Creating a Wrecking Ball Prop

Sycuan Casino has asked us to make videos in the past, and usually they are silly and fun. We’ve done hilarious projects with the casino for the KGB SkyShow, a commercial with LT for their Fantasy Football games and so it lessened the shock when they asked me to do a Miley Cyrus-esque parody, a little bit. Our biggest concern was creating the wrecking ball prop. You can see the final video HERE.

I hadn’t made this type of prop before, or any really, but I had some ideas on how I would do that so I said “Yes of course we can create a realistic wrecking ball prop to support a grown adults weight and take into account all pre-cautions! No problemo!”. After the meeting I went home and researched about wrecking ball creation and prop making. To my surprise there was not much out there. So here is our tricks on how we made a DIY realistic looking wrecking ball prop, to support a grown person’s weight!

I asked my friend Liz who is a production student at SDSU to jump on the case to help with realities of the prop creation. Liz was instrumental because she was the one who could really tell me if my ideas we’re realistic and achievable or just plain dumb. Luckily she’s nice and only nixed a few of my ideas.

To me, it made sense to create something like a tree swing, a rope with a round plate on the bottom for a “seat”. This would be where we would be having ALL of the persons weight held. Easy enough right?  We managed to get 8 Sycuan team members swinging pretty vigorlously on it! A success I would say. While we hit a few bumps along the way we were stoked on the outcome. Here was our process in our wrecking ball creation.

Step 1: Stop at Home Depot! And then a POD show!

 home depot chains

Inflate the MEGA BALL! This took way longer than expected, about an hour and some change.

gym ball

Testing the rope and tape job that will hold the balls weight. No suprise with gorilla tape it worked!

garage swing mega ball

a large umbrella stand as “The Seat”. Home Depot didn’t have a random wooden table top, what!?

Plaster the Mega Ball! With Plaster cloth, never heard of this before, thanks Liz!

Paint. Liz suggested a variety of Spray-paint, even a fancy one called Rust. The various colors helped add a metallic look and a wear and tear look.

DIY

Paint the new chain. It’s all in the details!

Let dry for 9 days………

wrecking ball prop

Attach the Seat and Viola! 

The shoot went very smoothly! I rented a couple safety matts from a rock climbing gym and we managed to get 8 employees from the Casino swinging on it. We connected the ball via chain to the battens of the theater with sturdy carabiners and also to connect the seat to the ball. Transporting this thing and the green screen work is a whole other blog post. Did I mention the video was all green screen? Yeah we think BIG. You can see the final video HERE.

That’s a wrap! 

– rob

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