Monday, 17 September 2012

World Records

It's at times like these I am constantly reminded that I have one of the best jobs in the world.

To explain how much fun I had yesterday, allow me to divulge a little...

In my family I am one of 4 boys and we are all within 4 years of each other. I am a twin at the top. We were lucky enough to be spoilt with facilities such as a flood-lit tennis court, an acre of lawn, a trampoline, a putting green, a BMX track and a big swimming pool at home. The reason for mentioning this is that I believe it, coupled with 3 brothers close in age was one of the reasons I became so competitive. At an early age the best gift Santa could possibly leave us would be a Guinness World Records Book. We would study and analyse all the records and then set courses up around the garden and house and the 4 of us boys would set our own records and compete for the top of the leader board.

It is therefore a great privilege for me to now be making regular trips to the Guinness World Records HQ in London and meeting with their teams of PR Managers, Event Managers, Press Officers, Brand Licensing Mangers, et al. 

We have now signed up together and the relationship is blossoming. In-house we have now created the Official Guinness World Record Store and supplied all the marketing collateral in it, just in time for their new book.

With the official launch of their latest book, we got a lot of the Guinness World Record Holders together for a shoot and invited the press.

We held the event at a hotel right on the Thames and overlooking the famous Tower Bridge. This was going to get a lot of exposure and publicity for the book and the new store we created.

Here is my photo of the largest “Guns” (Biceps & Triceps) Moustafa Ismail (Egypt) – 64.77 cm (25.5 in) circumference. You'll see and hear more of Mo later in this article.

Here I am with The Space Cowboy a.k.a Chayne Hultgren (Australia) – Multiple record holder (Swords). He swallows all of those in his hands at once. I had a long interview with him and in fact spent the entire afternoon with all of the people below and they all had fascinating stories. Chayne also has a cool trick where he swallows a neon tube and then switches it on and you can see the tube shine through his stomach and skin. I spoke at length about what he does to prep (ie eating or not eating - he has a system he has to stick to to get it right) and we spoke about some of the accidents he's had, but recovered from.

Wouter van den Bosch & his bike outside - Largest Rideable Bicycle (based on weight) – 750 kg (1650 lb) and over 6ft (2 meters) tall. Wouter is from Holland and he bought the bike over in a van. I had been over to Holland 11 times prior and been in Amsterdam 11 days before this photo was taken so we had a lot of similar stories to talk about. Wouter is a Dutch art student and former mechanical engineer,who has built this 450kg heavy monster bicycle from parts donated to him from friends and a tractor company. It took him three months to build the monster bike, and it's made from steel tubes, bicycle parts and a tractor tyre. He's become a YouTube sensation with over 6,498,341 views and you can see it here

Well this was all great, we still had a job to do and I'm all about the promotional marketing so I had to get into the room and set up for the shoot. Let's get the gear out...

First up we had the official adjudicator on the set for s few snaps with all the official merchandise they'll use to judge an event, right down to the stopwatches, counters and tape measures to record the records with. Here is Ben.

Next up was Sofia Romero – Escapologist - Fastest Escape from a straightjacket 4.69 seconds here modelling the cap and medals. 

The next model for the caps and medal was Sharran Alexandra – The World's Heaviest Sportswoman (she actually lives less than 2km away from me!)

Putting on her meanest sumo wrestling face, this is the sport she competes in.

And then a test to see how tough she really is

 Setting up the group shot

The last addition to the final shot is introduced below

This is the lovely and quiet German spoken Johanna Quaas. 
She is the World's Oldest Gymnast at 87 years old

Here is the set up for the group shot, now with our T-shirts added too

 And a shot of the world record breakers with our event wristbands too (we use these for mass participation events) so we can count up the official numbers.

Here we have the high-vis vests used for events

Here we have some stickers on the swords

Right with the shoot over and it was time to do a few formalities, the first of which was an arm wrestle over the merchandise to see who was champ.

 As you can see from the below signature he wrote in my book, he'll have to work a little harder sculpting his guns and return for a re-match next year. 

I gave him some official merchandise to cheer him up though.

The next big thing was meeting the delightful Jyoti Amge. She is the Shortest Woman Living - at just 62.8 cm (24.7 in). She also has the most infectious laugh and giggle I have ever come across and had most of the team in stitches during the balloon shoot I did with her. You could see she loved the day just as much as we did.

Here are a few pics of Yoti on her shoot. We had got her a T-shirt that was 18-24 months and it was still massive on her, but she couldn't stop laughing throughout the shoot, so it was worth it.

Hydration enforcers

Yoti joins the gun show

And so ended a brilliant summers day, next to the river Thames in the heart of London, meeting some incredible people, and they call this work, I'm a lucky man indeed.

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