XBOX CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS STUNT

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.

Yes, it was another awesome day at work!

SAMSUNG MEGA WATER STUNT W/ FLYBOARD WATER JET PACK

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.

Come back soon for a video of the show.

BOOTS & HEARTS FOAM PARTY FUELED BY DANGER BOY


Over the August long weekend Danger Boy (and our affiliate, Foam Party Canada) were hired to put on a gigantic Foam Party for the festival goers at Boots & Hearts Country Music Festival (largest of its kind in Canada!) The event was sponsored by Corona and needless to say, we think it was a huge hit. The video above is a little edit we put together of the great time had by all.

AUG 23rd, 2013 – DAILY PLANET DANGER DRONE BOMBS

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.

HIGH VOLTAGE TESLA COIL FOR MARINA ABRAMOVIC AT LUMINATO FESTIVAL

This is great example of why we love to answer the phone around here:

Hello, is this Danger Boy?
Yes, how may I help you?
Do you guys know anything about tesla coils?
Well as a matter of fact, we do. We actually own one of the largest non-scientific tesla coils in Canada and have demonstrated its awesome capabilities at both live events and for TV stunts. Our head Danger Boy, Tom Comet, hosted a two hour special on the Discovery Channel all about high-voltage and tesla coils.
Oh… Well I guess I found the right place…

A couple of months ago one of the producers at the Luminato Festival contacted Danger Boy to see if we would be willing to provide a tesla coil and the on-site implementation and stunt coordination for a very unique high voltage effect (HVFX).  The world famous performance artist Marina Abramović was coming to Toronto and wanted to perform an interactive exhibition entitled PrototypeA large, multi chambered tent was to be built in Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto and the audience was to be guided through from room to room in groups of four by the pre recorded voice of Abramović playing via a headphones.  The attendees would have various experiences along the way, each based on the artist’s previous works. One of these experiences would involve a tesla coil.

When the participants entered the tesla coil room they would be told to pick up a fluorescent tube.  They would then be told to stand in proximity to the coil.  When the coil fired the fluorescent tubes were to light up creating a very unique experience.  The electricity would transfer wirelessly through the air and light up the tubes though no shock would be felt.  Just the faint smell of ozone in the air.

A tesla coil is a high voltage resonant transformer invented in 1891 by Nikola Tesla.  It takes low-voltage electricity and steps it up through a unique configuration of transformers and coupled resonant electrical circuits to create high-voltage, low-current alternating power.  The end result is an impressive looking device capable of creating high voltage streamer trails (electrical discharges) from 12” all the way up to 10’ in length.

High voltage electricity is not something to be taken lightly, especially when the public is involved.  Right from the start we viewed this demonstration as a stunt and took all the appropriate precautions.  A custom tesla coil and a back up unit was built up to meet all the appropriate Canadian regulations.  Here in Ontario we have the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) who have jurisdiction over all things electrical.  It took a while to convince them that a device capable of creating 250,000 volts is actually safe.  The thing is that our coil only produces that voltage at 1 milliamp which is far below the lethal level for humans.  Even so, we had to build a custom polycarbonate box to enclose the coil to guarantee that no one could get too close.  Their mandate was that no one could get shocked during this demonstration.

It took some long nights but we got there in the end.  The coil is up and running in the show throughout the week until next Sunday.  If you want to experience our tesla coil and a series of other unique experiences I urge you to go and see Abramović’s Prototype at Luminato Festival.

For more information on Danger Boy’s HVFX click here.

SPECIAL EFFECTS PHOTO SHOOT

Yesterday the special effects team at Danger Boy had the fantastic opportunity of working on an exclusive photo shoot with Allan Davey and his team from Allan Davey Photography.  The goal of this photo shoot was to capture extremely high resolution images of some of our very best flame effects.  This was a terrific excuse to fire off some of our favorite flame effects over and over, outside of the normal constraints of a show (no time deadlines, no audience perimeters, no formal cues etc.)  This was a dream gig!

We started by helping his team set up a large black background so the flame effects could be “separated” from the rest of the image in post production (Photoshop).  Allan Davey is a master at creating extremely complex photo montages made up of many photos and individual elements.  He creates a lot of book covers for authors as well as corporate marketing for the aviation industry.  He told me that sometimes he will be asked to create detailed photos of air planes that don’t even exist yet.  He will be given just the specifications and has to create a better than lifelike representation using photo elements from other objects.  His work is really is amazing and you really need to see it.

We started the shoot with one of our propane dragon units.  This is a propane gas effect that fires a repeatable, billowy fireball up to 15’ high.  Right away I could see that Allan was getting some spectacular shots and we weren’t the only ones having our dream gig.  He was shooting on a Phase One, 60 megapixel camera so the detail he was able to pull out of the flames was like nothing I had ever seen before.  I felt like I was seeing flame for the very first time in his viewfinder window.  Amazing!

Next up we moved on to shooting one of our liquid flame throwers.  This unit we built ourselves and I still don’t think any other effects company has anything quite like it.  Our hand held flame thrower is capable of firing very long, skinny flames up to 30’.  What makes it unique is the fact that the flame can be fired in any direction from vertical to horizontal and even straight down.  It is like writing with fire in the sky!  Our flame thrower is extremely precise which is why we use it when we are doing shows with Circus Orange where we fire it right under trampoline performers as they jump high above the flames.  Again, Allan Davey and his team got some wicked shots of this custom flame effect.

We saved the biggest effect for last – a pair of gas bombs.  What is a gas bomb you ask?  Well, this is a staple effect in movie special effects industry –   a 50’ diameter fireball explosion that lights up the night sky.  When you see the huge fireballs when cars are blown up on film you are probably witnessing a variation on a gasoline bomb.  A gas bomb is an effect that we fabricate out of black powder and gasoline and assemble by hand in a large steel V-pan mortar with extra strong ¼” steel side walls.  It is an effect that needs to be treated with the utmost respect and it is always worth the effort.

I think everyone was very impressed with our massive gas bomb fireballs and all the effects fired last night.  I know I will be impressed with Allan Davey’s photos once he is through manipulating them at his studio.  We will post some of the results here as they become available to us.  Oh, and we are already planning our next joint venture photo shoot with Allan and his team.  He said he wants to shoot our high voltage Tesla coil.  It is another one of our effects that I have never been able to get a good photo of but I just bet that Allan can.  We will keep you posted.

Here are some of the photos we took during the shoot.  THESE ARE NOT ALLAN DAVEY’S SHOTS – his will be posted at a later date.

DANGER BOY TO PROVIDE ALL THE FLYING EFFECTS & RIGGING FOR TV SHOW

We are super excited to announce that Danger Boy has been asked to provide all the performer fly rigging for the new show called Japanizi. This show is based on those crazy Japanese stunt shows where the contestants do insane stunts and appear to really hurt themselves. The twist here is that it is all done with kids (and they don’t hurt themselves). It has been a lot of fun coming up with custom fly gags for some of the unique “games” that the producers have designed up with for the show. We will have more information on this project once the show airs.

CIRCUS TENT BUILD – Old School Circus Rigging

Yesterday we had the amazing opportunity to work with two of our partner companies, Circus Orange and CircusTentForRent, to put up the brand new circus tent for the very first time. Of course, it was the hottest day of the year so far, but that didn’t stop the team from having an amazing time, and learning a lot about “circus rigging” from the previous owner of the tent, and high-wire master, Sacha Pavlata.

This circus tent is, in fact, a “baby” when it comes to tents, but it is made by the famous tent maker VSO in France, so it is very authentic. VSO makes all the tents for Cirque du Soleil, among others. It measures 65’ X 55’ X 36’ high. Even at that modest size it still took a lot of muscle, sweat and blisters to get it all set up.

Circus tents are designed to be built with nothing more than human power, and maybe an elephant or two if you happen to have them around. As we had no elephants, and this was the very first time we put this tent up, we elected to do it “old school” and that meant no hydraulic tent post drivers. Each of the 70+ giant 4’ long tent stakes was driven with sledge hammers. It was a great workout if I say so myself, but I think we just might rent the jackhammer next time around…  All the rigging and the main roof is raised with Tirfor manual cable hoists and elbow grease. It was really satisfying to see it how it all came together, and we learned a lot from our new circus rigging mentor Sacha. I just want to personally thank everyone who came out and helped;  It was a great day, and the start of a whole new reality for Circus Orange with this fantastic tent.