Stunts & Mechanical Effects
Stunt Engineering & Support
We offer a comprehensive stunt engineering service covering a broad spectrum of stunt requirements, including ; Full stunt vehicle preparation, comprising of Full six point roll-cage, Safety fuel cell, Motorsport dry-cell battery system, Motorsport seat with five point harness, Polycarbonate glass reinforcement, In car motorsport fire suppression systems, Stunt driven car/coach/HGV truck nitrogen cannon rolls, Stunt driven vehicle pipe-ramp roll set ups, High speed vehicle winching, suspending of vehicles, Positioning of vehicles, Nitrogen push and nitrogen vertical cannons, Dropping by quick release of vehicles and or objects.
We also offer full on-set stunt support facilities. We can also rely on our past experience to design, plan and execute specialist bespoke stunt requirements, from the initial enquiry, planning, design, fabrication, testing and finally support and control on the shoot itself.
Mechanical Effects & Support
We offer a wide range of specialist mechanical effects equipment and services, i.e. Hydraulic, Pneumatic and Cable-Rigs these include; Car/Vehicle/Set rotation rig, Hydraulic Turntables, Multi-axis hydraulic gimble, Vehicle and or Stunt performer jerk ram systems, Stunt performer flip-up systems. Bespoke rigs or equipment can be designed and made to order.
Bickers have a number of car and motorcycle ramps available, these vary from two wheel driving initiation ramps through to 26 metre long ramps to achieve greater distance as used on the 5th Gear & Top Gear car-caravan distance attempts, for which we still hold the Guinness World Record.
Bickers also supplied the specialised take-off ramp used on Fast & Furious 6 for the mk1 Ford Escort jump, this type of ramp cam come complete with adjustable kicker-ramps to reduce the nose diving on take-off.
These ramps come with full stunt support backup from Bickers stunt engineers.
The Nitrogen car/vehicle cannon enables a vehicle to be rolled in a controlled manor at a precise moment, without the need of any type of ramp or outside force, ie cable rigs etc.
The nitrogen cannon is positioned into the host vehicle along with a full six point roll cage, safety fuel cell, dry-cell motorsport battery, rally-sport seat, five-point harness and built in fire suppression system.
The severity of the force subjected on the host vehicle by the cannon can be infinitely adjusted to achieve the final vehicle reaction required to match the driving sequence prior the cannons operation, this will determine the number of roll the car will go through during the stunt.
The nitrogen car cannon is an extremely popular system and has been used on a number of TV productions and Feature films, inc James Bond, National Treasure and Fast & Furious 6.
The multi axis gimble can be used to manipulate an object (car, aircraft or section of a building) through a linked number of moves, tilt yaw and rotation, the rig can be used both in a studio environment in front of green screen, or on an external film location.
The object is securely attached the gimble (this would require pre-rigging at Bickers workshops)
The gimble is hydraulically powered and enables a number of operations to be linked via a joy-stick controller, simulating an aircraft in fright, a car driving through a pre-recorded moving plate shot (an additional attachment is available which also allows the vehicles wheels to be rotated during this sequence) or a section of a building or object being subjected to external forces.
The gimble has been used on a number of shoots inc, car commercials and BBC drama.
The nitrogen push cannon allows a vehicle to be propelled at speed where the location, impact severity and or type of impact, i.e. into water, solid object rapid deceleration or possible vehicle destruction prevents the vehicle from being driven by a stunt performer.
This type of equipment can accelerate the vehicle from 0 to 60mph in approximately three metres, this equipment can also be used in conjunction with a pipe-ramp setup if the vehicle is also required to roll during the shooting sequence.
The pipe ramp method of rolling a vehicle gives the effect of the vehicle colliding with a fixed object, The pipe ramp can be easily disguised within roadside foliage, road work materials or within another static vehicle,
This method gives a controlled point of take-off and allows camera positions to be closely adjacent to this point (UN-MANNED) hence giving the effect of speed and violence.
The end 400mm of the pipe ramp is adjustable, this is called the kicker section, this allows the trajectory and final impacting point to be adjusted to suite the shot requirements.
The host stunt driven vehicle would require Full Stunt Preparation, Full six point roll cage, motorsport safety fuel cell, motorsport dry-cell battery rally sport seat, five point harness, Makrolon ,Polycarbonate glass reinforcement and fire suppression system.
This sequence would also require the presents of a Stunt Coordinator.
The Pipe Ramp method has been used on a number of TV productions inc Top Gear, Eastenders, BBC Casualty & Feature films inc James Bond and Fast & Furious 6.
Bickers can offer a high level of expertise in specialised wire rigging, in some circumstances this would be carried in conjunction with a wire rigging company and supervising wire rigger, Bickers has an in-house sister company, Bickers Lifting supplying a full comprehensive range of lifting and rigging equipment, as well as being fully approved for the testing and manufacture of lifting rigs and associated equipment.
Bickers alongside SWR and NMT Cranes recently completed a project, in which a new release Jaguar car was driven along two high-wires, these synthetic cables spanned a distance of 320 metres at a height of 19 metres over an expanse of water in central London.
Bickers again alongside SWR, also carried out numerous wire initiated stunt sequences within the Feature Film Fast & Furious 6.
The nitrogen Super-Gun allows a vehicle to be propelled at speed where the location, impact severity and or type of impact, i.e. into water, solid object rapid deceleration or possible vehicle destruction prevents the vehicle from being driven by a stunt performer.
The nitrogen Super-Gun also allows the angle of trajectory of the vehicle or object to be adjusted hydraulically, from between 0 & 45 degrees, this enables a greater distance of flight to be achieved, and a typical small family car can be fired up to a distance of approximately 60 metres.
The host vehicle is prepared by Bickers stunt engineers, removing the engine, gearbox all flammable & none flammable fluids, the underside of the vehicle is then dresses for continuity.
Bickers articulated dummies can be used in this setup if the driver or passenger will be seen during the stunt.
This type of equipment can accelerate the vehicle from 0 to 60mph in approximately three metres.
This system has been used on a number of TV & Feature Films Inc, James Bond, Fast & Furious 6 and BBC Top Gear.
Mobile Workshop-Stunt Support Vehicles, Fleet of Three HGV Vehicles
Our Mobile Workshops offer comprehensive support on location for all stunt and mechanical effects requirements.
Our Mobile Workshops are self-sufficient, carrying their own power supply and extensive range of consumable products.
Equipment carried on board consists of:
Mobile Generator, Compressor, MIG & Stick welding plant, Plasma cutting equipment, A wide range of power tools, Portable lighting, A wide range of tested certificated lifting equipment, Refuelling equipment for stunt vehicles, Steel stock, A comprehensive stock of consumable products (Oils, Paints, Fuel & Nuts-Bolts) Articulated dummies, Quick-release systems, Towing equipment, Fire extinguishers, First Aid equipment & Electrical repair equipment.
These Mobile Workshops have provided Worldwide support on a number of TV & Feature Film locations including, BBC Top Gear, BBC Casualty, Mission Impossible 5 and Fast & Furious 6.
The car rotating gimble/”spit roast” allows the simulation of a vehicle rolling with the opportunity to have the cast inside & therefore archiving close up shots both from a bonnet mount and or door mount, enabling these elements to be cut into the final cut of the stunt sequence.
The vehicle is secured inside the rig, with the cast then positioned within the vehicle and held safely within by means of a full stunt harness,
During sequences involving cast within the rotating vehicle a stunt coordinator must be present.
This rig has been used on a number of productions, including (Prey, Emmerdale & Eastenders)
The vehicle teetering rig enables a vehicle to be positioned on its balance point over an edge, with a teetering movement added, thus giving the effect of the vehicle possibly falling, the rig enables this to be achieved safely, whilst keeping the movement and position of the vehicle secure,
During the preparation of the rig, the vehicle has a steel hinge-point physically attached to its underside, this locates either to a fixed steel ground anchor plane (with safety ballast weights attached from a distance, giving a redundant safety if cast and or crew are to be within the vehicle) or to a large telescopic fork lift enabling the vehicle to slide towards the edge whilst remaining under complete control of the stunt coordinator and Bickers stunt engineers.
This rig has been used on a number of productions including Emmerdale, and BBC’s Casualty with the coach over cliff and the balancing limo on the bridge.
The high speed winch enables a vehicle or multiple vehicles to be winched into an object, another vehicle or hazardous area at speed, alone a pre-rigged guide cable/cables, this system is used where the end impact or result wold would deem it unsafe to allow a stunt performer to physically drive the vehicle.
The host vehicle is rigged with a steering control arm which attaches to the pre-rigged guide cable, the vehicle is also fitted with a remotely operated braking system should the need to abort is required, this allows the vehicle to be brought to a controlled stop before impact.
This rig can also be used to simulate a vehicle head-on collision situation, with terminal speeds in excess of 90mph
This rig has been used on a number of TV and film shoots, Inc ITV Hollyoaks train roll, multiple car impacts on the TV drama collision & a number of sequences in Fast & Furious 6.
The nitrogen high power ratchet system is an extremely powerful method of energising a vehicle or object, it has the potential of exerting up to 26tons of pulling force over a distance of 4metres, which has the ability of accelerating a vehicle form 0 to 60mph in 3 metres.
This system can be incorporated into a cable wrap rigging operation enabling the vehicle to be rolled violently, up to the point of vehicle destruction.
This system is used where the end impact or result wold would deem it unsafe to allow a stunt performer to physically drive the vehicle.
The nitrogen ratchet system can also be used to energise specialist wire rigs, wher fast excelleration and power is required.
This system was extensively used in the making of Fast & Furious 6
The roof driving position action vehicle or POD Car has been developed to enable a 36 degree shooting opportunity for the camera department, without the problem of a tracking vehicle towing the vehicle on an A-Frame, or the work area of the Low-Loader coming into the shot when trying to achieve forward POV shots.
The POD system comprises of a reinforced driving capsule being attached the host vehicles roof, along with all of the existing controls ie, steering, braking and starting/stopping, this removes all vehicle control from the Cast in the driving position within the vehicle, enabling them to act without the need to remain within control of the vehicle.
This unit can be fitted to most modern automatic transitioned vehicles, however Bickers engineers would need to ensure the host vehicles compatibility before the vehicle is purchased by production.
At this time the POD car can only be used on fully locked-off or closed roads.
The POD system has been used on a number for TV productions including Cuffs, Eastenders and Hollyoaks as well as on a number of feature films including James Bond.
The articulated stunt dummy comes in two sizes, Adult 1.7metres in height and weighing approximately 40kg and Child which are 1.1 metres in height and a weight of approximately 15kg.
These dummies are articulated and have life like features, being weighted ensures the react realistically during a stunt sequence.
The articulated dummies are frequently used as cast replacements for passengers during stunt driven stunt sequences, these dummies have also been used in vehicle knock-downs, simulating a cast member being struck during an un-survivable collision with a motor vehicle.
The articulated dummy has also been used to simulate the falling from height of a cast member falling from height into water or an impact with the ground.
The wheel roller system or rolling-road enables a host vehicles wheels to be rotated with speeds of up to 40mph within a studio environment, without the need for the vehicles engine to be running, which could possibly cause a problem to the crew, through engine fumes and the potential for the vehicle to overheat.
The wheel roller systems are hydraulically powered and offer a controlled variation of speed, the latest system also allows a degree of steering movements without causing the vehicle to become unstable on the rollers.
The latest system is smaller and enables it to be easily disguised within a green screen and or set dressing.
The alternative full sized system gives the appearance of a rolling road.
These systems have been used on a number of car commercials, inc Toyota, Ford, Nissan & BMW.
We can supply and provide on-set support for a wide range of turntables;
• Car Turntables (Hydraulically or Manually Propelled)
• Small Manual Turntable (For the rotation of actors or small rigs)
• Bespoke Turntable Requirements, we can design and fabricate the Turntables rotating surface to productions specific requirements.
We offer a comprehensive range of wheel skates for assisting in the easy repositioning of vehicles, both on-set and on location.