Treadmill

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Main Idea

My project is going to be a recreation of an effect I saw in a show called "Fuersabruta" at the Edinburgh Festival. It's a man running on an over sized treadmill, which is on a moveable platform. As the man is running walls made from boxes fly at him and he breaks through them. To see clips of the show go to http://www.fuerzabruta.net/website/fuerza_eng.html.

The Moving Wall

For the wall I would rig tab track on two bars about two metres apart, running parallel across the stage. The two bars will be at fly floor level and tied off with brail lines to prevent the bars from swinging when the wall moves. A large rectangular frame would be hung between them from wire rope drifts. The wall of boxes would then be built within the frame. The wall of boxes will be made from 254x254x254 boxes eight high and eight wide. The bottom flaps of the boxes are left open so the boxes can be slotted over one another, making a wall that is easily broken through. The frame will have to be 2033mm square to fit the boxes in snuggly. Flying irons would then be fixed to the outside edge of the frame and the 7m wire rope attached. In "Fuersabruta" the walls are moved manualy and though I research other options like using a motorised system I think the original way is best. Part of the reason I liked the show so much is because they didn't hide the technicians but made them part of the show instead.

The Treadmill

My idea for the treadmill is a converyor belt or travelator set into Ath stage. I would remove two sections of the stage and replace it with the converyor belt. In the original show the treadmill is mounted on a steel frame with wheels, giving it height because the audience is viewing it from ground level. As the audience in the Ath will be veiwing it from above there is no need to raise the treadmill. The treadmill will still have a steel frame around it so it fits securely in the floor of the Ath and can rest on the beams under the stage. Legs will be put under the stucture too to give it extra support. The treadmill will need a high grip covering so the running man doesn't slip and fall. It will also need impact rollers to take some of the force from the running. Because the treadmill moves at a range of speeds it will need to be controled by a variable speed panel. The control panel will be under the stage and cues will be given to the opperator by the DSM, much like a trap cue. For added health and safety an emergency stop button will be wired in next to the DSM. After researching treadmills on the internet I found an american company that could make them to any size. However the cost of building and shipping the treadmill would be huge and I think unrealistic for a show in the Ath. We would also have to install in with no help from the company. I then found a company in Staffordshire called Interbelt. They make custom sized converyor belts and after speaking with the manager, who said they did something similar for Neil Diamond, I decided that Interbelt were the best company to get the converyor belt from. I am currently waiting for a quote on a 3600mm belt, with 900mm frame and 3000mm legs. This size should hopefully make it fit perfectly into the space left by removing two sections of the stage with the legs reaching the floor of the pit. The company also helps with installation which is included in the cost. So with our inhouse workshop and venue tech staff, there should be no added cost for installation.

Costings

  • Variable speed panel - £285.00,
  • Emergency stop panel - £26.00,
  • Custom built treadmill with frame and legs - awaiting estamation from Interbelt LTD,
  • 4 x packs of 254x254x254 boxes - £59.52,
  • Tab track - Inhouse,
  • 7m Wire rope drifts - Inhouse,
  • 9m wood for square frame at £1.03 per meter = £9.27
  • Hardware eg flying irons, grummets etc - Inhouse

Conclusion

For this project I tried to stay as realistic as possible and use the resources the Academy already has. I didn't want to go crazy with huge costings because in reality the budget wouldn't be limitless. At first it was tricky to think of what needed to be done but once the ball started rolling it was a good process to go through. I think I was very lucky finding Interbelt Ltd because they could build the converyor belt, frame and legs so I didn't have to source them from separate companies and try to get them to fit together.