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3 member team of balloon artists, an eight member flight crew, and countless community members were needed to launch the first ever piloted latex balloon sculpture. Nearly 20,000 animal balloons were twisted together by the hand-picked team of artists from around the US and Canada to create the Fantastic Flying Octopus. Several thousand people showed up to watch the construction and launch of the craft, powered by the wind and 10,000 cubic feet of helium. Challenges to be overcome included building the sculpture in a barn with a gravel floor and launching in the afternoon sun, both of which are natural enemies of balloons. Approximately 700 person hours went into the construction of the octopus over 5 days to complete the project before the first balloons deflated.
This first collaboration between pilot John Ninomiya and artist Larry Moss was a success. The entire week-long project, from the inflation of the first balloon through the successful launch and landing of the sculpture and pilot can be seen in this documentary.
In addition to the hour-long documentary, 45 minutes of instructional video is included to teach the art of large scale twisted balloon sculpture for those interested in exploring the art in a hands-on fashion.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
John Ninomiya - In addition to being a pilot with twenty years experience flying hot-air balloons, enjoys helium cluster ballooning. This is a sport that involves flying in a harness attached to large, helium-filled balloons. He is one of a handful of balloonists worldwide who practice this very unusual and exciting form of flight. Credits include being featured on MTV and the Learning Channel. His flights have included a world record attempt flight to 21,400 feet, as well as a flight over the ocean to a landing in a boat. He has made featured appearances at several major U.S. balloon festivals, including the New York State Festival of Balloons, and Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival.
Larry Moss - An entertainer, author, and instructor in the field of balloon art. He has performed and taught ballooning in eleven countries and has been seen in venues including schools, festivals, rock concerts and television. He has written one book and two CD-ROMs that teach everything from the basics of balloon twisting through advanced balloon sculpting techniques. Currently, he holds a record for the largest non-round balloon sculpture in the world; a sculpture of two 40-foot tall soccer players using over 40,000 balloons.
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