Halloween 2020 was unlike any other holiday celebration, unlike any other. While most states did not recommend traditional trick-or-treating, a group of friends met for a safe, socially distant project to bring candy to children in the most effective way: a catapult.
Live for Another, “an unstoppable community of kindness,” as they describe it on YouTube, built the catapult and posted a video on Tuesday on YouTube about their experience spinning candy in Sacramento, California. A shortened version of the video was also posted on r/funny subreddit on Tuesday and received over 24,000 votes.
Executive producer Dillon Hill said that while the idea was born out of some of the difficulties of 2020, in the end it was all the more satisfying. “We were disappointed that Halloween would not be normal, but that inspired us to look for a way to make it even better. A trebuchet (catapult) lets us be silly and share candy without having to worry about spreading COVID. It turned out to be a lot more fun that way,” he wrote in an e-mail to Washington Newsday.
The group decided on a medieval trebuchet design of the catapult. It also showed a time-lapse shot of a member of the group, Joel Bringoff, and his family working on the design. The group also showed their tests to ensure that the catapult would shoot candy safely and effectively. So they said they had to shoot candy 3,670 times “just to make sure it worked.
Since no one in the group is an engineer, Hill said it took “a lot of trial and error to figure out how to safely shoot down the candy,” and paid tribute to Bringoff for his research into the medieval device. “As you can imagine, we would not have expected this to happen if it had not happened in 2020. There are a lot of moving parts, so there was always the danger that things would break or just generally break,” he wrote.
One of their safety checks involved three members dressed in costumes (Bringoff as Nintendo’s Mario, Hill as Spongbob Squarepants and Drew Disney as Woody from Toy Story) shooting candy at each other just to make sure they were safe. It also seems that they fired the catapult at a camera that shows the angle of the candy as it flies through the air. Hill wrote that the tests proved the candy was safe. “It felt like throwing a football, so there was no great risk to the children,” he wrote, “Actually, our biggest concern was that the trebuchet might break and injure one of us. Fortunately, that never happened. The worst result was that candy got stuck on someone’s roof.
The group then took the catapult and a medieval decorated truck to an aerospace museum to show it to some children, much to the delight of the children and their parents.
After the aerospace museum, the group and the children who signed up online went to the people’s home to meet the people who couldn’t go trick-or-treating.
Hill wrote that although 2020 was not an easy year by any stretch of the imagination, projects like this one could make hard days easier. “This year is doing everything it can to pull us down… we hope our video will be a little bit of light to remind people that there is still something to smile about. Things are different, but when we get creative, the new normal can sometimes be more fun!