We have been prepping the mega escape stunt that will be filmed on Sunday night with a live audience. Particular attention has been made to the technical aspect of the escape. There are two important elements that make this stunt spectacular but safe; or as safe as can be. Any stunt has an element of danger and risk.
The first element is the rigging. This rigging for my version of this escape is different from what Ning used previously and is also different from what I’ve seen others used worldwide. I’m not quite sure why they do not use a similar system to what I designed as it seems logical and practical to me. Maybe they know something I don’t…
But, I’ve studied such riggings previously and have gleamed knowledged from professionals who have performed such suspended aerial stunts before. I have also rigged different illusions in the past. While my system is completely different from theirs, it is still a system designed with safety first in mind.
We are custom fabricating a specific rigging for the stunt and using calibrated connectors for the hook-up. I designed it for stability and to reduce twisting and swaying.
In escape stunts of this nature, many, if not all performers, use a lot of big actions and movements to struggle out of the straight jacket. The approach we developed for Ning two years ago and the same one I will adopt is one of controlled movements and minute joint manipulation. One reason is that our hook-up is different from other performers. Big actions can cause us to get unhooked and fall. Unstable riggings from our system to the crane hooks can also cause unhooking and falling.
The other variable and element much harder to control are the movements of the skaters below and around me in the air. Multiple skaters have to be coordinated such that they do not fly into me or collide with each other. Lots of fast moving people/ objects as I dangle by a burning rope, so that should be fun!
If you read this blog and are “inspired” to attempt such a stunt, I encourage you NOT to do so. If you insist on trying this, I assume you are a professional and have assessed all the risks. In which case, be sure to hire professionals or hire experts to oversee or consult on your riggin system. You have been warned!