Defying Gravity Effect- Wicked

bestboy

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Location
Clarence
Hello all,

I am supposed to write a paper on any effect from a show and I have picked the Defying Gravity Effect when Elphaba flies up.

Does anyone know how this is done exactly? Or has ideas on it? I'm just looking for some research points, I'll be breaking down Youtube videos later as well as doing as much Googling as I can, but if anyone has had experience with Wicked that would be awesome.

Much Appreciated!
 

sk8rsdad

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Location
Ottawa
Have you tried a search in these forums for "Wicked"? I know there are a lot of postings and discussions including links to the lighting plot for the show and various trade magazine publications.
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
There is a video out there that shows exactly how the flying rig works. It is essentially just a boom lift with a specially designed basket.

Sent from my HTC Incredible
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
/hijack

Since it's come up frequently recently...
The best way to post a YouTube video is to use the embed feature:
embed_video.jpg .
This will put the link in {video}URL{/video} tags, and will enable viewing directly from within ControlBooth.

See also the collaborative article Posting pictures/videos/files on ControlBooth - ControlBooth .
Thanks.

/end hijack
 
Last edited:

rsmentele

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Location
Madison, WI
And also, one thing that they didn't show in the movie... to get the cape the covers the machine to 'blow in the wind' they have all the extra cast members/stagehands shake the fabric from backstage.
 

CSCTech

Active Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Location
U.S.
I saw Wicked a couple months ago, it was amazing, their constantly flying back drops, and they have this huge bridge piece that gets flown in and out, not sure how they got the weight of it down enough to have it flown.

And well yeah, Jack pretty much covered it for you :p

So pretty much, Elfie sneaks off to the back of the stage which is not lit, stands in their modified forklift, and theres a switch, not sure if its a deadman or not, she presses with her back which locks a brace around her waist which is draped with the same fabric as her outfit. When the switch is activated it allows a crew member offstage to operate the lift after she says her line.

I was reading about one time that she did this scene she hit the button with he elbow or something and the brace closed on her, they had to stop the show for like 10 minutes, then they continued with her doing it on stage instead.
 

photoatdv

Active Member
Joined
May 8, 2008
I saw Wicked a couple months ago, it was amazing, their constantly flying back drops, and they have this huge bridge piece that gets flown in and out, not sure how they got the weight of it down enough to have it flown.
I won't say for sure it's what they did on this show, but I've seen touring broadway marry up to 4 pipes for heavy set pieces. Is it safe-- with very well trained riggers and crew? Maybe. Anyone else? No way!. If you are referring to the show in NY they probably have specially installed flies and/or winches for it.
 

CSCTech

Active Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Location
U.S.
Oh, maybe that's it.
I have little to no experience with rigging/flying sets as our stage doesn't have full flys.
It was the touring show, I saw it at the PPAC.

I assume it was rather heavey because they had actors waling accross it.

For your paper, it might be interesting to note that Elfaba's microphone transmiter is in her hat and the microphone sticks out infront of her forehead, I thought that was interesting.
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I won't say for sure it's what they did on this show, but I've seen touring broadway marry up to 4 pipes for heavy set pieces. Is it safe-- with very well trained riggers and crew? Maybe. Anyone else? No way!. If you are referring to the show in NY they probably have specially installed flies and/or winches for it.
....And then this happens....



That was from a touring production of a certain very large musical done by a certain very large touring company that does most of the Broadway tours out there. One of my friends who was the head elec on that show sent this picture out.

This was a victim of the road crew asking for a batten to be married, the house crew did it, and the arbor ran and slammed into the deck. This was with a professional road crew and a professional road crew. No one got hurt here luckily.

Many shows that have large flying pieces that are loaded heavily usually bring in their own flying package for it. Usually, truss loaded with winches will be hung with chain hoists then the winches pick the piece. That is how Cats did it last time I did that show. Wicked might be flying that piece on 2 battens, but because they already have so much automation in the air it would not surprise me if the bridge was also flown with truss.
 

rdmgnrtdgy

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Location
England
Hi folks,

I realize there's been quite a few wicked flying posts regarding the defying gravity scene, I have a question that I haven't found the answer to however.

I was wondering if any of you could tell me why they use a hydraulic lift, as opposed to using a more standard winch system?

My one theory would be that it's due to all the fly bars being taken up, but I'm looking for someone with more knowledge to help me confirm. If you could post sources/how you know this info it would be much appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read (and answer) my thread!
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, Washington
I'm not an expert but with the little experience I've had with flight, wires just don't fit the effect. She's supposed to steadily just go straight up, on wires she would sway just a little with all the dress parts pulling away from her. Also, there's a lot of light right on her from above. Wires would be more visible. When you start pulling on the dress, having her on a lift just makes more sense. With the lift the stretched dress effect can be built right into the lift and she just steps in get's safetied somehow, and off she goes and the dress starts pulling out from behind her. In a sense, it's just the right tool for the job.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rdmgnrtdgy

dwthomas

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
From the safety, liability, and time perspectives I agree with ^^^ it's just the best tool for the job


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
There are multiple flying rigs in the air for the show all built by ZFX... the monkeys fly, the bubble machine flys... people do fly.

However, if you have seen the show you know that she goes straight from walking the stage to into the air... while singing one of the beltiest songs currently on broadway. Not an easy feat if you have to get clipped in then flown. Instead, all she basically does is stand there, pull two small arms in, and go. No harness to take weight. No checking of points. No pendulum effect if she really starts throwing her arms.... and no flying rig to try to pack in upstage.
 

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
PPT.
Footer hit the nail on the head on all aspects.


Also?






NECROPOST! (Sorry, had to do it. While whispering!) :dance:
 

DuckJordan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Location
Doesnt matter
My one theory would be that it's due to all the fly bars being taken up, but I'm looking for someone with more knowledge to help me confirm. If you could post sources/how you know this info it would be much appreciated.
NEVER USE STANDARD BATONS TO FLY PEOPLE. That said, the only reason to ever use a flying rig rather than platform is if there needs to be swing in the movement. Simple lifting is much easier to accomplish by a platform (just watched B&B's rig). No reason to spend the extra time and effort when an arm with a platform could accomplish the same task (also easier to setup).
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
And, it's much easier for revues to fake with a forklift. :)
Somewhere on the Internet was a great and lengthy article about why material lifts are NOT good replacements for personnel lifts. I'll have to try and find it.