Lots of things go into making movies, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios showcases many of those aspects. Sometimes Guests are casual observers; other times they’re in the show, as when Citizens of Hollywood interact with passersby. At the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Guests get the chance to get in on some real action, dodging spears, boulders, and flames with stunt professionals live on stage.
The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a 30-minute live show performed in a covered, outdoor theater, showcasing the stunt person’s craft and demonstrating stunning feats seen in the Indiana Jones films. You’re probably familiar with the story line. Indy sets off on a quest for the golden idol, but retrieving the treasure isn’t a simple—or safe—task. Over and over Indy and his leading lady, Marion, wind up in peril, but this good guy always wins!
Part of the stunt craft is knowing how not to get hurt, and in this case controlling the triggers yourself. Wonder how Indy knows when to duck and when to dodge those jabbing spears? He triggers them by stepping on square keypads. And what about that 12-foot boulder? Is it really bone-crushing? It might hurt a bit if it hit him, but it’s just a 400-pound rubber ball that is easily maneuvered by stagehands. Even the flames and explosions are controlled with intense precision.
Indy, of course, triumphs over all the traps, troubles, and threats, just like in the movies! And you, the Guest, gain a new appreciation for the danger performers place themselves in for the sake of our entertainment. You’ll learn the difference between stunt doubles and stunt actors, how to safely throw and take punches, how stunt performers fall from tall buildings, and how they wield whips amid complex action scenes. Be sure to raise your hand for the casting call when the director asks for adult volunteers. You may be chosen to appear as a costumed extra in select sequences of the show!
Enjoy this look behind the scenes:
As mentioned above, Indiana Jones triggers some of the stage hazards himself. Technology for doing so can vary from pressing a hidden button to triggering an electric eye to tripping a wire. Today, study this article, How to Make a Simple Electric Eye from eHow and create a special effect in your own home.
You can also check out this cool activity! One famous scene from Raiders that is included in the Stunt Spectacular features a German Flying Wing aircraft. According to IMDB.com, “The German plane that the Ark was going to be transported on is an experimental flying wing design by Blohm and Voss, a shipbuilding company that designed some rather unorthodox aircraft in the 1930s and 1940s. This particular model only exists in the film, but borrows various design elements from authentic period aircraft.”
Today, follow this how-to and craft your own version of the Flying Wing using a plastic soda bottle:
Follow this tutorial to make a rubber-band powered propeller to use in place of the one shown in the video above.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Science, Electricity, Aeronautics
SKILL LEVEL: High School
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