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Walking the plank

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Darren Stoddart, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Darren Stoddart

    Darren Stoddart Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone have any good ideas for building a plan with an actual drop of anywhere between 2' and 8' for Peter Pan? This is a children's production and safety is my number one concern with anything of this sort. The director is OK with concealing the landing with a crowd of kids or having the plank drop be behind the main set and therefore not visible from the audience.

    Thanks in advance for your ideas!
    Darren
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I would do it be behind the main set. Get a crash mat, not just a pile of mattresses. You will need to have someone either familiar with fight choreography or gymnastics teach the kids how to hit the crash mat properly. It can be done safely, you just need some help doing it safely. You could also go the foam pit route... but those need to be super deep to work right.
     
  3. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Crashmat for sure. Breakfalls, landing on butt, hands and feet, distributing weight across the whole to lessen the impact. Definitely second what Kyle said, having someone in person to demonstrate it properly and work directly is paramount to doing it safely.
     
  4. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    Sometime a crash mat is called a "stunt pit," if you're having trouble searching it. +1 for hiring a stunt coordinator.
     
  5. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Occupation:
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    Not at home, that's for sure.
    You need to hire a professional that knows how to train the fall. This is nothing that can be assigned to a non-trained individual.

    If this is Cecco's walking the plank, it is generally built on the upstage side of the pirate ship set to mask the landing. You're building a set and not renting, right? Who is your flying company, they may be able to help out on this. We fly people know a lot of other types of specialty people.
     
  6. JonCarter

    JonCarter Well-Known Member

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    I'm reminded of a Metropolitan Opera production of TOSCA a while back. Tosca was being sung by Zinka Milanov. In the last act where after Tosca has found that Cavarodosi is really dead and the guards are approaching, she hurls herself off the parapet of the Castle Gandolfo into the Tiber (which she can't, because the Castle Gandolfo doesn't overlook the Tiber, but whatever--this is show biz), she bounced back into view, still holding her final note.
     
  7. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @JonCarter You're dredging up a memory from a tour I was with. We had several automated floor tracks and one pneumatic lift about 30" square. Sometimes the lift rose level with the show deck and was locked to support traffic. Sometimes the lift was down in the trap room being pre-loaded with whatever it was to raise in the next scene. Sometimes the lift was loaded with a phone booth, the flat top of which was painted to match the fancily painted surface of our show deck. One time the lift was to rise comparatively slowly in a blackout carrying a tiny petite lady who I was to spot out of black with a half body shot as she began to sing the U.S. national anthem. As the lift was pneumatically powered, and as its loads were so varied, the automation operator had to preset the lifts air pressure to suit the load of the moment. One night, the operator had forgotten to reduce the lifts pressure, the music played, I snapped open my douser on cue to find my half body shot illuminating the petite songstress's navel as she was on her way back down after having been fired up from the basement just as she opened her mouth to sing "Oh say can you see". All I know is she was on her way down on the downbeat and certainly sounded startled. The automation operator never made that mistake again for the remainder of our run, she was tiny but she told him off "real good". Some things are memorable and stick in your mind. I can almost remember her name. It was a Canada / U.S. co-pro and the little lady was one of our Americans. This would've been 1990 in Broadway's Shubert.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     

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