1. How much does it cost?

    Contrary to many pieces of equipment in the performance industry, a performer rigging system cannot be chosen based on price. Rather, it must be chosen based on the needs of the effect. The price for the system will typically be based on the type and number of systems needed to fly the effects, how long the show runs, how far the equipment has to ship and how long it will take to install and choreograph the show.

    Our quotes are all inclusive. With Hall Associates Flying Effects, you will always know exactly what your total cost will be up front. There will be no additions, hidden charges, extra airfare or shipping overages unless you make a change from the original quote. This service is unparalleled in the performer flying industry.

  2. How far in advance should we hire a flying effects company?

    For a traditional production, you should make initial contact with the flying company at least ten weeks in advance of your installation dates or twelve weeks in advance of your opening date. Plan to have an agreement in place at least five weeks before you expect to see equipment arrive at your door. If your production is in the six week period leading up to Easter or Christmas (the busiest times for flying effects) or if you are mounting a production that may require a special flying system, it is best to add a few weeks to that.
  3. Our theatre does not have a lot of height.  Can we still fly performers?

    Yes. We fly many productions in theatres (and other spaces) that have low ceilings. Our flying systems are specifically designed to operate in low height environments. As long as there is a secure structure to which we can attach our systems, you can fly!
  4. We have an outdoor theatre; can we fly performers?

    Of course. We can rig both rigid-track and cable-track systems in outdoor theatres. Some outdoor situations may require special considerations, so please contact us at least sixteen weeks in advance of your opening date so that we can meet your needs.
  5. What information do you need to give us a quote?

    Please complete our quote request form and submit it online. We will contact you within a few days of receiving your information to discuss your production. Once we have enough accurate information, we can usually return an estimate in twenty four hours.
  6. Are you certified or licensed to fly performers?

    There is no certification or license for creating, installing or operating performer rigging systems, and there are no industry standards for the equipment used to fly performers. However, the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) has a certification program for riggers in the disciplines of arena rigging and theatrical rigging. Hall Associates Flying Effects is the only flying effects provider in the world to be owned and operated by a professional rigger who holds valid certifications in both areas, was one of only 45 people to pass both certification examinations the first time they were ever given and is also one of only a handful of recognized ETCP trainers on the planet. Hall Associates Flying Effects is also a recognized employer of ETCP certified technicians. Many of our flying directors are certified riggers, which means that they have successfully demonstrated a thorough knowledge of advanced rigging skills in one or more disciplines. All of our flying directors are accomplished stage riggers and undergo extensive training on the special requirements of performer flying. Our flying systems are designed to adhere to a rigid set of standards and practices, which are available for your review.
  7. How heavy can the performers be?

    We have flown performers who weigh over 300 pounds and performer/scenery combinations that have weighed 3000 pounds. However, the weight and size of the performers can influence the type flying system used and the flying choreography. The typical weight of performers who fly in stage productions is 150 lbs or less.
  8. Can you fly small children?

    Absolutely. We have flown children as young as three years olds and as light as 30lbs.
  9. Are the harnesses uncomfortable?

    Our wide variety of flying harnesses are designed by our flying engineers and manufactured by Amspec, Inc. Amspec is one of the world’s leading harness manufacturers, supplying harnesses for the movie, theatre, theme park and television industries since the 1980s. Thousands of harnesses have passed through the doors of Amspec and have safely flown celebrities, stunt professionals and theatre artists for decades. Other companies make their own harnesses, but at Hall Associates, we choose to leave the sewing to the professionals. Amspec supplies us with harnesses that are designed by our flying team to be the most comfortable harnesses in the industry. Wide straps at the pressure points and adjustment locations are carefully placed to avoid discomfort and are but a few of the thoughtful features designed into our harnesses.
  10. How high will the performers fly?

    While we have flown performers as high as 100 feet above the stage, most performers never fly higher than 10-12 feet. If flying too high is a concern, we can rig our systems to limit the height to which performers can be flown. If you would like to exercise this option, please inform your flying director so that your system can be designed to meet that need.
  11. What if a performer is afraid of heights?

    Our flying directors are patient with artists who are afraid of heights. We work with each performer individually during flying rehearsals and explain everything in detail to the performers so that they understand how safe flying is. We also work to foster a bond between each performer and his/her flying operator(s). This bond builds confidence and helps the performer relax.
  12. Who provides the operators for the production?

    Most theatre groups provide their own operators and we train them to run the systems. If you are interested in hiring operators, let us know and we’d be happy to get you more information.
  13. Do all the operators need to be adults?

    Not necessarily. It is extremely important that all flying operators follow directions precisely and are able to attend every rehearsal and performance. The flying operators are the most important safety factor in the system, so operators must be extremely responsible individuals. Operators must also be in good physical condition – able to lift at least 25 lbs. above their head. Each lift operator should weight at least 50 lbs. more than the performer he lifts and be able to do at least one chin-up. If there is the slightest chance that one or more of your operators may miss a performance, it is vital that their alternate attend all flying rehearsals, including tech and dress rehearsals.
  14. Do the flying operators need gloves?

    Yes. We strongly recommend that all operators wear gloves, and different types of gloves are needed for different types of flights. Be sure to speak with your flying director about gloves before the first rehearsal so that your operators will be prepared, or visit our section on gloves in the “standards and practices” section of this website.
  15. Are you insured?

    Yes. We carry top quality liability insurance and will provide a copy of our certificate of insurance to any client, upon request.
  16. Do we need insurance?

    This is entirely up to you. However, we can add the name of your theatre group to our policy for a small fee.
  17. Can you help us with our set requirements?

    Yes. We have written information on the scenic requirements for Peter Pan, and we are happy to review your set drawings for any and all productions and offer suggests when needed.
  18. How do you handle rehearsals?

    Typically, the first flying rehearsal is with the performers, operators, director and stage manager only. At this rehearsal our goal is to introduce everyone to the systems, get the performers comfortable with flying and start some basic choreography. Others are welcome to watch rehearsals, but (for the safety of the performer) no talking is permitted. Subsequent rehearsals allow us to choreograph entire flying sequences, add music and integrate the rest of the cast. The number of flying rehearsals will depend on the number of performers who fly and the complexity of the choreography. Flying rehearsals typically last 2.5 hours and should go no longer than 3 hours.
  19. How long before our production opens do we get the flying equipment?

    The load-in dates are chosen fit the schedule and availability of your venue and our equipment. These dates and times are usually set about four weeks ahead of your tech period and, in most cases, load-in is scheduled 7-10 days before your opening.
  20. Can you see the wires?

    Yes. Most flying companies use “aircraft cable,” at either 5/32″, 1/8″, 3/32″ or 5/64″ thickness, depending on the type of system and expected loads. These cables are very thin and in many cases can have a very low profile. Extremely thin wires are possible (such as those used by popular magicians), but can be very expensive due to the work involved in the system assembly. The two main factors regarding visibility of flying wires are background and lighting. If the scenic designer and lighting designer work closely with the flying director, the wires will be far less visible. For example, if you fly a performer in front of a white cyc with heavy side lighting, the wires will be highly visible, however, a darker background with a vertical orientation (such as curtains or wallpaper) and 45 degree front lighting will go a long way toward hiding the wires. Hall Associates Flying Effects does have a lighting consultant on staff to answer your questions.
  21. Where do we put the operators?

    For manual flying systems, the operators will typically need to be directly stage left or stage right of the flying effect, although special circumstances can allow the operators to be placed at an angle to the effect. Also, the operators are typically on the same level as the artist’s landing area, but again, special circumstances can lead to irregular placement of operators. Be sure to alert your flying director if your operators might be in an unusual location.
  22. Do the operators have to see the artists?

    Yes – at all times! The operators will need to have a direct line of sight to their artists at all times. There can be no significant obstructions between the eyes of the operators and the performers who are flying while they are flying or standing on the stage. This can be handled in many creative ways, but here are three of the most common solutions:

    • Leave a gap. Adapt your scenic design to allow a gap in the scenery that allows the operators a clear view of the stage while cutting the sightlines of the audience into the wings.
    • Make the walls out of scrim. Once installed, the scrim can be painted to match the interior of the room. As long as it is lit properly, the wall will appear opaque from the audience and reasonably transparent from the wings.
    • Another way is to “suggest” the scenic wall using furniture, railings or some other element that people associate with a barrier, but not actually build a wall at all.

Flying Systems

Hall Associates Flying Effects has pioneered innovative flying systems to meet nearly any flying need...

Learn about our flying systems »


Answers to frequently asked questions about having flying effects added to your show...

Get answers to your questions »

Estimate Request

Need to know what it will cost to have flying effects added to your show or performance?...

Request an estimate here »