Flying Carpet...

Hello Everyone! First post, But Just want to introduce myself before I go rambling on... Maryvale H.s. student from Buffalo, New York, 2nd year of SMing. Not that much experience so far and I am currently working on Aladdin Jr. from Disney...

Now that that's out of the way... Does anybody have and idea or have something that they have used to either have a flying carpet or simulate / make the illusion (Sp.) That the carpet is flying?? This is our biggest and most daunting task as of this point in the show. Any advice would be great just send it my way. We have a plan set up using an air compressed bottle jack but its come out to being very costly.

Thanks again, Oobleck1441


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How does the rest of the design look? Is it by the book or is it abstract? If it is an abstractish set you can get away with a bit more. Also, what are you wanting the carpet to do? Also, how big is your house, and what is the rake of the house. Are people going to be able to look at the top of the carpet or just see the sides?


If you can get away with it, get a few people dressed all in black to hold up the carpet and run around the stage. That way you can gain altitude...? Hm. I somehow want to suggest suspending it from the gallery, but I can't think of any ways to make it move freely enough (rather than just swinging).

If you can find a recording of the show, it might give you some ideas too.


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Down here in Tryon NC....

Rental of two dry ice foggers and about 500lbs dry ice... $450.00

Bringing in ZFX and their flying rig to lift and travel the carpet and two people... $3500.00

The knowledge that it's being done safely and "if someone gets hurt" everybody is covered by insurance... Priceless!!!

Other than that... use two dry ice foggers and large casters.

Edit: I hope you are NOT!!!! going to try to fly Aladdin and Jasmine on the carpet more than a few inches off of the deck. If you are thinking of it PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!! read this post. (if you have to like we did, call a pro)

I've been doing this theater gig for 14 years, trust me, the physics involved are way too complicated.
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For what its worth, my daughter’s Junior High School did Aladdin Jr last year. They don’t have a huge budget like many school districts. They took a decidedly low-tech approach to the scene and had the “carpet” (a solid board) mounted on a dark platform a few feet off the stage floor. This piece did not move during the scene. I don’t remember what was done with the background/lighting, but there is a lot of dialogue and singing from two actors going on during the scene. If nothing else, the immobile platform made it easier for the performers.



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A company called Silvermist Productions just finished their second run of Aladdin Jr. in Niagara Falls Canada. They used a bottle jack/ scissor lift type system for the flying carpet for scenes behind the balcony edge. The other scenes where it was out in front was done with a lot of smoke, and a small hand line from the edge of the carpet to backstage, only to be moved when empty.

Maybe give them a call, they're a professional non-profit company and could probably give you some good suggestions as they likely tried many things before going with what they did.

Thanks for all your help everyone... I will take all these great ideas and I will discuss them with my directors and see what they thinks. Thanks again everyone!


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One other trick (Yeah I know more projection ;-)) is to create video clip of the magic carpet and the people on it. Have your carpet rise from the stage floor a bit on a lift with the "riders" douse the lights, and then IF your side wall in the audience space is relatively light colored, from one side of the house have a video projector, and slowly pan it from the stage back to the balcony area etc. you then have the projected carpet etc flying thru the space

It is also possible to set up a dual guide wire system, and have a carpet on dowels with eye hooks that is pulled via a wire from the proscenium back to the balcony and is lit with a follow spot during the "trip"

The projector trick can be very effective if you have light colored side walls


Actually, I just thought of something. If you put down two scrims, they hold in fog pretty well. If you get a sea of fog going, you can have the "carpet" really be a table on wheels or something, and the fog'll hide everything but the carpet. That'd take a buttload of fog though...and it'll still move around a bit...


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You are going to need to have a fogger that will put out low lying fog, usually the some sort of chiller or else the fog will rise and dissipate too much.



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I've done two productions of Aladdin during my time, both of which used two different techniques to do the 'flying carpet' effect. So I'll add my two cents worth.

Method 1:

For this, they had two people (Aladdin and another person) 'flying'. All they did was get a frame of 2 x 4 and cover it with fabric. They then cut two holes in the fabric for the actors to stand in. They had rope straps which just went over the shoulders of the actors. Once off the ground, an 'apron' of black fabric hid the actors feet. To make it look like they were flying they made fake legs, and sewed them onto the fabric infront of the holes for the actors. Basically it looked like they were sitting on the 'flying carpet' but they were infact walking underneath. It was for a pantomime for kids, but it worked pretty well.

Method 2:

Depending on your venue, this may not work, as we had fly bars at our disposal.

A wire was hung down from one end of the bar to a piece of scaff pipe that dropped lower (effectively producing a 'diagonal' wire track). On this wire (metal rope) were two pulleys. A rope was run back to the opposite side to the end location (in our instance it was run back to Prompt). From each of the pulley's was a dummy carpet with a frame and some puppets (easily and cheaply made). During the show, a crew member simply pulled the rope that was attached to the first pulley, and that pulled the 'dummy carpet' up the diagonal rope. Effectively making it 'fly'.

It took a bit of tweaking, but it worked.

Just some ideas for you to consider.


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After checkig an MSDS, CO2 only starts to cause symptoms when it is in concentrations of more than 3%. So I have no idea whether or not you will reach that concentration in this situation. Note that the symptoms start with minor effects, and with greater concentrations / longer exposure they get worse.


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you could always giv the actors scuba apperatuses, and the auience too. tehn you can use as much co2 as you want lol

What Rigger?

I'm so fly....I Neverland.
A company I've started working for (and LOVE the gear by the way) is Hall Associates Flying Effects in Illinois and they are always interested in helping your organization do your flying safely and with style.

And as I've said before, please don't ever try to do flying of objects or people on your own, on the cheap, or on the down low. You're asking for trouble. If it goes in the air, it needs to be done right.


After checkig an MSDS, CO2 only starts to cause symptoms when it is in concentrations of more than 3%. So I have no idea whether or not you will reach that concentration in this situation. Note that the symptoms start with minor effects, and with greater concentrations / longer exposure they get worse.

Hm, that's interesting. For Beauty and the Beast, when we were doing the castle battle scene (near the end), we had the guy who played the rug lie down in the CO2 and grab a townslady when she walks by. I don't know if he held his breath or not, but he was definitely covered by about a foot of CO2 for a couple of minutes. He was fine though, I don't think he even got lightheaded.


Hi Ooblek,
We just closed that show in May at our High School and I used two students (who were best of friends and who worked extremely well together) dressed in black with black painted dowel attached to each corner of the carpet. They were able to come up with some amazingly good acrobatics and comic scenes with the carpet which combined with the music and lighting effects was really effective. It was much less expensive than any other way I could think of to get the job done. The girls had a great time and were very creative. Good luck and hope yours is a success!
Nancy Jarchow


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Zuzujar, that's really fun. There is a video floating around the net of some people doing flying tricks with using people dressed in black - very clever and effective.

It really depends on the show, but I always believe if you can't do something effectively (and safely) so that it looks stupid, don't do it. There are always was of doing things a bit more stylized to fit the show - perhaps lighting and set movement combined with some fog or haze.

Of course we'd all prefer the real flying, but if it's too expensive, don't try it yourself. Some of the ways people have suggested here are clever, creative, and if done right will impress people. Even if it isn't realistic, it's not like people REALLY believe they are flying anyway. It's all wires. With some artistic design qualities, some good building and thinking, you can come with ways of doing it - probably without even lifting an inch off the ground.


You could run some low fog on the stage and have the "carpet" on casters to get into position and then have the scenery move around the carpet. With the right lighting you should be able to pull off the look.
depending on your school... We put on Alice and wonderland and we had a heck of a problem with the whole rabbit hole thing. i contacted the t.v. dept at my school, or just talk to anyone with a green screen. have the actors sit on this green sheet and sing/dialogue. record it edit in a carpet and some flying stars perhaps? then, you grab a projector and throw the video on the wall. with enough practice you can get it flawless. so the actors on stage dialogue, walk off stage or some kind of exit. BAM! they are on the wall flying. whatever works. then the clip ends they appear back on stage.

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