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Flying in a Blackbox

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by MidnightsBrokenToe, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. MidnightsBrokenToe

    MidnightsBrokenToe Member

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    Staunton, VA
    I have a production meeting just for this issue, but I thought I'd come here and ask for suggestions. We need to make it look like someone is flying, without actually flying. We can't actually fly her because we're in a black box with a 12' grid and no fly system, and I don't think we have anyone on our crew experienced enough to set up and/or run a rig like that, especially not one with the safety precautions involved. And our set design won't work with it (according to our TD).
    So far we're thinking a combination of fog and lights to create an illusion of flying. Like I said, the producer, director, td, sound designer and I are all meeting to brainstorm over this. But if anyone has had any similar problems or experiences or if anyone has a suggestion, your words are much appreciated.
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Do a search, there have been a ton of threads on how to somewhat pull this off. Flying without flying, I want to say there is also a collaborative article on this.
  3. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Dallas, TX
    There are tons of articles out there on the subject. But you guys are on the right track.

  4. awhaley

    awhaley Member

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    To provide a little push in the right direction.... You need to break the visual relationship between the actor and the floor. Groundfog (either chilled smoke machine fog, or preferably (at least visually) dry ice fog will make them unable to see the floor. If you add a small step or platform at almost the height of the ground fog, the audience will be aware that the actor isn't standing where they think the floor 'should be.'

    The obvious lighting trick is to use lighting that comes up, from shins or footlights mounted as low to the floor as possible and focused so very little light lands on the floor, thus lighting the body but not the ground and helping to 'lift' the actor up visually.

    I think a combination of ground fog and lighting could be very effective. I'm glad to hear you have the experience to know what you don't have the experience to do. A lot of people would have said "Oh yeah, we can throw some ropes over pipes in the grid and fly him, no problem!" While this isn't a particularly intense rigging challenge, it is several steps with severe consequence to error and recognizing that you don't have the right person to make it happen is very responsible for you! Let us know if we can answer more specific questions once you start to zero in on a method.


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