Cheating an Inflatable Giant Slide
The scene: A party taking place on a beach with surf, beach balls, Frisbee, and running kids everywhere. The main attraction, a giant inflatable slide shaped like the sinking Titanic !!! Now, not for nothing, and I am no marketing genius but, I would never have thought to create a playground set to resemble a tragedy that took the lives of hundreds of people. All I can say is W.T.F
Personally, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the bouncy tents manufacturing design office when the idea came out to create this slide. Maybe its all part of a series of children’s play set shape from tragic historical events!!! .(Imagine the sound of a ‘bong being passed around the office conference table while a designers unfolds his idea) “Since The Auchvitz shower bouncy tent went over so great after the release of the tsunami tidal pool,(Cough cough cough) What do you think about a giant slide shaped like a sinking cruse ship, say, how about the Titanic?!!!! Awesome Dude”
Semantic aside, we were cued to create the sounds of body slides as well as hands and feet grabbing and flailing about as the actors slid down. Being a father of two young kids, I am familiar with the sounds of jumping castles and inflatable slides. What I was looking for was the sound of billowy canvas, slightly rubbery and a bit hollow but yet not caverness.
My plan was to use a large exercise ball for the hollow sound along with a kids play carpet, (The kind you might find with a city and streets printed on one side and a rubber mat on the other to keep it from slipping) for the slide. And, just as a note, this is a very useful prop to have on any Foley stage.
We inflated the ball till it was about 75% full so it had enough air to get the hollowness but not too much to make it make it boing like a basketball. To get the sound I needed a couple extra sets of hand support the rug while I shot the cue and I am glad to say that at this studio there are plenty of assistance and inters to go around. Using two assistances, we pulled the carpet tightly over the ball on an angle pitched up like the slide. Kneeling on the edge of the rug touching the floor we were able to pull the rug pretty tight with the rubber side facing me. Using a pair of sneakers I worked/slid them over the rubber side of the rug in a circular motion to get the sound of body sliding. Then on another set of tracks I banged my hands in sync with the action of the actors hands and feet flailing about. We tried several different mic placements to record the cue. The one that seemed to work the best was from about 2.5’ above the carpet on axis to the action.
The final sounds mixed together made everyone, including the sound supervisor and Foley editor, very happy. We Win