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.

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.

DANGER BOY HAS LASERS

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.

Toronto Cavalcade of Lights 2013 Fireworks, Presented by Great Gulf, Saturday November 30, 2013, Nathan Phillips Square from Peter Mykusz on Vimeo.

ROMANS VS BARBARIANS STUNT BATTLE AT YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE

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.

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.

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.

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.