Author Topic: SHOWS: Peter Pan  (Read 15748 times)

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GalFriday

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #15 on: Apr 13, 2008, 08:20 am »
One important thing to remember is that every company out there who does human flying (especially Sapsis and ZFX) are all off-shoots of Flying by Foy.  The founders of these companies are Foy trained riggers who left to start their own company.  Foy started it all and there is no company out there more knowledgeable than Foy.

Ahhh...but there are companies out there willing to branch out and think outside of the box more than Foy. I worked with ZFX in the very beginning and, as I understand it, that was one of the reasons Robert started the company. Foy, in my opinion, can be VERY stuck in their way of doing things and unwilling to work with a producing company that wants to do anything new. I understand the reasoning behind that but, as I am now part of a company that is constantly looking for a new way to do things (Cirque), I find it very stifling. I also have, unfortunately, worked with some not so great Foy riggers so that may have influenced my opinion.

I have worked with ZFX and Foy as a flyer, an operator and a member of the producing team. I found ZFX to be superior in every way.

Just my two cents.
"Now the best way to learn the theater, always, is to be a stage manager" - Stephen Sondheim

smalltimeSM

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #16 on: Apr 13, 2008, 08:01 pm »
To Add My Two Cents; 

Hall Associates is a company that is NOT an off shoot of Foy.  They specialize in the obscure and unique flying effects.  But they are amazing at your old standards like: Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, ect... And they will work with a company to create original flying effects for the old standards as well.  With all do respect to Foy, they aren't the cat's meow.

gaquin

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #17 on: Apr 19, 2008, 03:08 am »
My experience with Peter Pan was quite something, I can assure you that ! A catastrophic adventure ! and as SM I could only do the best as I could and as long as possible. Here is the recipe : inexperienced  people, starting from the  technical director, all the  stage people was having their first experience, including the other two SM of the show. No local production manager, the responsible for it was the PM that was passing the show  to us. The cast as you know, requires mostly young  people.  One place with very poor facilities for rehearsals being taken care by one SM. The other SM would take care of the few flying rehearsals happened on a different venue, performed by actors, not all of the ones supposed  to fly in the show, like the mermaids, and operators with no experience at all. I was assigned  to this production in the middle of the process, taken from another production to give it a hand. I was supposed to do the calling, which I never did. We got to the venue  one week before the opening and of course the director gave preference for flying rehearsals and the choreographer for finishing the choreography. One week before the opening and the show was very far from being ready. We SM and technicians  were given only 4 to 6 hours for just one single dry tech. So, three days after the director called everybody on stage and honestly, as he said himself, questioned everybody what was going on ! People started giving their opinion and 15 minutes after the discussion was very hot , they argued about the problems  with  the  flying  system or about the move of the panels  but they never reached a conclusion, eventually I told them the most important issue for me was lack of dry techs , we should postpone the opening one  week ahead. Nobody listened to me,  postponing was out of question. By that time I had spent  some time to inspect everything I could about the venue, about the scenery, about the flying system while we had to set up the back stage. The flying system I was  assured it was the best we could have. The scenery was old and some  parts of  the  panels broke during rehearsals. The floor was fixed with pins all over and as it was very old.  I noticed that, after the first rehearsal, the pins would come off  with the actors stepping on it. I felt very insecure about that and I went hammering the pins back after each break. But during the show this was not possible but during the interval. I was really afraid, because of  the children and because of the choreography. Everybody could be hurt.  Well I found myself concerned about so many issues that I told my producer I was not going to do the calling so worried I was was with safety. It proved  so right that very soon people started to call me  firefighter and I really fought a fire on a backstage dressing room  and during the show. Once more lack of attention and experience made that happen.    But the worst accident happened during the open rehearsal, one day before the opening, with the flying system ! In the first act, right after the second fly, two loads fell from  20/25 meters high, 30 kilos each, on stage  left. It was such a noise that everybody on back stage went  running off it ! The show was  stopped and we  found the two loads on the  floor inside a hole they made in the fall. Fortunately  there was  nobody hurt,  but the actors used to stay at the  place waiting to enter on stage.
During the first week of the show the bloody pins made their first victim. The youngest of the children had one of her feet pinned. She
screamed a lot, she was taken off stage and once more, thanks God there was nothing serious. So many problems, so many inexperienced people not accepting any authority  I had already decided I was not going to quit  only because of the children. Nobody seemed to be worried about ! Next show, first act Peter Pan doesn`t enter on stage after Wendy and the kids arrive  at the island. Panic !
I found the actor in his dressing room , taking care of his make up !  Believe it or not, it was a professional work by the most important company  we have. So, during the interval the producer called the 3 SM, he was hysterical and cried a lot. He wanted to know what stage manager was  responsible for Peter losing his cue. I knew he was doing this because the  director was pressing hard on him. He was looking for a scapegoat, somebody whom, and was not me, he was delaying to dismiss but that would be enough. But...It was enough for me too. He  cried with me a lot, ordered me not to dare looking at him him the way I was ( ? ! ) and eventually you may well imagine what happened...
You see, we start our job having to decide about things we are supposed to do, not knowing how we may end up !
That was Peter Pan for me. And I`d appreciate your comments about it.
It was more than two cents I  believe.
« Last Edit: Apr 19, 2008, 03:14 am by gaquin »

drummer_dude

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #18 on: Apr 21, 2008, 10:41 am »
Peter Pan was my first show in high school as a tech, and we used Foy. The riggers and operators were very efficient, easy to get along with, and not just willing but happy to teach. That was one of my favorite shows to work on to date.

My vote goes to Foy.

avkid

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #19 on: Apr 22, 2008, 01:39 am »
One important thing to remember is that every company out there who does human flying (especially Sapsis and ZFX) are all off-shoots of Flying by Foy.  The founders of these companies are Foy trained riggers who left to start their own company.
"Uncle Bill" Sapsis first flew people in a tire swing.
http://livedesignonline.com/mag/show_business_bill_sapsis/
Philip LaDue
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sgustafson

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2008, 01:24 pm »
We're doing Peter Pan in the fall and I've contacted all the fly companies.
Besides, death and dismemberment,  what's to keep us from rigging our own fly system?
I rigged a simple vertical double purchase on a curtain track with a leg trolly, and using a fall arrest harness, flew a crew member up and vertical.
Steven

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2008, 01:32 pm »
Besides, death and dismemberment,  what's to keep us from rigging our own fly system?

I'd think these two would be reason enough to deter homemade fly systems. 

Curtain tracks are not rated for flying people and neither is your typical wire rope (you need mil-spec cable that's rated for human life).  Did you do any calculations to determine the tensile strength or safe working load of your system or was it a "this looks pretty strong" calculation?

Sorry to be brash, but it's foolish to "do it yourself" when you're putting peoples' health and safety on the line. 
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

smalltimeSM

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2008, 09:17 pm »
I do agree with the "Brash" remark from kmc307.  I will say, I to don't mean to be brash, but I was like you with the "this looks strong" method.  I have Seen my faults and am surprised that I have not killed or injured myself or others.  Now I know and understand rigging and its safe use and practices.    PLEASE PLEASE CALL A PROFESSIONAL!

kiwitechgirl

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2008, 09:59 pm »
<snip>and using a fall arrest harness, flew a crew member up and vertical.<snip>

A fall arrest harness is not designed to fly people in - yes it will catch you if you fall, but they're not usually comfortable when they're supporting your weight, and you can't stay suspended from them for long before you run the risk of suspension trauma.  The professional people-flying companies have harnesses which are specifically designed for the purpose, and they're much more comfortable as well.

sgustafson

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2008, 07:11 am »
I don't assume to know everything (or anything, really) so I ask questions.  Brash is what I'm after.  Thanks!  My next question is; Where can you buy the proper track and harness?  Vendors are hard to find.  The flying companies are supportive, but secretive.  I'm just thinking owning vs. renting.  Dr. Delbert Hall said he'd come and build us our own flying rig, teach seminars, etc... it's just so expensive.

SG
Steven

kiwitechgirl

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2008, 08:13 am »
But why own? There are several compelling arguments for renting over owning on the first page of this thread.

sgustafson

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2008, 09:34 am »
Why own?  Well, money is a big issue, as our small community college is feeling a big money crunch because of low enrollment and a dissappointing stage budget.  But, when I use the flying rig in a second production, it pays for itself. 

I have an option of having Dr. Delbert Hall come for three weekends to teach a class for the college and help me install my own rig.  That is twice the price of renting, some of which can be paid for by salary.  It becomes professional development for me and I get a dollar an hour raise from the college.

$7,000 to rent
$14,000 to own

I don't know.  I'm new here, so I'll check the earlier posts.
10,000 Thanks.

mod's note:  edited for comments
« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 01:33 am by BalletPSM »
Steven

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2008, 10:51 am »
Chances are you're not going to be able to buy this stuff.  A lot of the key technology these companies use is proprietary and nobody else is able to produce it. 

I'd say the main advantage renting has over buying is that you get a qualified representative of the company out to install the rig, train the operators and train the performers.  If you buy, you're responsible to do all of the maintenance and repairs, and you also hold liability for anything that happens with that system.

Also, most flying rigs are going to be custom designed for the specific venue as well as the needs of the show.  And yes, it may seem tempting to buy it - but really, when's the next time you'll do Peter Pan?  You'd likely wind up with one of two situations.  1) A nice $14,000 flying rig sitting idle in the grid; or 2) Deliberately selecting shows that have flying simply to use your flying rig.  Audiences will get very tired of that trick if they see one person doing the same flying in 5 different shows over the course of two years.  If the money's as tight as you say it is, I imagine that $7,000 would go a long way if put towards something else.

Welcome to the site, by the way.  It's a great resource and we look forward to your contributions!  Let us know which direction you decide to go with your flying.
Get action. Do things; be sane; donít fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

smalltimeSM

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2008, 01:47 pm »
If you buy the system that he is talking to Dr. Hall about, The "DAT" System, it pays for itself quick.  It is also configurable to over 30 different effects.  As well as shift on the fly mechanical advantage.  Once you buy this system you can do everything from Peter pan to Dracula and everything in between.  Also, you can give a repair and maintenance contract to the flying company and they will make all the fixes.  And if you use Hall Associates, they are really cool about helping you out.  I also recommend going to NAAFED (North American Association for Flying Effects Directors)  Its a 2-3 day rigging seminar for flying effects equipment.  They get flying directors from all over to teach how to rig flying effects and choreography.  If you have any questions on it call 1-888-FLY-HALL