Los Angeles, California
Around Thanksgiving weekend of 2020, Leticia Bufoni
and her manager reached out to the OC Ramps crew mentioning that they were going to be filming a project with Google and wanted us to set up some skateboard ramps within a studio in Los Angeles, California. Google wanted to do Augmented Reality clip of Leticia skateboarding. They had been doing this with a handful of Olympic athletes for the upcoming 2020 Olympic games. Google wanted this done by the week following our initial discussion. It sounded like a great project on the phone but the one problem was that this was the busiest time of the whole year as we had the holiday season upon us. With a short notice and the holiday rush, we really had to jump on this quick to start the designing and building process right away. There was absolutely no time to waste.
The idea was that Google wanted us to build a platform to protect their studio floor. They were also wanting to set up a couple of 8 ft wide quarter pipes
and to have some type of bump to rail
in the middle section. We were limited with length and space, in general, so we had to get creative with the design and make sure that it was not too big nor too small for Leticia to actually skate.
After a final review with Leticia, we knew what we had to prepare. The OC Ramps crew began cutting, drilling and preassembling the ramps in our warehouse. Part of the reason why we had to preassemble in advance was that the other obstacle with Google was the timing allotted to assembly. We had a very short window to bring the ramps and flooring in and get everything set up for production. We did not have time to go through the assembly of each ramp while on-site.
The first week of December, we showed up to their special studio in Burbank, California with our flat bed trailers full of the products and, before entering the studio, we had to do on-site COVID tests and wait 15 minutes for the results. Once we were all cleared, we quickly began to unload and set them up in the studio. We also had to be very careful with unloading because we were passing through all of their very expensive equipment. Some of the lights and cameras cost about 6 figures each and we certainly did not want to bump to scratch anything. It was the white glove treatment which had to be done within minutes.
Once the ramps were set up, we had one of our builders and pro skaters on our team test it out - Tom Ryen
(AKA Tom Tom). We wanted to make sure that the distance between the quarter pipe and the bump to rail were perfect so that Leticia would have enough speed.
Soon after, Leticia came out and they had put her in a body suit which was similar to a neoprene. It looked liked the avatar suits which had ping pong balls all over it. These had special sensors which connected to the cameras on the set. They had to calibrate the cameras every time Leticia would start to skate. In order to recalibrate, they had to have her do certain movements in the suit.
We were able to be behind the computer monitors alongside the directors and Leticia's manager. We were there the whole day watching this process unfold. It was cool to see how much work goes into these quick little clips of her doing a trick. It was also cool to watch her skate and then look at the directors' monitors and see her avatar doing the same thing. Seeing both of these actions occur in real-time was awesome!
Once Leticia completed the list of tricks that the directors and producers had for her, we were to disassemble and remove all of the ramps in less than 90 minutes. Our team had to work very smoothly and efficiently in order to accommodate that time frame. On the load out we, again, had to make sure that we took our time in the sense that we would not damage any of their equipment.
Google previously released the augmented reality versions of the 2020 Olympic athletes. You can access this augmented reality on your Apple or Android device by searching the athletes name in your Google browser.
At the end of the day, it was a major success. Not only was Leticia and her manager pleased with the work performed by OC Ramps but so were the directors, producers and everyone involved with the studio. The studio owner happened to be present and came out to show her appreciation of our services and thanked us for being diligent to protect the floor and all of their equipment.
We hope to do more projects with Google and with Leticia in the future.
Back to Builds + Installations