Inflatables Find a Starring Role and Other Stories

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Some months ago, I wrote about uses for inflatables that aren’t as mainstream as a jumper or bounce house you may have in your backyard from a graduation or birthday party. The last few months have been pretty heavy on safety issues regarding inflatables so I figured that now is a better time than never to start talking about the more entertaining uses for inflatables. There have been a few stories strewn about the news world lately:

Lights, Camera, Inflate! – Although I’ve mentioned the use of inflatables in movies as a means to fill audiences in movie scenes before, I never thought I’d see such widespread usage of this technique in Hollywood. Just a little while ago, The King’s Speech was using a pile of inflatable people to fill in the spaces of a crowd surround lead actor Colin Firth. Now it seems that many productions are using this method to cut down on costs, according to a piece in Wired Magazine:

“The Inflatable Crowd is a Santa Monica company that supplies seas of lifelike blow-up dolls to films like Iron Man 2, The Fighter, and Contagion. Outsourcing the role of “background actors” to inanimate objects isn’t new, of course; producers have used cardboard cutouts in the past. But those two-dimensional performers severely limit usable camera angles.”

Costing just $10 a head per day, producers are saving serious dough on those expensive CGI crowd scenes in many flicks these days.

Where’s My Hovercraft? – As a technologically advanced society, you’d think we’d have hovercrafts by now as a means of transportation, but it has yet to happen. Nonetheless, one ad agency is using the idea of advanced transportation as a means to use inflatable advertising. One story from The Providence Journal expands on inflatable concept cars, even if they can’t be used as anything but advertisement:

“Unfortunately, close up you’ll see there’s nobody in these cars. There can’t be — they’d sink. These Morris Minis can be pulled behind motorboats and they’ll stay up…”