The intention of this article is to draw together resources from Controlbooth, the internet, and other creditable sources to form a mini-reference guide with links to helpful articles, stories, and reasons why a theatre company should always consult a qualified rigger before attempting ANY rigging work at all.
A secondary intention was to give a sole link to a plethora of resources, including the helpful members of Controlbooth.com, that could be used in the forums on this website or as a link that can be sent to school principals, superintendents, boards, parents, as well as other theatre directors and managers to discourage dangerous attempts at do-it-yourself rigging.
Part One: Why Not DIY?
See the glossary entry: Flying Effects.
Part Two: Why Not Fly a Person?
So, you're doing an upcoming production that "requires" (note the quotation marks) making someone leave the ground. First of all, step back for a second. Do you really need to have someone leave the ground? Is there a safer alternative? Can a combination of lights, smoke, noise, whatever create a different, yet just as spectacular event? Sure, it's tougher to pull off, but safety is well worth the extra work.
No? You say you have to lift that person off the ground. Well, you can. However, before you go any farther, give a qualified rigger a call. A few big name companies that do this often and do it well include Flying by Foy, ZFX Flying Effects, Hall Associates Flying FX, and D2 Flying Effects. Of course you may want to do some looking as there might be a qualified rigger near you. Be sure to ask for credentials, as you are putting lives at stake by doing this very special and very dangerous effect. Different packages are available to you for pricing, but as every show is different, every price is different. Expect to pay at least USD5500-6000 for the few minutes that this effect will take place. Yes, that's a hefty price tag. But the safety and peace of mind that come with this (as well as a couple million in liability insurance) is well worth it. Don't even think about going to the hardware store and spending a few hundred on cheap rock climbing gear and under-rated hardware. Do it right, or don't do it at all.
There are many posts and thread on this topic. CB Search results for flying effects.
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