Well it is video game launch season again and that means some super fun, FX laden events for the team at Danger Boy. This recent event we just completed for Sunset Overdrive was particularly awesome due to the amazing props and effects seen in the game. Our job was to recreate these props and effects safely in real life as an “experiential” marketing experience for hundreds of eager gamers. We helped crate an interactive “mayhem playground” where gamers could enter a cordoned off 60′ X 60′ area, and basically cause as much havoc as they wanted for two whole minutes. Crazy! There is nothing better than when your job description includes building teddy bear launchers and making 500 gallons of green slime! Here is a little video with some of the highlights.
This past Sunday was the culmination of just over a week of World Pride Celebrations. In addition to the Circus Orange team featuring in the parade, and a grinder performance at the closing ceremonies, the Danger Boy side of things got to field-test our brand new liquid flame generators at Yonge-Dundas Square! Check out the quick BTS vlog we shot of these incredible(ly fun) new machines.
Two weeks ago, the Danger Boy team headed west to Calgary, AB for the annual Global Petroleum Show. While there, we helped 3M Canada showcase some pretty incredible new tech in the world of PRDs (Personal Rescue Devices) from the team at Latchways.
Here’s the skinny: PRDs are basically a type of harness that you wear when working at heights, to keep you from falling to your death! Pretty important around these parts. What sets the Latchways PRD harness apart is the integration of a release tab to slowly lower you back to the ground, because having a fall-arrest system is one thing, but being able to get back down is an entirely different problem to solve. This harness lowers you at 2 metres per second, to a distance of 65′, to return all personnel safely, and in one piece, back to Earth.
We got to create a really fun (and very educational) stunt for the 3-day conference, and have attached the vlog above. Check it out!
Last week we had the pleasure of bringing the folks from Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet down to check out our exciting FogScreen® technology. We always have a great time working with these guys, and can’t wait for more opportunities to collaborate with them in the future.
We get to create some pretty awesome practical effects at Danger Boy on a very regular basis but it is always fun to partner with another creative company in order to create something larger than we could even dream up. This is exactly what happened recently when our good friend Allan Davey from Davey Photo asked us to provide some flame effects and stunts for a fantasy photo montage that he was building up from scratch. Allan builds up spectacular photos out of unusual individual elements. He shoots with the best gear available and then brings a bunch of disassociated images together in Photoshop where he creates finished shots that totally blow your mind. Allan is the kind of artist that I admire most. He has the technical skills to get the very most out of his gear but he also has the creative ability to take the imagery that exists within his head and make it real. Here is a brief overview of how we worked with Allan Davey to help him create the stunning photo you see above.
A few months back Allan and his team shot a bunch of our flame effects outdoors on a black background. We used our propane “dragons”, our liquid flame throwers and even fired off a few of the huge 40’ diameter gas bomb effects to suitably impress the boys who spend too much time working with Photoshop fire.
After Allan had all the flame he could handle he went back to his studio and shot everything from cabbage leaves to zoo animals in order to create the montage for his fantasy dragon. I don’t know how you turn a cabbage leaf into a dragon but I am not sure I want to sit in front of a computer long enough to learn either. I guess that is why I do effects and Allan does photos.
He then added in the flame effects shot earlier in the year to create a truly spectacular fire breathing dragon photo. For most photographers this probably would have been enough but Allan is a bit like us so he chose to step it up a few more notches. He called me up and said that he wanted his fire breathing dragon to be roasting someone. “We can do that!”
Allan and his team came back to our shop ( I think they like it here) and we did a fire burn day. Our lead stunt coordinator Tom Comet did the “hero shot” burn for the actual photo. Tom has been performing burn stunts for over 10 years now and still enjoys the smell of singed eyebrows from time to time.
As fire burn stunts are not something that we get to do every day so we set this job up as a workshop and photoshoot so some of our team who have not been involved in burn stunts could experience what it was like to do partial burns and be on the stunt safety side of it. It was a great day, no one got hurt and we got to help make some incredible art.
Thanks again goes out to Allan Davey for the opportunity of working together.
In the ongoing quest to bring our clients the best selection of practical special effects in Canada, we are super-excited to announce that we now offer lasers. We have systems from small, self-contained club and corporate sized lasers to full featured, multi-laser systems for large touring shows. We can even provide very powerful lasers for use in outdoor settings.
We recently had a great example of how we can combine lasers with pyrotechnics at Toronto’s Cavalcade of Lights. For this project we added three high-powered lasers to our eight-minute long high elevation pyrotechnic show. In the past we had to allow time between songs for the smoke from the pyro to dissipate. This year we used the smoke to our advantage as it became the canvas for us to paint with 30w full spectrum lasers. It brought a new dimension to the overall show and we got a lot of great comments.
We plan to integrate lasers into more of our projects going forward and to offer them as a stand alone effect.
Photos of our lasers at this years Cavalcade:
Here is a video from this years Cavalcade that showcases our lasers outstandingly.
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.
Yes, it was another awesome day at work!
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.