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.
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.
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.