[ PART III: SPIDEY’S SPECTACULAR SPECIAL EFFECTS! ]
[ What problems did you run into during production in terms of the special effects? ] ^ I ran into ALL kinds of problems with special effects!!! The biggest of all would have to be the Goblin’s glider. A genius by the name of Dave Hayward designed a sort of “see saw” that pivoted 360 degrees on a sturdy base and cost next to nothing to build. It was much like the device used to shoot the land speeder in Star Wars. The camera man sat on one end of this 12 foot plank and shot across at the Goblin sitting atop his glider while they were spun around. ^ Then there was trying to get a whole Goblin flying body shot. The most disappointing effect was the attempts at getting a track and pulley system to work for us at the warehouse. The idea was to harness Jimi in costume and strap the glider to his feet, yank him up and send him down the track. This would’ve looked uber cool. ^ Unfortunately, I did not have the proper counter balance set up and I could never figure it out. The extremely benevolent Tom Rupp from Center Stage Theater simply could not afford the time to come adjust it for me and I had to return the system we borrowed without completing the desired effect.
[ When you were shooting, did you get in any trouble with the law or cause a commotion with onlookers? ] ^ Yes. Even with my strategic planning of doing the wild stuff downtown on Sundays, the law would find us most of the time and inquire as to our agenda. Incredibly, I could always convince them that we were harmless and that it was a college project – which lent me some credibility. ^ I did my best to avoid onlookers and not involve strangers in my endeavors, but when we would get a passerby or two on foot, they always cheered for Spidey.
[ Did you do all your own stunts? ] ^ Absotively.
[ Are you crazy to do that? Did you actually hang three stories above a building on a rope? ] ^ Negative. It was six stories. Hey, I needed the shot!
[ How did you do those stunts? You could have been killed! ] ^ I can’t explain it any better than just having the desire to get it done right and the determination to do whatever it took.
[ What safety precautions did you take, if any? ] ^ When I could, I managed to get a pole vaulting mat from Parkville High School. But that was only for two shots, one of which was Allison falling. Mostly though, there were no precautions other than thoughtful planning. The only pad I even had access to at the time when doing most of the falls and jumps was one of those foam seats that folds out into a laying mat. You know, the kind with the little back hump on them that fold over? It was about 18 inches thick. I dropped onto that thing from 35 feet up at the warehouse. ^ I used to drive Eric (Goblin mask creator) nuts when he was on the set and I was doing that s**t. He’d hold everything up long enough to look for something bigger and soft to add to the pile so I didn’t die or maim myself!
[ Are you a professional stunt man? ] ^ Well, I’ve never been paid for it, but I am pretty capable.
[ What do people think of you having done these stunts? ] ^ They think I’m crazy. My father had the best line. When he first saw the swinging around the building, his eyes blew open and he very slowly turned his head toward me and said “Son, you better get a job before you kill yourself.”
Read The Real Spider-Man Part IV: SPIDER-MAN EXTREME: AMAZING ACTION WITHOUT GETTING KILLED! Breathtaking stunts in Spider-Man underoos – is this guy insane!