Google Chrome: A Race Across the Internet

The client's main goal was to make a Rube Goldberg Esque contraption that had an Emphasis on Speed. 

This was Designed and Directed by Andrezza Valentin. The design had to reflect the enviorments of Google Weather, Twitter, Google Translate, Facebook, Google Search, and Google Chrome. All in a DIY manner.  I worked with a team of extremely talented Fabricators, Carpenters, Metal Workers, Welders, Sculptors, and Painters (Adam Sober, Neil Kelly , Racey North, Sean O Connor,  and Travis Moonschein).  It was a ton of fun and I could not have done it with out them. 

Basically my responsibility involved the moving parts, Motors, Gears, Springs, Magnets, Electrical Switches, Propulsion, and Mechanisms.  I was hired to figure out all of the mechanical transfers. When the ball starts its journey (plunger switch) through to the final shot (basically the triggers on all automated items).  Some of the mechanisms where more complicated than others. Most of the mechanisms where hidden in the design, or under the table.

Examples from the script:

(1.) The head has to: have the top of the head open on a hinge to receive the ball, then travel six inches to the right , as the ball moves through the head the head turns 90 degrees and the mouth opens, spits out the ball. 

(2.) The bird mechanism had three phases; resting, ball enters mouth, triggers 45 degree turn, then entire bird and ball travel up and then enter fast rotation to throw ball on to track.

The Final Shot comprised the ball landing on a button, triggering the confetti, flags, and balloons. Then the ball rotates and reveals the Google Chrome Logo. I designed this Mechanism as a sleight of hand style magic trick. The ball that enters the frame is the one from the track. It lands on a button, releasing a trap door that allows it to enter the box while the new ball rises up taking its place. It is mounted on a motor that will allow it to rotate 180 degrees once contact is made.  The transfer happens so quickly you dont see it. Thanks to my Father for showing me so many magic tricks as a kid.

The entire machine was 50 feet long and shot in a industrial space in the west village. We had 2 weeks to build and shoot and we worked up until the shoot day. The machine was shot in 10 foot sections.  These overlaps where then used to stitch it back together. This allowed multiple takes on each section. This was the longest scrolling video on youtube and got tons of hits. It was used to promote Google Chrome in the format of an interactive game. 

The video below shows just the machine in action ...

Google Chrome : A Race Across the Internet from Brian Haimes on Vimeo.

Here is a Time Lapse of the Build and Shoot

GoogleTimeLapse from Brian Haimes on Vimeo.

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