It has been an awesome show season this year. I started out in Chicago, then it was off to Harrisburg, PA., Indianapolis,IN., Columbia, MO., Erie, PA., Hamburg, NY. and then I get a surprise. I received an e-mail from a production company in London,England. They said that they were making a TV show for the Guinness Book Of World Records called ‘Guinness World Records Smashed’.
(To see Randy’s Incredible World Record Busting archery display go to: Randy Oitker Breaks World Records)
They asked me if I would be interested in coming to London to film my world record shots. Last year Ripley’s Believe It Or Not documented them at Harrisburg,PA.. But, Guinness has different rules and regulations on how they do their record books. I told the production company in London that I would be honored. We stayed in contact for almost a month working out all of the details.
They started out just wanting me to do a few of my show shots and then add my 4 arrow 4 individual targets and then 5 arrows 5 individual targets. Then on the last day before I was to leave for London, James one of the shows producers called me and said that he wanted me to shoot 6 arrows. I told him that I couldn’t do it safely and consistently. He said that he wanted it to be safe but it wouldn’t matter if I missed! The crowd would still love it because I tried. Well, I wasn’t prepared to go all the way to London and miss!
At most of the shows that I do, if I miss a shot or flub a shot , I just do it over and the crowd gets to see it. Even though this is a Guinness TV show it has to go by Guinness Book Of World Records Rules. The show wanted me to do 3 arrows 3 individual targets then I was supposed to go for my record shots.
With Guinness rules you only have 3 attempts for the record and the show wanted me to do 3 record shots! 4 arrows, 5 arrows and then the 6 arrows. Which meant, if I missed any one of those shots it would count as one of my attempts. So, even though this was taped, it was filmed in front of a live studio audience to be aired at a later date.
The rules were, if I missed the 4 or 5 arrow shot , the television show would want me to shoot the missed shot again. Which would have taken an extra attempt from the record and I would not have been able to go for the 6 arrow shot. I wanted all of my shots to go off flawlessly.
So on Friday, the day before I was to leave for London, I went out to my backyard and worked on the 6 arrow shot. I worked on it all day until I could do it safely and consistently. Field Logic, The Block’ shipped by boat one of their specialty range targets to the studio for me to use. So, I had to keep all of my arrows on one target. I used to do my shows at 20 yards but a lot of places that I perform at don’t have that much room. So, I had to cut my distance down to a distance of 41 feet. But, with this 6 arrow shot , I had to cut the distance down to 33 feet to keep all of the arrows on the target safely.
On Saturday morning, April 4, my Dad , my sister Tiffany and I left for London, England from Chicago O’Hare non-stop to London Heathrow airport. We arrived at 11:30pm their time. We were picked up by a driver that the studio had provided for us. He took us to the hotel and it was hard for us to go to sleep because it was afternoon our time.
We went to sleep early anyway because the studio provided us with a driver to take us sightseeing early Sunday morning. The people from the show suggested that we take a tour of Windsor Castle. So we spent all day Sunday touring the castle and the castle grounds. We also shopped in the Windsor shopping mall and rode the Windsor Wheel. Then we went back to the hotel.
The next morning, Monday (April 6) the TV studio had a driver pick us up at 7:30 am for a full day of rehearsal. I was overwhelmed by Pinewood Studios when we arrived. I have been on a lot of TV shows but this was a movie studio. This was where many movies were filmed like The Dark Knight, Titanic, All of the James Bond movies, Harry Potter and the list goes on.
When I walked in the door at Pinewood, I was met by a whole entourage of people who were there to be at my beck and call! They took me to the green room, which was fully equipped with a bath, shower and everything else that was needed for a dressing room. Everyone kept asking me if there was anything that they could get for me, tea, soda, coffee, food, candy, croissants whatever I needed they would get for me. They stayed with me all day in case I needed them. I even had my own make-up artist!
|Randy with Marco of Guinness Book of World Records Smashed.|
We had 3 rehearsals for camera angles and in between rehearsals I got to do some sightseeing around the studio. I saw where a lot of different movies were filmed. There were actually movies being filmed while I was there. They were filming a new Harry Potter and a new Gulliver’s Travels just to name a few.
During our practice rehearsal . Marco, the Guinness official saw me practicing these shots and knew that I could do them. But, it still did not count as a record until I make the statement that ‘Marco, I am ready to go for the record’, and then Marco has to say, ‘Randy, I am ready to accept your record attempt.’
At my shows, I do my very best to make all of my shots with one attempt. But being human, every now and then I miss. I was not only worried about going all the way to London to set some records I didn’t want to disappoint the studio that had spent so much money getting me here. So my nerves were a little on edge. Which doesn’t happen very often.
Anyone who shoots a bow and has ever had a big buck walk out, can understand what nerves will do to you. During rehearsal I was making the shots and I had a lot of pats on the back saying you will do fine don’t worry about it. Now at rehearsal I actually shot my bow just like I would for the record. We had 3 rehearsals on Mon. and then 2 full dress rehearsals on Tuesday and I never missed once until right up to the the last shot of the last rehearsal on Tuesday before the actual taping of the show. It was the 6 arrow shot that I missed.
I was feeling so confident and then I saw an arrow smack a balloon and it slid right beside of it without bursting it. My heart sank to my feet and everybody looked at me like what happened? I wished that I knew! I didn’t get to take but one more shot after that miss and I then I hit all 6. Everybody had a sigh of relief but me.
I knew I was capable of missing at the wrong time. Now the way the Guinness rules were set up for this shot, they wanted me to use 12 inch balloons (that Guinness furnished) blown up to a precise size . Now I have done this shot using 5 inch balloons and never had a problem so you would think that shooting 12 inch balloons would be a gimme. But that isn’t the way it works. When you have so much lighting with LED high intensity light of all different colors that they use for studio filming, it is difficult to see where you have your pin on the balloon. You want to have it in the middle of the balloon but with some of the illusions you could be over to one edge. If you are off a little bit on one of the balloons the arrow can slip right by. So, like I tell people at my shows aim small, miss small, aim big, miss big. When people see me shoot multiple lifesavers they can’t fathum seeing me miss something as big as multiple balloons.
We had a catering service that came to the studio with meals for everyone involved in the show. They had a surprise ice cream truck also come in. The filming was long 12 to 14 hour days and there was a lot of hurry up and wait. I was told that a lot of your major movies film all day to get 3 min. of video that will be used in a film. Now, I can understand why. They have a health and safety inspector on set at all times for all of the different record attempts to make sure of every ones safety . They have different camera angles , different lighting , sounds and so many things that have to come together at once to film with a live studio audience. It is kind of like filming a deer hunt once you make the shot it is not easy to go back and recreate the excitement if you didn’t get it the first time.
|Hugs for everyone as Konnie and Randy pose for a hubable photo.|
So, they have to make sure they have the audience, the performer and everything exactly perfect the first time. When it came down to the actual filming of the show, I was probably more relaxed than I was during the whole thing because I was talking to the other people who were attempting records on the set with me. Some of the other attempts were from the highest assisted karate kick, to a man who moved maggots with only his mouth. He moved 17 kilos of maggots from one container to another, in one hour using nothing but his mouth. Yes, you read this right live maggots!
When I got the word that I was up next, I was standing behind a screen by the stage. All of a sudden, the lights changed and they started playing the song, ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ and different colors of smoke blew onto the stage.
Then Konnie introduced me by saying, “Traveling across continents all the way from the United States of America, Randy Oitker”.
Then I walked out and it all hit me at once. Konnie, the co-host was so sweet she made it easy for me. The only mistake Konnie made was she called my bow a crossbow during rehearsal and I corrected her. Then she did it again during the live show but she said it so cutely that I didn’t want to correct her. Konnie started talking to me for a little bit of how I got started in archery then they brought out Marco Frigatti (head of records for Guinness World records) and he said “Andy, are you ready?” I can’t even begin to describe the drama and suspense of how the show was put together.
It was amazing! The show went flawlessly! I made each shot the first time 4 arrows, then 5 and then 6 arrows! When I shot 4 arrows at 4 individual targets Marco said “You now have the Guinness Book Of World Records for 4 arrows, you have 2 attempts left. Would you like to go on?”
I answered “Yes” so I attempted 5 arrows at 5 individual targets and when I hit the 5 he said “You now hold the record for 5 arrows beating your own previous record of 4 arrows, would you like to go on, you have one more attempt left?”
Again I said “Yes” and this is when I went for 6 arrows at 6 individual targets. When I hit the 6 targets with one 6 arrows shot everyone went wild! The co-host of ‘Guinness World Records Smashed’ Konnie grabbed me and gave me a big hug and congratulated me. Everyone was telling me how exciting it was and at first I thought everyone was just being nice but in England, archery is a very big thing because of Robin Hood. I now hold the Guinness Book Of World Records for the most individual targets hit simultaneously with individual arrows with one shot out of one bow.
When I first started putting on exhibition shows, I was asked to shoot some targets and help people who were having archery problems and give them some tips. When I was in the backyard shooting at age 14 my mother asked me if i could shoot 2 arrows at one time.
I told her that was only in the movies and in Hollywood anything is possible. With the MUZZY ARROWREST I thought that it might be possible. It took some practice but we figured out how to make it work. As time went by people started asking can you shoot 3 arrows and when I found out that was possible I wondered if I could do four arrows. After I had accomplished shooting four arrows it inspired me to go all the way to 6 arrows.
Now a lot of people watch my shows and like a magician’s trick they try to figure out how I do it. I have had so many people say to me that it is amazing and I have had some say that I just shoot the target and see where the arrows hit and put the targets where the arrows hit. There is a little truth to some of that. When you set up a bow and you shoot a target you don’t know exactly where the arrow is going to hit when using one arrow the first few times until you adjust your sight to make the arrow hit what you are aiming at . So, you have to set up the shot to make the arrows do what you want them to do.
There is nothing random about any of the shots. So, what I am trying to say is whether you are shooting one arrow or a half a dozen arrows it is repeating the shot, executing it perfectly and duplicating the results.
I have never at any time tried to make out like I was the best archer in the world. I just try to come up with different things that entertain the crowd and make archery fun to help get more people interested in the sport.
If any one has any questions about any of my shots please feel free to email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to answer them for you.
Going to London to perform was an opportunity of a lifetime. I met a bunch of amazing people and my dream of being in the Guinness Book of World Records came true!
Marco from Guinness said that he will be waiting on a call from with my next record! I have already been contacted by Guinness for the possibility of performing in Beijing, China and Milan, Italy for other Guinness TV shows.
There was some editing done on the show including taking out my 4 arrow shot due to time slots for the show.
I am sure that there are a lot of people out there who would like to try some of these shots. I always make sure that everyone is safe around me when I am doing them because things can go wrong and happen. You need to be very aware that if you shoot more than one arrow at one time, your bow is not meant to do this and it can be very dangerous to you also.
I advise AGAINST trying this. I have been doing this for many years and I have always made sure of my safety and also everyone else’s safety.
To see Randy’s Incredible World Record Busting archery display, watch video below: