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Safe Landing in Pit

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by SpaZuM, Mar 25, 2009.

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  1. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    I'm not sure if this thread belongs in this section or not; if not, my apologies.

    We are doing a show that requires an actor to fall/jump into our orchestra pit. It is about 6ft.6in. to the bottom of the pit. What is the best thing to put at the bottom of the pit for landing?
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Southern California
    Unfortunately, we can't answer this question for you.

    You need to find someone who's qualified to help you set it up safely. If you tell us where you're located we may be able to help you find a qualified person. Beyond that, we can't help you.

    Even though this doesn't involve flying, it does fall under the broad category of the control of stored energy, in this case kinetic, which means that giving you advice on how to set it up would be a violation of the TOS.

    Remember, a fall from 6 ft. 6 in. can be fatal or crippling. If you set up the landing zone and screw it up, you can be held personally liable, both civilly and criminally. Don't take the risk. Hire a professional.
  3. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    Alexandria, VA

    What sort of venue/company is this?

    This type of question is best answered by a fight choregrapher/stunt advisor.

    There are crash mats/pads available. They are typically large/thick. But they should be used in conjunction with proper training. If you're asking this question here, you should be asking for someone to come in an advise the physical action. _Just_ looking for the proper items is really only part of the solution. Falling or jumping "the wrong way" onto even the best mats can result in injury.

  4. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Screw gun for hire
    I can tell you WHAT to put in the pit, but I cannot tell you HOW to fall or HOW TO train someone to fall. You need to find, as has been said, someone trained/experienced in fight choreography/stunts.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2009
  5. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Stageline Operator/Staging Supervisor
    Howell, NJ
    Depending on where you are I may be able to consult on this issue.
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    It's actually a lot worse than that CDub. According to OSHA records of workplace falls, 80% of falls from above 6 feet ARE FATAL.

    You need a stunt or fight coordinator with proper equipment to do this safely or you should not do it at all.

    There is some content in the above posts that has been deleted because it skates too close to the edge of our TOS. The posts suggested talking to someone trained in a similar activity to get help with this stunt fall. This is a VERY DANGEROUS IDEA. The person suggested is an expert in that activity, not in planning a stage fall from a height. The two may be similar but they are NOT the same. Somewhere along the way that person is going to have to make a guess on how to do it right. If that guess is wrong, according to OSHA, 20% of the time the actor will live. That's slightly better odds than Russian Roulette with 5 bullets in the gun!

    Did you read the thread about the young woman who died in December doing a flying stunt in a church Christmas Show? She was an expert rock climber and therefore believed she could be an expert at flying people on stage too. They are similar disciplines but not the same. The reason she fell would have not happened if she was wearing the correct harness and had a backup line. That's two things any stage flight professional would have never allowed on stage, but are considered acceptable in rock climbing. That's two experts. Different standards of what is "safe".

    In the case of any sort of height related work the CB motto is: "Hire a REAL expert or don't do it". The standard response from many school or community theater programs is, "but we can't afford to hire a professional so we'll fudge a little." I know, I admit I did it myself while teaching high school. :oops: It's amazing how little value we place on the safety of student actors and technicians. There's no way that the Actor's Equity union would allow an adult to do what you have described without extensive training and supervision by a stunt expert. The list of actors injured or killed because they didn't use proper safety techniques is endless. Every year there are probably a half a dozen dead. Don't be a statistic!

    I'm closing this thread because as it has gone on several posts started dancing way too close to the edge with some dangerous ideas. PLEASE hire a professional or don't do the stunt! If you feel the need to discuss this further please send a P.M. to myself or anyone on the CB Senior Team or any CB Mod.

    EDIT: I received a suggestion via PM that you should be able to contact your local branch of Actor's Equity for a list of stunt experts in your area who can help you do this safely.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
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