Re: Arcs off the fingers and getting killed in the process...
> I don't know what kind of effective argument I can make, because when I
> discuss this subject, I get accused of keeping secrets to protect my
This is a common problem in the special effects business.. It is a very
cut-throat competition, and everyone is looking to "buy-in" with their
first job under bid. As you've probably found, the specialty effects
guys(and gals) are essentially a medieval guild, particularly in the pyro
area. The fundamental problem is that for most effects (tesla coils
included) there isn't any real secret at the basic level.. its just physics
or chemistry. What the producer should be paying for is safe execution of
the gag to produce the desired visual effect on cue. That's the "craft" or
"artistry" of the effects. The rest is pure mechanics.
Sell on the basis of being able to reliably produce the effect, not on
possessing secret knowledge.
> a job for a qualified and specialized stunt professional.
(e.g. a "human sandbag")
> My motivation for
> discouraging this stunt in all forms is to protect the person who may try
> and the industry and hobby we all enjoy.
But if you don't have a good simple explanation of why you are discouraging
it, you will be perceived as being "protectionist" of your activities.
> As a voting member of the Alliance of Special Effect and Pyrotechnic
> Operators, I have been given the task of working with the State of
> California Fire Marshall's Office and Los Angeles County Fire
> Inspector to adopt safety guidelines for Tesla coils in professional
> entertainment and public display.
Can you publish working documents of this? I am sure we'd be interested
I am working so that guidelines or
> laws relating to professional Tesla coil installations be fair and
> protect our (my) industry. My goal is a federally approved program
> for licensing of Tesla coil professionals (much like the pyrotechnic
> licensing program). My efforts should not affect the hobby, unless...
I cannot agree... look at licensing for pyrotechnicians. It has almost
nothing to do with actual skill, but is essentially a form of enforcing
apprenticeships and restricting trade. The State Fire Marshall's advisory
board for pyrotechnics is largely composed of a few trade representatives,
who have a vested interest in restricting the number of suppliers to reduce
Compare for instance, the licensure requirements for pyrotechnicians and
for explosives handling (blaster's permits, and the like). The latter is
almost entirely actual skill and knowledge based. The former is mostly
"years in the saddle" and "recommendations from other licensed
professionals" (the test is a joke).