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Our Alberta Road Trip: Over before it began?

21 Jun

Much if South-Western Alberta is underwater right now- literally. Massive flooding and landslides have caused mandatory evacuations and a State of Emergency in Alberta.

We had planned to land in Calgary, and drive up to Banff and Jasper. The Trans-Canada Highway has been closed for two days now with massive mudslides off the mountains blocking the road. People are trapped in the towns of Banff and Canmore, unable to leave. Follow the links below for more information.

Chris and I are trying switch flights and fly into Edmonton. We need to find places to stay ASAP as evacuees will be seeking shelter.

Below are the road closures-the black indicates road closures. This is the route we had planned to take tomorrow.

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 7.43.59 AM

 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/100-000-evacuated-from-downtown-calgary-as-floods-hit-alberta-1.1335330

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Flying just like magic

17 Jun

Hi everyone !

Jess and I have been crazy busy the last bit so sorry that we haven’t posted more.  I do have a cool one for you today though. Flying people !! Movie style that is!
Often in movies we see people do all sorts of gravity defying feats, jumping  over rooftops, through windows or levitating when possessed by evil spirits ! Well here is a quick look behind the curtain of just how flying and these effects are achieved. The first thing needed is a flying suit, these are a  specially created pair of pants. They look like a cross between old style football pants and a corset. They work by transferring the weight off your body , through your thighs and into two special buckles on your hips. The buckles can move  up and down so different balance points can be achieved. A “superman ” pose for example would be balanced for 50/50 weight distribution. However a straight levitation would have a more bottom heavy distribution and we would pick up higher on the plates (lowering the center of gravity). From the pick points on the hips we then run thin aircraft cable (800lb strength per line ) up to a spreader bar. This bar is attached to another pick point with either a winch or set of pulleys, this allows us to lift the actor smoothly . The cables are often painted bright green or blue so they later can be removed in post production.

Flying people takes very good gear, attention to detail and a mind for safety. I hope you liked the information, here are some pictures of my buddy Brendan messing around on a test rig at the shop.

Meet Ruby

17 Jun

Meet Ruby, our new Cirneco dell’Etna pup (I know, it’s a mouthful). She’s a type of sight hound from Sicily. I adore sight hounds and doubt I will ever own anything else. They make fantastic pets and best friends. We recently adopted Ruby from the SPCA- she was seized from a local Puppy Mill along with over 120 other dogs. Ruby comes to us at 7 months of age, with no house training- but no worries, we are dedicated parents (she’s only had one accident)! She’s already proven to be very smart, kind and grateful for her new diggs!

How’s Katie-dog doing with the new addition? Fantastic! I’ll let the pictures speak volumes….

Here’s to new beginnings for little dogs! We are so happy to share our life with her!

xo

19 Days Until Alberta Adventure (and Counting!)

3 Jun

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 5.42.58 PM

Well, 19 days until we fly into Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We are SO looking forward to this next adventure together.

We’ve planned to rent a car at the airport and drive across Calgary in search of the coolest sights and activities Alberta has to offer. While we usually like to leave a lot of our travel loose and ‘fly by the seat of our pants’, this time we’ve prearranged our accommodations and therefore our route! Above is an overview of our approximate trip.

Our plans so far include riding through the Rockies, sleeping in a teepee by the Athabasca River in Jasper, digging up Dinosaur bones in the badlands during a guided excavation, drinks with friends in Edmonton, visiting family in Red Deer and kayaking on Lake Louise.

Do you have any suggestions or know of anything we’ve got to see during our trip?? Let us know!

We’ll be creating a video diary during this trip so stay tuned! We leave on June 22, 2013.

I’m on Daily Planet with ‘Never Ever Do This at Home’ !

8 May

Hi !

It’s been an exciting week so far: Never Ever Premiered on Monday and I got a quick spot on Daily Planet. Growing up I watched a ton of Daily Planet, which consists of interesting or news worthy science from Canada and around the World. The bit I am featured on is at about 1:26. It has me explaining a grease fire which I set up in the kitchen for Teddy and Norm. The actual fire we got was pretty spectacular. Fire out the doors and what not. I was inside the house, initiating the water which lifted the grease and started the fire.  I have to thank the Brantford Volunteer Fire Fighters and Fire Chief Paul Boissonneault, they were really great to work with and pros at their job. Also make sure you check out Paul and Jay as they rig an RC car and a boat full of oxygen tanks !

Here is the clip : http://watch.discoverychannel.ca/#clip921567

Our Weekend in Toronto

29 Apr

Every once in a while we head into the ‘big city’ for a change in pace and scenery. We’ve just returned from a weekend in Toronto celebrating my 24th birthday. We returned to our favourite hotel: The Westin Harbour Castle which overlooks Lake Ontario and had reservations at my favourite restaurant The Miller Tavern (located on Bay Street). I highly recommend this restaurant if you find yourself in Toronto. The atmosphere is classy but low key, the mixed drinks are fantastic (try the Bee’s Knees!), the staff are terrific and it’s reasonably priced at $25-$30 a plate. The food is top class- the best I’ve ever had. Our favourite plates so far are the Artisan Bread with Maple Butter to start, (their soups are also fantastic!), the Braised Short Ribs and the Pan-Seared Chicken Supreme are our two favourite entrees, and for dessert we highly recommend the peanut butter cake (it’s not heavy), and Jess’s favourite: freshly made chocolate gelato. … hungry yet?!

If you have never been to Toronto, Ontario, there is a lot to see and do; Shopping the boutiques on Queen Street, The Eaton Centre, The Royal Ontario Museum, Art Galleries, Toronto Island, Hockey/Baseball, CN Tower, Theatre, Comedy… you get the drift.  Toronto is a beautiful and LARGE city. I feel like I could walk for days and never reach the edge!  During our stay we visited friends who live in the city. We drove half an hour on the highway and after we exited, we were STILL in the city with sky scrapers and the like- just to give you an idea of how large the city is.  Known for its diversity and multi-culturalism, Toronto is a great place to visit because there really is something for everyone.

We had a fantastic weekend together exploring the city- what a great way to spend a birthday.

Roadtrippers.com

18 Apr

Planning a road trip??

We’ve found an awesome planning site: http://www.roadtrippers.com. This website allows you to create an account, create trips with multiple stops/destinations, view itinerary, track fuel costs, distance, and much more.

We are using it to plan our Alberta Road Trip. Here’s a quick look at what we have so far:

Alberta Road Trip

 

 

Keep in mind this is an American site. The distances are listed in miles and gas estimations will vary slightly.

Give it a try! Explore, Dream, Discover!

 

My Newest Project

8 Apr

Hi all,

The last few weeks  I have been quite busy building a camera crash box with my friend and now business partner, Brendan Krick.

After our last season of Special Effects destruction, especially on Hazard House and Never Ever we thought it would be a good idea to update and redesign the crash boxes that we rent out. Now for those of you who are wondering what the hell as crash box is, it is exactly what it sounds like: A box that keeps the camera safe in a crash. In our line of work a crash can be anything from two cars colliding, to explosions, flames,  flying debris, crossbow bolts, flying hammers, rocks, scalding exploding soup cans, rockets and even 8 lug truck tires (don’t ask).

So after a long process of planning and brain storming we decided to get our hands dirty and start the creation process.

Here is our work so far :

The work continues, we still have to finish  the box as well as the ventilation unit and tripod . Keep you posted !

Archives: WCT Video Diary- Day 5.3

8 Apr

Chris’s Latest Work Airs on Discovery: ‘Never Ever Do This At Home’ Canada

5 Apr

Here is the recently released preview for Never Ever Do This at Home set to air on Discovery this Spring (2013).

Chris was the Key Special FX Coordinator for this new series. (He  developed and rigged all the explosions, gags, ‘experiments’ and stunts you’re about to see).

More to come on this show- Chris has a few funny stories to share…

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