WEDAY TORONTO FLY GAG

WEDay Bike

The DangerBoy rigging team just finished up WEDay Toronto where we provided two unique flying effects for the concert event and the live TV broadcast.

The first flying effect was for the lead singer from the band Hedley and this one proved to be a very challenging indeed. The goal was to reenact a scene from Hedley’s recent music video Can’t Slow Down where the lead singer Jacob Hoggard is seen riding his track bike through various scenes and dance sequences.

For the WEDay Toronto live event we set up an automated 2D rig build around our VisualAct flying winch system. This 2D fly system enabled us to fly Jacob from one stage at the Air Canada Centre (ACC) to another about 15’ above the stage deck with millimeter precision. Next came the really tricky part… In order to make this effect work our team had to fabricate a custom, wireless rotate head so when the rider changed directions and came back across the stage in the other direction he was facing forward at all times. We also had to build a custom, fully adjustable spreader bar to suspend and balance the bicycle and the rider while suspended in the air. Phew…

For our second fly gag at WEDay Toronto we orchestrated a complex lowering effect where Jason Derulo appeared “from out of nowhere” and flew down onto the stage deck. Here again, we used our high speed, performer rated winch system but thistime in a simplier lowering configuration. The trick here was that for this act we had to load the performer onto our system from the catwalk 100’ above the stage and get him out into his start position on the high steel beams that support the roof of the ACC. Now, our team regularly traverses beams 100’ up and higher and for us this is easily done. A-list rock stars like Jason Derulo aren’t so accustomed to heights so for this stunt we had to design the rigging and the choreography with him in mind so that he was safe, comfortable and felt 100% confident in the stunt at all times. This gag was the opening to his song and dance number so he had to perform immediately after the lowering stunt so there could be no hickups or missed cues getting him to the stage.

Both our flying stunts at WEDay Toronto worked flawlessly and really impressed both the live and TV audience. The live nature of the event added extra stress but made it all more exciting as well. The show was a huge amount of work but our team rose to the task and pulled it off flawlessly. Thanks to everyone who was involved and helped out along the way, we are looking forward to doing it again next year!

SUNSET OVERDRIVE MAYHEM PLAYGROUND

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.

LIQUID FLAME GENERATORS @ YDS


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.

3M PRD DEMO @ GLOBAL PETROLEUM SHOW, CALGARY AB

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!

DANGER BOY TALKS FOGSCREEN TECHNOLOGY WITH DAILY PLANET

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.

Here is a link to our segment of the episode with host Dan Riskin, and make sure to check out the pictures below for some behind-the-scenes fun on site.

STUNTS & SPFX FOR PHOTO SHOOT

danger boy, dragon, explosion, fire, fire ball, flame, gas bomb, liquid flame, propane, special effects, spfx, stunt, stunt choreography, stunt coordinator, stunts, Tom Comet, Photoshop, photoshoot, flame thrower, Allan Davey Photography, art

Photo by Allan Davey Photography

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.

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.