Martin Testa, Founder & President

It was 2009, and I was working my day job as a 1st Assistant SPFX Technician on a television movie with Director Terry Ingram. It was a single gunshot – we’d fired off three bullet hits, and he requested a fourth take. We were shooting on a rooftop in Vancouver’s liquid sun, when we told the director it would take ten minutes. Everyone knew it was a lie.

With the clock ticking, we scrambled off that rooftop, tore back to the FX truck and began to hand-create a fourth bullet hit. Pouring the blood into a condom… bits of leather, neoprene and a brass mortar, tape and spray glue, tools everywhere. Adrenaline pumping, we had to deliver fast, because we knew that there were forty people standing on that rooftop, on the clock, waiting in the rain.  And when we got back, we lost another five minutes rigging the actor, with the 1st AD barking in our radios ‘How long? How much longer?’

The killer was, at the end of that last ‘beautiful’ take, the Director said, ‘You know, I think I liked the first one best’.

This scenario has played out time and time again. We’ll arrive on set, with an actor wired and ready, only to have the 1st AD state, ‘Don’t worry about it boys, we’ll do it in post’. No true filmmaker likes to hear those words. It’s not about that first shot – it’s about the time involved for resets. Director Terry Ingram feels passionately about preserving the integrity of a scene. “I’ve been asked in meetings, in the past, why we don’t just paint blood hits on actors in post production. For me, and for a performer, there’s nothing more real than to have a small explosive go off on their body. The reactions are instantaneous and realistic… If given a choice, for me as a director, there is no choice. I would go with Rapid Reload.”

I became determined to preserve this magic by developing a solution that would give the best possible special effect, be ready in a heartbeat and save producers money. I wanted to make that extra take a viable, affordable option.

The entire Special Effects industry has been making handcrafted devices since 1967 when Warren Beatty shocked the world in Bonnie and Clyde, with the bloodiest shootout ever seen, until that time. And we SPFX techs have been doing it the same way ever since. But now, with the constant threat of shrinking budgets, computer generated images are becoming the norm. We have been increasingly at risk of losing the sense of realism to the shooting floor.

Direct Hit Rapid Reload technology is the solution to that ever present threat, and the new Rapid Reload II, which delivers a more realistic effect than even the original Rapid Reload, brings a competitive edge to a market that is constantly looking for a faster, better way.

Time is Money

While we are excited about the imminent launch of the Rapid Reload II, we are also heavily into R&D on a brand new immersive gaming enterprise with the combination of our proprietary technology.

Stand by for other exciting announcements, later in the spring of 2015!

Cut! Check the gate…

Dragons’ Den 2015, Season 9

Did you see us on the CBC’s Dragons’ Den?

Watch our Rapid Reload pitch now!