Going Hollywood at the Thrill Capital of the World - July 30 & 31, 2015
How is it that every shoot on the road for this documentary has somehow coincided with heat waves, coupled with muggy conditions? Sadly, our days here at Six Flags Magic Mountain were no different. 100 degree-plus temperatures, coupled with unusually high humidity made for a brutal two days of hauling gear and waiting for “the” shot.
And yet, somehow – we had fun. Go figure.
Our shoot began with a bit of a surprise, actually. Tim Burkhart, Head of Construction & Maintenance for the entire Six Flags chain, happened to be at the park the day we were shooting and was more than happy to talk about his experiences over the past few decades, building Arrow rides from literally the ground, up.
L to R: Kris Rowberry, Nicholas Laschkewitsch, Kim Mix, Robert Ingle, & Tim Burkhart.
After waiting for a few cycles to fly by on Ninja up the hill, we moved on to Twisted Colossus. So why, when the documentary is all about Arrow? Well, we think it’s important to recognize the shift from the tubular steel Arrow produced, to the newest generation of flat steel from RMC.
Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Photo: Robert Ingle)
Finishing up there, we moved on to Jet Stream, figuring the heat of the day would attract the crowds – and we were right! The last Arrow Hydroflume west of the Mississippi, Jet Stream always provides a unique and sometimes drenching experience!
Next up, was another interview inside the park. Now, we’ve had the privilege of meeting some very unique individuals on our trip – but none more than Eric Boardman. You may recognize the name, but we guarantee you recognize the voice – he was THE voice behind most of the great roller coaster specials seen on Discovery and Travel Channel.
In addition to being an incredible wealth of knowledge on show business, Eric also has a passion for great rides (as you’ll learn in the documentary). And if you’re wondering – his all-time favorite coaster: The Bobs at Riverview Park in Chicago, IL. Check him out on Twitter at @iGeezer.
Eric Boardman being interviewed. (Photo: Robert Ingle)
“Oh by the way, watch out for rattlesnakes…”
Along our journey, we’ve been warned about some pretty interesting things to look out for while we’re filming: poison oak (SF Over Texas), muffleheads (Cedar Point) and even wild dogs (Kennywood), but as we were filming under Viper, the warning about the West’s deadliest predator really got our attention. The constant rustling noises of lizards running through the dry grass behind us was certainly enough to get us to move VERY quickly for our filming in and around Viper.
Never has the theme of a ride been more appropriate for the surrounding area…
After a few establishing shots were knocked out, we made it over to X2 to wrap production on yet another successful shoot on the road.
X2 control panel with Arrow text on right and the company's final logo on left (the loop). (Photo: Robert Ingle)
One interesting observation from our journeys: at each location we’ve filmed at, we’ve always made a point to be goodwill ambassadors for ACE as a whole. Gauging from the reactions of the parks that have hosted us – know that ACE is definitely the most respected coaster organization in the USA – and every member should be proud of that. It certainly makes me proud to be part of an organization that others respect, and treats others with respect as well.
From here on – it’s just local filming in the Bay Area for us; we’re in the home stretch before we start the herculean task of putting this puzzle together that is the story of Arrow Development.
Our sincerest thanks to everyone at Six Flags Magic Mountain for assisting us in these challenging conditions these past few days. Without people like you, we would never be able to tell the incredible story of Arrow!
Until next time, coaster fans – may your lines be short and your ERT’s plentiful!
- Kris Rowberry
Be sure to continue with us on the journey, as we aim to tell the story of an industry legend. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or search "#LegacyOfArrow" on your favorite social media network!