. We had worked with Johnny in the past so when he was looking for a company to do all the special effects for his 33 date tour all across Canada, he came to us first. We put together a wicked special effects package, specially designed for his show, and sent one of our best technicians across the country with him. The results were spectacular, and the show was a huge success. We loved working with Johnny and his entire team, and look forward to the next tour.
Hello and welcome to Danger Boy! We are very excited to introduce you to this new business entity. Danger Boy is a division of our parent company, Circus Orange Inc.. At Circus Orange we have been doing pyrotechnics, special effects, stunts and rigging for over 15 years. First it was within the context of our own shows but as time went by we found ourselves offering special effects as a stand alone service more and more. By the end of 2012 we were doing at least as much pure special effects work as we were live shows and that got us thinking about starting up a dedicated company with these specialized services in mind. This is it!
So what is Danger Boy? Basically Danger Boy is all the special effects, rigging and stunt goodness from Circus Orange. Same team, same expertise and gear and the same awesome ability to create spectacular effects fast, safe and on budget. Danger Boy is a division of Circus Orange Inc.
Why did we make this change you ask? Well, I am sure any business owner will tell you that what they had in mind when they started a business is not always what it turns into down the long winding road. Circus Orange has been an evolutionary company and an constantly morphing business vehicle for us. It literally started out with myself and my partner Rebecca doing live stunt, fire performances and evolved into the company that we have now capable of creating large-scale spectacle productions with huge casts, pyro, flying, stunts and special effects. Along the way people started asking for more and more purely FX work from us which we were more than happy to offer because we just love this area of work. Putting together custom machines and creating unique solutions to time sensitive practical problems in the entertainment industry has always been a huge passion for us. Now we have a dedicated business vehicle to do just that. It is very exciting!
Is Circus Orange still around? Circus Orange is currently bigger than ever and continues to thrive. We are hoping that by splitting out and removing the pure SPFX from the Circus Orange brand that we will be able to grow even more as a dedicated performance company. A Circus of Fire if you will.
So now you have the low down on Danger Boy. We look forward to blowing your mind and exceeding your expectations as this new business grows. Call our office if you have any questions. (905) 304-7504
High Elevation Pyro at The Ex 2012
Flying Martin Short at the CSAs
Flame Stunts with Brett Wilson
Corporate FogScreen® Event
Fire Writing at Tryst Nightclub
On Stage CO2 Jets
Smoke and Atmospherics
Gas Flame Music Video Shoot
High Voltage Tesla Coil build for Chevy Vold Launch