Over June 12th and 13th, Jetlev Southwest paired up with Red 5 Studios, makers of the new FireFall video game, to film the opening episode of their new online show, Game Changers, which pits three celebrity guests against each other in real-life battles that a typical hero or heroine would encounter in today’s video games, from shooting machine guns to navigating parkour courses to flying jetpacks.
For the jetpack episode, their hosts (Lee, Ryan and Michelle) would be flying the Jetlev and, not only that, also shooting paintball guns at floating targets and, ultimately, at each other. They were given one day to receive instruction from our team of Certified Flight Instructors to learn how to fly, then the next day they were strapped into packs mounted with the paintball guns and multiple GoPro cameras, all while wearing masks and goggles to protect them from the flying paintballs. Needless to say, it was an exciting two days!
The shoot took place in Marine Stadium in Long Beach, which was rented out for the duration of the shoot, so there was plenty of room to roam and more than enough space to go high and fast. After some quick demos, the three contestants strapped in for about three or four practice flights each and they all proved to be fast learners, which was good for them, since the next day they’d be thrown into some stressful situations.
The filming day was a serious operation, with about 30-40 crew members, including a three-person mini-helicopter camera crew, who were responsible for capturing the sky-high perspective of the contestants as they shot up to 30 feet in the air. After the initial introductions and opening segments, the shooting moved to the water, where Jetlev Southwest president Dean O’Malley strapped into the pack to show off some of the Jetlev’s capabilities, from 30+mph speed runs to extended underwater submarines and 30-foot hovers with the helicopter circling around.
Once the demo shots were captured, it was time to begin the competition. With bright pink, yellow and blue helmets to set the contestants apart, they donned their equipment and took their turns on the obstacle course, which included three small targets, which they were expected to hit with the control arm mounted paintball guns as they navigated around them, a bonus time break for taking the Jetlev a full 30 feet in the air and a running stopwatch capturing their total time to complete the course. Oh, and after their first two runs through the course, the other contestants were given guns of their own to shoot at the pilot to throw them off their game.
Lee and Michelle went for the speed technique, simply trying to avoid getting hit by paintballs while finishing the course as quickly as possible. Ryan took the alternative route, going for the bonuses and ultimately had the best time because of his successful attempt at a 30 foot hover.The real mayhem began when two contestants were unleashed into the sky to battle it out against each other in an aquatic, jetpack duel, with both people pacing off away from each other, turning, and firing at will as they approached each other dead on. Although there were a few near misses, the first-time pilots did a great job and Ryan ended up walking away the winner after he successfully shot Lee in their battle royale.
The episode is set to air later this summer, so keep an eye out for it and when you’re ready to start living out your video game fantasies, book your Jetlev Flight Experience with us.