It takes a lot to grab New Yorkers’ attention these days, but a viral promotion for the upcoming superpowers movie “Chronicle” certainly met that requirement.
Over the course of three days last week, some otherwise jaded city-dwellers caught sight of what appeared to be three people flying over the city, performing silent aerial ballets. It could have been a scene straight from an issue of a Marvel comic, but in fact it was a promotion for the Twentieth Century Fox superhero flick about three friends attempting to cope with newly acquired superpowers. The movie opens Friday.
The “people” were the size of actual humans, around 70 inches high, but upon closer inspection they were people-shaped flying devices created from Dacron polyester, carbon fiber rods and model airplane engines each weighing about three and a half pounds. And while there was one major mishap — one of the flying people had to be rescued from the Hudson River by the NYC Harbor Patrol — the stunt went off without a hitch. Even in a city made skittish by unexpected things in the sky.
“There were a lot of questions,” says James Percelay, who masterminded the flights along with partner Michael Krivicka and their viral marketing firm, Thinkmodo, for Fox. “Tons of calls to New York media. But they were just questioning. They move slowly and they look like people. Nobody felt threatened. No one was concerned by it. They were fascinated.”
The team practiced in a field on Long Island before the six actual flights for the video that included a spin around the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and off the southern tip of Manhattan.
The flights were just four or five minutes because of the short battery life of the flyers’ on-board motors. But Percelay promises more flights to come in the days ahead at undisclosed locations.
–Patrick Kevin Day
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