‘Find a Better Way’
“Find a better way” sponsorship required Toyota’s new safety technologies to be integrated for the cricket field. Our involvement was a Cricket Box Airbag and Rear View Wicket Camera
The airbag is a crotch saving measure that deploys to save the batsmen from a painful altercation with the ball. The rear view wicket cam prop is a helmet attachment for the batsmen to position himself correctly in front of the stumps without the help of the umpire.
HOW WE DID IT
Vehicles use compressed nitrogen to inflate an airbag in the event of a crash. Building a similar system would be costly and not appropriate as it would have limited flexibility, control and lengthy reset times. Designing a Special Effect Prop such as this requires a clear understanding of visual requirements and the practicalities of location filming. The airbag had to deploy as the ball was bowled in, getting the timing would be tricky so it was essential we designed a rig which was quick to reset.
We constructed our own airbag from waterproof nylon fabric. The Airbag had a 100mm diameter tube which passed between the actors legs to a centrifugal fan. From our tests we knew the fan had to already be running to ensure the Airbag inflated fast enough, this led to the fabrication of a bespoke release mechanism. For each take the Air Bag was carefully folded into a pouch sewed into the front the actors trousers and secured with magnets. The release mechanism was clamped onto the connecting tube and trigger by a pull on a length of fishing line.
The result was a safe, repeatable effect and with some simple post production to remove back tube and centrifugal fan we were able to create a truly convincing effect.