Rigging for Nintendo Wii


King of Splices
Mar 30, 2005
Snowless California
I was hired to make someone fly! A LA studio was hired by Nintendo to make a commercial for Wii. The commercial has many parts to it, but one part is a girl flying through the air after being shot out of a canon (like at the circus).

I came in on short notice. I would've made a custom harness that was more comfortable, and I almost went home and got my sewing machine and some webbing after I saw what they wanted, but we made do with what we had.

I put a rock climbing harness on her backwards then pulled the clip in loop out of the back of her pants, like a little tail. That's where she clipped in. Then to keep her body upright, I took a 24" webbing runner, made a fig 8 out of it, put her arms into that, across the front of her body. I used a piece of zing-it in the back to bring the ends of the 8 together. I clipped her in to the zing it, after seizing a little eye into it. I adjusted where the criss-cross of the figure 8 should be, then realized it wanted to ride up to her neck :O So I adjusted it to where it SHOULD be, then safety pinned that together, took the whole works off of her, then hand sewed the criss-cross of the 8 together, then put it back on her, then used another piece of zing it tied from the criss-cross to her waist harness. That kept the thing off her neck.

Sounds crazy, but it turned out to be quite comfortable. She would hang in it for up to 3 minutes at a time between takes with only minor discomfort.

To blend with the greenscreen, I used Yale's Chameleon color of Blaze. Barely showed up on the film!

I hung a pulley up in the rafters about 30' over head(with a back up, too), then set up a z-drag with a prusik down low as the belay. With the pulleys, and the girl only weighing MAX 90 pounds, it was quite easy to lift her up, then adjust her up or down as the camera needed.

I kept the rope bag near by to anchor down her end of the when she WASN'T clipped in.

Here's a few pics...


Here's some pics...


  • P3270007.JPG
    243.8 KB · Views: 18
  • P3270013.JPG
    225.8 KB · Views: 19
  • P3270003.JPG
    248.6 KB · Views: 19
  • P3270008.JPG
    190.6 KB · Views: 20
  • P3270010.JPG
    195.1 KB · Views: 19
Wow Nick, that's bad ass. I didn't know you were involved with Wii.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
I don't work for nintendo at all. I was hired by the production company that is making the commercial.

They are going to air it online, too....so one day I'll get to post a link here!

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
LA is weird. I swear just by being here, you're bound to get caught up in "show biz" somehow or another. It's just EVERYWHERE you turn.

I can't wait to see the finished product. They showed me the parts of the game that they were trying to replicate in "real" life. If it works and they are good with their editing skills, it could be really kick-ass.

You better watch out, Nick...that whole stunt rigging gig looks like so much fun, trees may loose their luster.

I bet others in the biz will come calling...word will get around.

A interesting field of endeavor.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
There is a theatrical rigging guild that I need to find out more about. If I do get to do more work along this lines, I have to learn more about them.

The little girl told me she never wants to have anyone fly her!!! I hope she become super famous, then gets hired in a movie where they need her to fly. The rigger will come up to her with a harness (probably a nice one) and she'll be like, "what is this? who are you?! YOU'RE NOT NICK!!!!"

Ok...maybe not.

Hey Nick sounds like fun. One of the guys I work with here in Minnesota has a son that is a Lineman in L.A. he got into movie riging. Batman and Mission Impossible are just a couple of movies he did . Everything is custom built and designed for each seen. He did a commercial for a some Euroupean company were they flick a cigarette butt off the top of a skyscrapper. The veiw you got was from the cigarette. He had the rig a camera winch that would drop and roll the camera at the same time. Keep this up and we'll you name in the credits.
Dude, I hope the union guys don't find about what you did, they'll kneecap you.
Hey Nick, maybe you can get Wii to make a tree climbing game, then an old duffer like me can relive my climbing days when I was in my prime. bowling is kind of boring
Very Cool!

i like all tie offs to be around round mounts. This gives no corners/sharp bends; and convex/ pushing out positions all the way around in response to the rope pushing in (for most positive lock).

In analog video; a blue screen shows the least amount of artifacts in editing. But, in digital video, the newer, more expensive green screens show the least amount of telltale video artifacts!
The Nickster is going all famous & chit......Pretty cool deal Nick