During a packed day of events at the Zinemaldia Startup Challenge in San Sebastián on Thursday, 10 finalists, narrowed down from 55 submissions this year, went head-to-head in live pitching sessions at this competition designed to foster forward-looking initiatives in the tech and film-TV space.
Variety caught up with Daniel Karpantschof from Copenhagen Industries for the project Violette, which is looking to provide a 100% safe alternative for cast and crew to use firearms on sets.
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What’s your background?
I’m an artist and entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Copenhagen Industries. I used to do project/script development at Zentropa, and then moved over to production, and left for the U.S., where I, among other things, served on President Obama’s Council of Experts for Entrepreneurship, and The Economist Group Ideas Lab. I moved back to Copenhagen to found Copenhagen Industries with an old friend, who’s done special effects and pyrotechnics for 20 years.
Tell us about your project, Violette.
It’s a 100% safe alternative to using real firearms on the screen. Violette is a patent pending technology that will enable storytellers to safely and easily use firearms. It’s an electronically controlled device that brings all shots in-camera, using a combination of safe gases to reproduce an authentic looking muzzle flash. Violette is built from original drawings under exclusive license from the original manufacturers. It does not require permits or licenses and has a safety distance of less than a foot. It comes in a variety of models, including AK47, M4, M16, Steyr Aug, MP5 and EVO Scorpion. The technology uses disposable gas cylinders instead of blanks and can be custom designed to fit any production design.
How are you using new technologies?
We 3D print in metal, prototype in additive manufacturing, and use state-of-the-art technologies in hardware development. Our patented technology is first and foremost possible and cost effective today because the costs in prototype, manufacturing and adaptability have declined over the past 15 years. That explains why this product didn’t exist until now.
How does this event help you?
We were a featured startup in Berlin at the European Film Market, just prior to COVID-19, in a similar setting. These events, especially after “Rust,” help us establish safe practices with the help of industry leaders, directors, cast, producers and festivals. No one should go to work feeling anxious about their safety. Being invited here is, for us, a huge statement that the industry agrees. We still need more investment.
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