Videos

• Eddie's TV Show Teaser Video

• Eddie's TV Show Teaser Video #2 - Rock Track


Reviews

Here's what industry experts say about CEM

"As a liquid pump, it is ideal...This design obviously has massive potential because of its flexibility."
• Eureka Engineering Materials & Design Magazine, February 1998 issue

CEM Wins Editor’s Choice Award!
"Pump/Compressor Module provides Endless Design possibilities... Immense potential..."
• Medical Equipment Designer Magazine, May 1994 issue

"Firetrucks could get a whole lot smaller with [this] new multi-purpose device..."
• Los Angeles Times, Technology Special section, October 27, 1997

"This technology is superior to anything we have witnessed. My colleagues and I have had the opportunity to thoroughly review [the] Cylindrical Energy Module... I can confidently state that the technical feasibility and prognosis for commercial success are unquestioned."
• L. Gordon Cooper, CEO of Galaxy Aerospace Management, Inc. and Retired NASA Astronaut

"Versatile little device could serve as a remarkably powerful pump or an engine."
• Popular Mechanics Magazine, September 1994 issue

"Batamweight Rotary pump delivers heavyweight output...The CEM's primary strength lies in its increased output [over conventional pumps] for a given size."
• Design News Magazine, January 17, 1994

"Engine of ingenuity...an engine more powerful and lighter in weight than an internal combustion engine."
• Los Angeles Business Journal, January 19, 1998

"The birth of a new technology... It operates on a uniquely different principle, has only 5 moving parts, is simple and compact, weighs only about 1/5th that of a standard unit, and can be built at about 1/4th the cost."
• Design Products News

"This pump is far more efficient than anything I’ve seen to date."
• James Morand, President and Chief Executive of Enviro-Foam Technologies

Here's what Amazon.com had to say about Eddie's book: The Cars of the Fast and the Furious

The Cars of the Fast and the Furious Editorial Reviews –Amazon.com

Book Description
A fascinating look inside the preparation of the cars and the making of the movie scenes featured in the 2001 box office hit The Fast and the Furious and in the 2003 summer release sequel The Fast and the Furious 2. Officially authorized by Universal Studios, the book draws on the experience of Eddie Paul in acquiring, constructing and modifying the cars for both movies. The book, with 300 color illustrations, reveals how the automotive stunts were choreographed, performed and filmed. This is a true insider’s guide to the exciting world of fast cars, thrilling stunts, and motion-picture production.

From the Publisher
From the surprise box-office hit of 2001 to one of the most talked about sequels this summer, Fast and Furious fever is gaining momentum. Having only rolled from the garage to the theaters in two short weeks and grossing over $83 million, 2 Fast 2 Furious is following in his big brother’s footsteps in fine style. Ask anybody why they watch this franchise over and over and the unanimous answer is… THE CARS. Strangely enough this also is the biggest mystery surrounding the movies; who customized all those amazing cars? The answer - movie car maverick Eddie Paul.
Eddie, in conjunction with MBI Publishing and Universal Pictures, is proud to announce that the first edition printing of his book ‘The Cars of the Fast and the Furious, The Hottest Cars on Screen' HAS SOLD OUT with more orders pouring in from all over the globe.


This gorgeous book is a feast for the eyes as it takes the reader behind the scenes and into the workshop detailing how each of the major racers from the movies was customized. Engine mods, body kits, tires, sound systems and even the paint colors are revealed in this must-have gem. Every conceivable aspect from how he pulled all these cars together to getting them all on the set on time and on budget is in here. ‘The Cars of the Fast and the Furious, The Hottest Cars on Screen’ also features interviews, facts and trivia about the cars. Every racer has a story and Eddie shares them all in his candid down-to-earth manner.
This book has a wide rang of appeal from the seasoned mechanic to the weekend grease monkey, everyone who likes cars will love ‘The Cars of the Fast and the Furious, The Hottest Cars on Screen'!

About the Author
Eddie Paul is the Founder and President of E.P. Industries, Inc. With over 30 years of engineering experience, Mr. Paul has developed innovative designs in pumps, compressors, engines, optics, electronics, camera movements and housings, hydraulic systems, and animatronics. His diverse background in prototype development and design and his knowledge of a wide range of engineering sciences has led to many discoveries. Consequently, Mr. Paul is the holder of several U.S. and international patents. He is also the Principal Investigator who guides and assists a highly qualified team of engineers.
In 1970, Eddie Paul established E.P. Industries, which has become a successful research, development, and prototype manufacturing company.


Awards

Circlescan 4D • Winner 2002 Top 100 Producers A/V Multimedia Producer Magazine

Eddie Paul invented the Circlescan 4D process out of dissatisfaction with the common 3D effect. "What we call 3D doesn't really exist because the 3 dimension of depth is only simulated" he says.

The Circlescan process uses a patented camera attachment consisting of several mirrors at 45 degree angles. "Instead of looking at a TV screen, you're looking with a window" Paul says.

 

CFX Compressed Air-Foam Fire System • "EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN" by Design News Magazine

CFX CAFS eliminates centrifugal water pump and air compressor with a high-efficiency positive-displacement CEM Rotary Pump.

El Segundo, Calif. , CFX, Inc., manufacturer of compressed air-foam fire pump systems (CAFS) has recently captured one of the top three places in the annual Excellence in Design competition hosted by Design News Magazine. The contest, which features engineers, inventors and design teams from all fields of technology has become extremely competitive and often serves as a preview of upcoming trends and changes.


Pump designer Eddie Paul spent the better part of 16 years developing and streamlining his rotary cylinder pump concept before it was ready for introduction. He applied and received patent protection for his Cylindrical Energy Module (CEM) rotary cylinder pump in May of 1993, classified as an engine/pump/compressor "power module" by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


From the moment of its market introduction, technical experts as well as specialists in fluid dynamics have praised the CEM for its superior efficiency, simplicity of design and unlimited potential. In 1994, the first major prototype application of the CEM positive-displacement rotary pump went to the medical field as the critical component in an emergency ventilator system. The CEM Ventilator Pump was presented with the Editor’s Choice Award in Medical Equipment Designer Magazine, the first of many accolades to come. In mid 1995, the U.S. Dept. of Defense took notice of CEM technology for its internal combustion potential and, through the U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research program, awarded a Phase 1 contract for the development of a new internal combustion engine/generator set based on CEM componentry. As word of this ultra-efficient pump spread, the diversity and number of applications increased.


Most applications have involved leading edge research and development with companies such as TRW, whose aerospace division conducted tests on the CEM pump for extreme high-pressure use in the Space Shuttle fuel system. Raytheon Systems recently subjected a CEM prototype to extended-cycle testing in a lubrication-free liquid carbon-dioxide dry-cleaning system followed by a 3000psi static housing test. And The Boeing Company is considering a major redesign of the Airborne Laser System to use a CEM pump in its cooling system Whether or not these prototypes lead to production is not an issue. The payoff is a wealth of data obtained from researching and testing with these high-technology companies and their national laboratories.


The CEM pump has the unique capability of flowing up to four separate fluids and/or gases in and, depending on manifold structure, four separate fluids/gases or any combination of the four, out. The CFX system uses one CEM Rotary pump to handle the three foam elements (water, foam surfactant and air). Until now, all CAFS consisted of a low-efficiency centrifugal water pump connected to an air compressor and a complex proportioning system to combine the three elements to make foam. With less pump, less plumbing, and superior volumetric efficiency, the lighter, smaller CFX CAFS delivers its rated outputs with a mere third of the drive power of other systems of equal output.


All the same, CFX owner Eddie Paul knows that it takes more than just having a superior design. This is why he’s chosen to maintain such a moderate profile in the fire pump market. "The fire service is rich in tradition. No matter how good the technology is, acceptance takes time," says Eddie. "We’ve got a good product here so we plan to give it all the time necessary to become part of that tradition.


Articles

FF Journal• October 2010 Fabricating for Film

 Completing fabrications like these in compressed timelines separates a regular metal-fabricating job shop from ones that produce fabrications that make movie magic, Paul says. But to build sheet metal movie marvels and meet tight deadlines, he needs to have the right equipment in his shop.

 Paul's first big job was producing 30 cars for the movie "Grease." At the time, he had an automotive body shop with oxy/acetylene torches, forming hammers, reciprocating saws, manual brakes and MIG welders that he used to fabricate brackets, trim, gages, bumpers and difficult-to-find parts. He also formed sheet metal by hand and machined parts from billets.

 Adding advanced metal-fabricating equipment helped productivity rise dramatically, says Paul. When he built the "Grease" cars, it took two weeks with 30 people working 12 to 14 hours a day. "The tools we had then were all hand tools and gas welding equipment. Cutting was done with a saber saw or an air hammer with a metal-cutting chisel," he says.

 In contrast, Paul has built more than 200 cars for the movie "2 Fast 2 Furious" in less than a month working a five day workweek with only 10 people and no overtime using a Samson plasma CNC cutter, CAD/CAM computers, MIG and TIG welders, and an Eagle tube bender from Eagle Bending Machines, Stapleton, Ala.

Custom Equipment

 Fabricating challenges have pushed Paul to build some of his own equipment, incluiding a manual tube bender and a combination planishing hammer and English wheel.

 When looking at tube benders, Paul couldn't find an affordable model. "I built a bender for the low-end market for someone who might bend one to ten tubes and doesn't need a production machine. My bender sales took off, and I couldn't keep up with orders," he says.

 Paul's bender has a 24-in.-diameter wheel that uses a 1-in. tube to move the material through the bending rolls. "We were making this on our own machine by hand, and it was taking too long. I decided that I needed an affordable bender that would help me build my bender," he says.

 He purchased an Eagle CP30 RM Bender, which dramatically increased productivity, says Paul. "To make our benders manually, it used to take us almost an hour per wheel. Now we do it in 10 seconds with the Eagle bender," he says.

 "We first put Paul in our Eagle CP30 Bender that uses a manual top-roll adjuster," says Jeremiah Weekley, Eagle director of sales. "It was smaller than the one he has now. Paul then moved up to our Z402H that uses a hydraulic system for the top-roll adjustment, and it increased his bending capacity."

 To make a bend with the CP30, a user would have to manually set the hand crank on the top of the machine that moves the top roll up and down and applies pressure to what's being bent, says Weekley. Eagles' Z402H uses a hydraulic adjustment for the top roll and can apply greater force. Also, the top roll's position is displayed as a number on the machine's LED readout.

 "It doesn't really matter so much about the pressure as to the position of the top roll," says Weekley. By having the top roll in the same position for a particualr part and profile, you will achieve very similar results, he notes.

 Tooling rolls for Eagle benders are manufactured at the company's machine shop. "If a customer needs tooling for a particular tube or pipe size, it's usually in stock on the shelf, but if not, we'll make it," notes Weekley. Eagle also will produce prototype tooling for unusual bending applications and have it done within seven to 10 business days. "we can build tooling for any custom extrusion, incluiding triangular tubes."

 Like all Eagle benders, Eddie Paul's has a solid steel frame machined from steel plate. No castings are used, says Weekley. "This allows us to offer a lifetime mainframe warranty against stress cracks. Solid-alloy steels are used for the shafts and journals."

Design challenges

 Paul also uses the tools in his shop and his Eagle bender to create one-of-a-kind projects for Hollywood productions.

 When "Cars" debuted, Paul built drivable cars for publicity that looked like the movie's animated characters Lightning, Tow Mater and Sally. Paul used his AutoCAD system to develop detailed blueprints from sketches for the frames and car parts.

 "They gave us a pretty new Porsche for Sally, and we cut it in half to make it smaller, to resemble the character. For Lightning, we used late-model Pontiac Trans Am that we cut the body off. We also had to shorten it. Tow Mater started out as a big GMC truck. We shortened it 5 ft. and narrowed the body," he says.

 Most of Lightning's outer body in ABS plastic. Paul used a special router he had built with a 5-ft.-by-10-ft. bed with a 12-in. Z axis to make the wood patterns for the body parts. He vacuum formed 1/4-in.-thick ABS-plastic over the pattern to make a final body part.

 As the plastic pieces were built, Paul prepped the stipped Trans Am chassis to mount a roll cage to it using mild-steel 1.5-in.-diameter by 0.12-in.-thick tubing. "We used our Eagle bender to roll and bend these tubes," says Paul. After the chassis was stripped, Paul had to cut it in half and shorten it by about 2 ft.

 As he finished, Paul attached the platic body pieces to 2-in.-wide strips of T6-6061 aluminum in 6- and 8-ft. lengths cut using a manual shear. These pieces were mounted to the plastic body pieces and then to the frame tubes.

 "At this point, we were still using the PlasmaCAM system. We were continually checking between the frame of the vehicle and the plastic pieces to make sure that they would go together properly. We used a hand plasma cutter to do all our cutting, and our CNC plasma cutter to cut out corner brackets that attached the toll cage to the chassis," says Paul.

 Paul then seamed and glued the plastic pieces together, sanded them down and smoothed them with body filler.

Unique projects

 While Paul has fabricated hundereds of cars, he also has completed unique fabrication projects, including building life-like remote controlled and manually operated sharks for Jacques Cousteau's group.

 With a two-week time period, Paul had to build a great white shark that could be manned internally by a diver. From his experience with building other sharks, he decided to use stainless steel tubes bent on the Eagle bender for its ribs and a 6-in-wide by 1/2-in.-thick Lexan plastic piece for its spine and bottom containment piece to hold the ribs together.

 Paul designed the ribs to form a cage, with the largest rib being about 36 in. in diameter at the shark's pectoral fins. "The larger ribs used a 2-in.-diameter tube, and then the other ribs progressively went down in tube diameter size and were smaller in their overall dimeter," he says.

 For articulation, Paul used a simple air cylinder to move the tubular ribs of the shark from side to side. Overall, ti weighed 2,000 lbs. and close to 6,000 lbs. when filled with water.

 Some might think fabricating for movies is more difficult than building products for our parts, but "actually movie fabrications don't have to be as good. They just have to be safe," says Paul. "The rule of thumb is if you stand back 20 ft. {from a vehicle} and don't see a problem, you don't worry about it."



September 2006• Mini Truckin' - 100 Lbs of Thunder

 



 

PPG Repaint Reporter • July 2006
From Cartoon to Reality:
Customizer Eddie Paul breathes life into Disney Cars.

"Cars" tells the story of Lightning McQueen, a rookie racecar driven to succeed, who discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line. Crossing the country on famed route 66 to compete in the big Piston Cup championship, McQueen gets to know the offbeat characters of Radiator Springs, Colorado, who help him realize there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.

"We had a great time making these cars in the movie, so we thought 'wouldn't it be cool if these cars were real," relays Bob Pauley, one of two production designers for the animated feature. "So we got a hold of Eddie Paul. It's kind of surreal. I never thought we would actually make these cars."

For those who know Eddie Paul, he's always been up for a challenge. For more than 30 years, he and his team at customs By Eddie Paul, a division of E.P. Industries, El Segundo, Calif., have been fabricating stunt vehicles, show vehicles, props and special effects for Hollywood's major film and television studios. Some of their well-known creations include the Greased Lightning and Flamed Merc seen in the hit movie "Grease" and the ever-popular General Lee Dodge Charger from the original "Dukes of Hazzard" TV series. More recently, Eddie is known for building the cars for movies "Triple X," "The Fast and the Furious" and "2Fast 2Furious."
"Eddie Paul is one of those guys who won't say 'no,"' says Jay Ward, character manager for "CARS." "He'll find a way to actually do it. He has the ability to make something out of nothing. He just takes whatever's in the shop and rolls and bends, and welds, cuts, fabricates --- and somehow there's a car there when you come back."

The world of custom car building required a whole new approach for turning animated characters into reality, according to Brian Hatano, general manager for Customs By Eddie Paul. Brian says the process first involved taking the animations and converting them into AutoCAD files. Then they were converted into G-code for CNC routing of Jelutong pattern making wood. ABS plastic was then vacuum-formed over the patterns and molded together.

Eddie Paul's crew worked around the clock to breath life into the pixels and polygons. To create a real-life Sally Carrwera, a full scale Porsche 911 was cut in half and put together again with the objective of making the proportions cuter and more cartoon-like. The tires were scaled up and the windshield was positioned more vertically to make Sally's "eyes" more visible.

Tow Mater started off as an 80's eraChevy Dualie short bed. After removing the body, the frame and rear-end were narrowed and shortened, then ABS sections, formed from wood patterns, gave shape to a likeable, real-model character.

Speedster Lightning McQueen began as a Trans Am, then was also transformed from the ground up. " We took the whole bodyoff the car, so this car is made of 100 different pieces," explains Eddie. "We glued the plastic together like you would build a small model car. When we are all done, we added the body filler, sanded primed, and painted it."

To match Lightning's racy, bright red finish, Disney?Pixar specified PPG paint and BMW's "Hellrot Red" color formula. The system used was Deltron DBC basecoat and DCU 2010 2.1 Speed Clear.

Eddie Paul's marvelous creations are currently on tour with Disney/ Pixar's "CARS Road Trip 06", crossing the country with stops in over 40 cities, including the world premiere for "CARS" held May26 in Charlotte, North Carolina at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The tour schedule can be viewed by visiting the movie's website at www.carsthemovie.com. After the tour is completed, the life-sized models will be on permanent display at Pixar Animation Studios. Also, an illustrated book, The Art of CARS, has been published by Chronicle Books, giving an insider's view of the exhaustive research and artistic development that went into making the animated feature.

Summing up the project, Eddie proudly beamed that " We wanted to dazzle 'em with what we can do here. It will be the hit of all the car shows. Kids will love it. And I like making things that make people smile." The beaming grills of life-sized models Lightning McQueen, Sally Carrera and Tow Mater are sure to smile back.



 

Life • July 22, 2005
Building a Better Shark
by Jason Kersten

Being eaten alive isn’t the only way to get inside a great white shark. You can also have a Hollywood engineer build you a submarine that looks and moves like the real thing. That’s what oceanographer Fabien Cousteau – grandson of the famous French explorer Jaques – did recently near Mexico’s remote Guadalupe Island, where a healthy population of great whites feeds off a nervous population of seals. Cousteau’s idea: fool the giant predators into thinking he’s one of them.

“I was trying to pass as the weird cousin from Australia,” Cousteau says of his time as a 14-foot long female great white. “The sharks were definitely curious. They would cruise in to investigate and then stay in the area. Unfortunately – or fortunately – none of them tried to mate with me.”

Cousteau, 37, got the idea of building the sub from a comic he read as a kid: the ingenious design that engineer Eddie Paul came up with utilizes an air-powered “tail” to propel the shark at a great white cruising speed of two knots. Cousteau pilots the craft using a joystick and a video monitor.

Following in his family’s tradition, Cousteau filmed his adventures to make “The Mind of a Demon”, a documentary that should air later this year. Cousteau hopes it will help change people’s negative perception of great whites. In fact, he and his crew spent more that 100 hours diving with sharks as large as 20 feet, most of the time without a cage. “It was their world. They could have attacked us anytime, but they never did,” says Cousteau. Keeping the sharks honest came down to a trick that also works on humans: “Always make direct eye contact.”

 



 

Roanoke Times • July 1, 2005
The Secret is out and he's coming to town.
by Staff

Eddie Paul may be the most interesting movie "star" you've never heard of. Don't feel bad. Until recently, he was the best-kept secret in Hollywood, too.

Paul builds stunt cars and motorcycles for movies "among other things," and chances are, if you've been to a theater in the past 20 years or so, you've seen his handiwork but not his face. Or you've seen him drive as a stuntman on TV in "Dukes of Hazard" and thought he was one of the Duke boys or a member of the law chasing them.

Get ready to meet Eddie Paul, face to face. He will be in Roanoke Monday, July 4, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., as the special guest of Star City Motor Madness's car show on the City Market. He will be appearing with two stunt cars he built for major motion pictures and will be available for questions, autographs and photos.

The two cars with him, a 1950 Mercury used in the 1986 movie "Cobra" with Sylvester Stallone and a 1967 GTO that appeared in "XXX" in 2002 with Vin Diesel, are owned by a Virginia businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Mercury comes with a particularly interesting story. It is one of four Mercurys Paul built for the movie, an action-thriller that involved a lot of gunfire and wreckage. In the movie, the car was used in a highspeed highway chase scene in which a stuntman made a spectacular 180-degree spin backwards and then spun it back around. Bullet holes were shot into the trunk during the scene. The movie subsequently took it to Venice Beach, Calif., where it was used to jump canals.

"It took some pretty bad abuse," Paul said.

If that wasn't enough to destroy it, consider what happened after the film. Someone bought it off a junk yard, restored it and ran it two years in the Carrera PanAmerican race in Mexico, one o€ the most grueling races in the world. At same point, it also went to the harsh Bonneville Salt flats for land-speed trials. Paul said he believes it once was in the hands of the Hell’s Angels also.

“It’s been all over the country. I’m amazed he tracked it down. I know I knew I was never going to see it again.”

The business man had seen one of the four cars in 1986 but couldn’t buy it at the time. After 16 years of searching, a friend alerted him in 2002 that one of the Mercs was being offered on Ebay, and he jumped at the chance. He flew to Washington state, where the car had been garaged for 12 years, looked it over, had it authenticated and bought it.

Later, he met with Paul and arranged for the car to be put back in movie condition. After nearly 20 years, Paul couldn't remember all the details that went into building the car, so the businessman sat down with a copy of the movie and examined it frame by frame and made notes and photographs.

"A funny thing I tell people it took two weeks to make the Merc for the movie, 10 seconds for them to wreck it and me two years to put it back together again," Paul said.

The car is chopped 1 ½ inches, has a roll cage and a 350 Chevy supercharged, nitrous powered engine that can churn out over 600 horsepower. The engine was shot when Paul started rebuilding the car, so the businessman had a new one made from scratch in Lynchburg.

Paul was skeptical when the studio making "Cobra" wanted 1950 Mercurys for the film. He wasn't sure he could find four 36-year-old Mercs, but a buddy who has a junk yard on the West Coast had them in the driveway of Paul's El Segundo shop in about two days.

Paul finished rebuilding the car in early June and had it shipped to Virginia. Its appearance at the car show on the Market will be its first public viewing ever as the "Cobra" car or "Awsom 50 car," as it is also known because of the movie license plate - AWSOM 50.

"The movie makes it look virtually indestructible, and this car has actually been virtually indestructible," its owner said.

The history of the "XXX" car is somewhat less colorful. Paul had to scour the country to find five 1967 GTOs.

"We put 350 Chevy engines in a couple of them ... that's what [the businessman] has ... beefed up the front suspension, modified the frame and gave them a special paint job." The paint the studio wanted wasn't available, so Paul had to have it custom-mixed.

The businessman first saw the GT0 in Paul's shop when he went out to look at work on his Mercury right after the filming of "XXX." He tried unsuccessfully to buy it from its owner, who subsequently outbid the businessman for another of the GTOs on eBay. The owner eventually put the car up for auction in Arizona, and the businessman bought it in January of this year.

Paul's behind-the-scenes career in Hollywood has been going on for more that 35 years. The former stuntman has customized cars and motorcycles for more than a 100 films, and he's an author and special-effects innovator.

He and a crew of 20 also have built cars for "Grease," "The Fast and The Furious," "ZFast ZFurious," "Taxi," "E.T." and "Gone in 60 Seconds," just to mention a few. They did 48 cars for "Grease" and 220 in two months for "Fast and Furious."

For "Streets of Fire," Paul's shop built 60 motorcycles, and he signed on as stunt coordinator for the film, as well.

"I was supposed to teach bikers how to ride," Paul said. "Oddly enough, instead of using stuntmen to ride Harleys, I talked the studio into letting me hire bikers to do the stunts. All those clubs ... I didn't know they didn't get along and I had them together at one time. I think we lost only one person. I never asked about him again."

When he isn't creating roll cages or tricking out cars, Paul takes to the ocean to explore another of his passions, sharks. As a longtime diver himself, Paul has worked with Jean-Michel, son of famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, created sharks for the IMAX feature, "In Search of the Great Sharks" and recently built a mechanical shark that Cousteau's grandson got into and swam with the Great Whites.

Paul also founded E.P. Industries Inc., where he engineers and develops innovative designs in compressors, engines, electronics, camera movements, animatronics and more. Circlescan, which brings 4D to the movies, is one of his inventions. 4D goes into the screen, creating depth. It works with only one camera, shooting the scene from different points in a circle.

A television show called "Deadline" also is in the works for Paul and likely will debut this summer on the Discovery Channel.

"I proposed it as a real reality show," Paul said. "Reality shows are faked, you know. I insisted on this one being real ... that whatever happens happens. Like if a UPS guy makes a delivery, we don't tell him to go out and come back in again. The thing about the Mercury will be on one show. Jay Leno came in four times about, the motorcycle we're building for him. That will be on the show."

In addition to movie projects in the` works, Paul is writing another book, "Extreme Chopper Building" to go with two he's already written, "Cars of the Fast and Furious," and "How to Build the Cars of the Fast and Furious." He also has produced a DVD about, himself, "The Best-Kept Secret in Hollywood."

"I work with the [studios'] transportation coordinator who gives me most of my work," Paul said, explaining the title of the DVD. "I found out just recently that no matter how good a job we'd do, he never told his friends about us. I never understood why. And what it was - he finally told me that he kept me secret because he didn't want `to let everybody know what you're doing and how fast you're doing it ... they'd use you and you'd never be available for me.'

"He's retired now. He brought us a lot of work over the years, but I always wondered why nobody else ever called."

 



 

Design News • June 2004
Building a Great White Shark:
Inventor and Ex-stuntman Eddie Paul Describes how his team tackled it's biggest project yet- Design and build a personal submarine in just a few weeks.

Just the mention of the name Great White Shark is enough to send a quiver down the spine of the average diver. Also known as Carcharodon Carcharias, it can reach a length of 23 ft or more and weigh in at over 5,000 lbs. That’s bigger than your typical SUV.

Yet little is known about this mysterious creature. To better understand the legendary Demon of the Deep, Fabian Cousteau (grandson of Jacques Cousteau) contracted my company, E.P. Industries, to design a “swimming lab” that would allow him to observe and study the Great White in its world. Our challenge: To construct a counterfeit shark that would contain a diver with a PRISM (digitally controlled closed circuit diving system), be self-powered (swimming by tail motion) and easy to steer, and look like a real shark. These specs were a significant leap over the decoy I developed in 1989 that was remotely powered through an umbilical cord connected to a shark cage. It ultimately met its demise in the jaws of a real Great White. Essentially, we were being asked to design a giant, self-propelled mechanical shark in just four weeks.

Working under an impossibly tight timetable, I asked our animator, Dave Mansfield, to put together a quick animation showing the mechanical shark swimming with a diver inside. He grabbed a generic Great White shark mesh, loaded it into Discreet’s 3ds max 5.0 modeling and animation software and scaled it to 14 ft. Then he started adding spline shapes for the ribs, adjusting each to fit. He created models for the air tanks and rebreather models from dimensions taken off of various diving websites.

Since a shark’s natural movement is a sinusoidal wave, Dave used a wave space warp modifier to create the swimming motion. This way, he was able to quickly change the amplitude and frequency of the swimming motion of the entire model with only two key frames. He adjusted the attenuation of the wave space warp effect so that the head would remain relatively still while the body moved. Dave rendered out several different passes of the shark, including the skin layer, the ribs, mechanics, and diver layer, and then composited them all together in Adobe AfterFX 5.0 so I could easily control the cross fades. I laid out the shark’s spine and ribs in AutoCAD. Once the dimensions were set, they were handed back to Dave for finishing while I started bending metal.

The shark’s skeletal frame consists of a Makrolon polycarbonate spine and stainless steel ribs. For the spine, we needed a material that achieved close to natural buoyancy in salt water, and was strong, light, flexible, and cost-effective. Ultimately, we stacked individual polycarbonate sheets together to form a 0.075-inch-thick laminate. Since the ribs were to provide the skeletal shape, lend buoyancy to the design, and function as a kind of swimming roll cage, they had to be both strong and light. We chose to make them out of stainless steel tubing of varying diameters and lengths, plugging the ends with PV and sealing them with a rigid spray foam-and-silicone concoction.

Overall, the rib cage consists of 30 full or 60 rib-halves, bent into a semicircle of approximately 180 degrees. The ribs closest to the head have a 2-inch diameter and a 0.065-inch wall thickness, with descending ribs decreasing down to a 1-inch diameter. This design allows rigidity in the vertical direction and flexibility in the horizontal direction (the body can flex almost 170 degrees).

We constructed the shark head out of of 0.0625-inch-thick fiber-glass, hand-laying it up over a brushable urethane elastomer (which we also used to create the skin). Our artist then air-brushed the head, using photos of real sharks for a guide. She sculpted gums from epoxy and molded hundreds of plastic serrated teeth. Our company tooth fairy, Georgie, even cut a few of them to duplicate broken teeth.

Next challenge: How could we power this bag of pipe and plastic? We chose pneumatics because we’re familiar with the technology, and it can be used directly in saltwater without costly waterproof housings. It also can be recharged at sea by simply changing the scuba bottle.

We were able to reduce the pressure to 200 psi by employing the first stage of a two-stage scuba regulator. This lower-pressure air can then be connected to a four-way control valve, which redirects it (via a simple joystick) to opposite ends of two air cylinders. The pair is mounted to ribs near the front of the shark near the gill area and connected to the tail by a stainless-steel aircraft cable. As the cylinder on one side of the shark is extended, the opposite cylinder is retracted. This transfers the linear motion of the two cylinders into a lateral movement of the tail by “bowing” the flexible spine from side to side, mimicking the oscillating motion of a shark’s tail as it swims. As the control stick is moved in the opposite direction, the two cylinders reverse, driving the tail in the opposite direction. During the test phase we found that a short (6-inch stroke), side- to-side motion created an underwater vortex almost 12-inches deep at the termination of each tail stroke. The stroke length of the cylinder determines the stroke of the tail, while the power of the stroke is a result of the diameter of the cylinder and the pressure applied in the cylinder.

After testing different bore diameters and stroke lengths, we standardized on a 1.5-inch bore and 12-inch stroke. The shark can be turned by the same control stick and a technique of timed movements of the stick. For example, pushing the stick to the left for two seconds moves the tail left one full stroke. Pushing the control stick to the right for one second moves the tail right about half the distance. Repeating this motion will allow the tail to act as a power device and a rudder, turning the shark in the direction that the control stick and tail is held in the longest. To aid navigation, we mounted a video camera in a rubber remora on the shark’s body—making it the world’s first “remoracam.”

After the air is expelled from the cylinder, it travels back to the control valve and is redirected to two empty, carbon-fiber-wrapped air tanks. They function as storage tanks for the spent air and will allow for short runs in a “stealth non-bubble” run. The tanks then can be vented to the sea, or the main pressure (scuba) tank can be disconnected from the control valve and the system run in re-verse. The pilot also has the option of simply dumping the storage tanks and not reusing the air.

None of this, of course, had ever been accomplished by anyone before. But even while navigating the depths of the unknown, we completed the project on schedule and within budget!

 



 

Motortrend • April 2004
Sage of Invention:
From mechanical sharks to wildly modified cars for movies as “2 fast 2 furious”, Inventor and customizer Eddie Paul lives by the maxim, “If you build it well, they will come.”
by Arthur St. Antoine

He’s hand built everything from personalized choppers to mechanical sharks and hang gliders. He’s worked as a stunt driver and special effects coordinator for such movies as “Gone in 60 Seconds”, “Miracle Mile” and “Wild at Heart”. He’s a restless inventor with international patents for such creations as a 3D movie device and a super-efficient fire pump. And he’s the designer and fabricator of customized cars and motorcycles for more than 100 feature films – from “Grease” to “Mask”, “Soylent Green”, “xXx” and “The Fast and the Furious”.

Unlike those outsized, outspoken “star” customizers on TV, though, 55-year-old Eddie Paul is as humble as he is multitalented. We caught up with this shy, sheet metal bending Renaissance man at his busy shop in El Segundo, California.

MT. You're involved with so many projects, Eddie, it's hard to know where to begin. But you're probably most famous for customizing cars. How did you get started?

E.P. I was always working on cars and motor- cycles when I was young. My dad, who was an inventor, gave me a car to customize before I was even old enough to drive. But then I drove it anyway, and he took it away. He made a waterfall out of it!

MT. When did your passion for customizing cars turn into a business?

E.P. I was working on cars and choppers in my garage in Westchester, California, working day and night mostly on stuff for myself and my friends. My neighbors were always complaining about the noise and sparks, though, so eventually I moved to El Segundo and opened a small shop there. And just like that-within two weeks, I was flooded with work. One wealthy guy came in and had me build a custom Challenger for him. Then Alice Cooper had me restore a 1957 Chevy, complete with machine guns on the hood and some other weird stuff. Actor Lance Henriksen [the android, Bishop, in the movie "Aliens"] had me do a 1934 Ford pickup, radically customized with stuff like a rearview mirror that reflects through the roof instead of the rear window. I never did any advertising. People just found me.

Next, Paul plans to soup-up his prized Boss Hoss motorcycle to produce "maybe 2000 horsepower".

MT. What was your big break into customizing cars for the movies?

E.P. Out of the clear blue, a guy knocked on my door, said he was working on a movie. It was going to be called "Grease." Apparently, the studio had already given money to some guy and given him six months to build their cars, and when they went to check on him all the money was gone and there were no cars. So they were down to the wire, and they had two weeks left to build 48 cars. So the guy told me, "If you can do it, this is yours." And then he pushed a briefcase across my desk, and when I opened it, it was full of $100 bills. I didn’t even count it. I just closed the briefcase and said, "I can do it:'

MT. Just like that? I mean, how did you pull off such a huge task?

E.P. That first meeting was on a Thursday. I only had a couple of employees at the time, so on Friday night, I went out and hit all the local street races. I hired people right off the street, brought 'em in and said, "We're building movie cars." I went out and bought anything I could find from the 1940s and '50s, in any condition. Then I set up a sleeping bag next to my desk and just worked around the dock.

MT. And you got all the cars done in time?

E.P. Yeah. And there were some happy surprises. I think it was the 1950 Merc they used for the big jump scene over the river ... well, we didn’t know they were going to jump it, so we'd just slapped the body panels onto the frame with bungee cords. Anyway, so they did the jump, and when the car landed, the fenders bowed out and the hood popped up. Right after the shot, the director called me and said, "That was the neatest-looking shot! How’d you figure out how to make the body panels pop out and back like that?" [Laughs.]

MT. Do you design the cars, or do the movie studios tell you exactly what to build?

E.P. In the old days, they’d come in and say, "Make us a car. What would you suggest?" Like "Grease.' All they said was, "We want a lightning bolt on one car, and we want the black Merc to look evil." I even got to pick the car. Now, though, they often bring in "car experts" who tell you what to make. Often it doesn't work, so you have to massage their egos and say, "I know this is what you wanted, but it might really work better this way." And then you make it right and let them take all the credit for it. It can be a little frustrating.

MT. Do you have a favorite movie-car experience?

E.P. Probably when I did Stallone's Merc for "Cobra” Basically because they just gave me the car they wanted and said, "Do what you want.” With "The Fast and the Furious" they said, "We want this color, we want this kind of stripe --though I did get to design a lot of the stuff on the cars. I also really enjoyed building the GTO for "xXx”

MT. What’s the process for designing and building a movie car?

E.P. Sometimes I make a preliminary sketch, but usually you just don’t have time. One of the problems is, for my first movie, "Grease," we did everything in two weeks, so now the studios rarely give me more than that for any project. "The Fast and the Furious" was an exception-for that, we got two months to build 220 cars.

Along with his crew, the wizard with the welding torch built 220 pulse-quickening street racers for "2 Fast 2 Furious "-including the cars shown below.

MT. Do you prefer junkers, or do you start with a car in cream-puff condition?

E.P. You can buy a junker cheap and fix it up. Or you can buy a really, really nice car and cut it up. Lately we've been leaning toward the newer cars. They're in better shape. Like for "xXx," we bought seven or eight GTOS. Some were process cars that don’t have to run-you just cut them up, so those can be junkers. For the driving cars, we bought one junk car - an old beat-up, rusted GTO- and one that was pristine, for five times the money. And the pristine one ended up being cheaper, by far, to customize. Because everything worked. It had new brakes, new transmission. The junker that we thought was just bad on cosmetics was junk all the way through. We had to replace the engine, the brakes, the transmission. By the time we were done, it just wasn’t worth it. It's actually cheaper to get something better.

MT. Do you build everything on the cars, or do you outsource some of the work?

E.P. We can do everything, and that's what we used to do, but today we're somewhat limited by the studio’s union rules. For instance, now we're not even allowed to put in the roll cage. I'm told that the studios have to pay a fine to the union just for having us build the cars for them. But it’s still cheaper to pay the fine and have us make the cars than having the union do it. Our cost is about a tenth what it costs to do it at the studio.

MT. What sorts of things did you do on the GTO Vin Diesel drove in "XXX"?

E.P. On that movie, we had a lot of control. They wanted no door handles-that was easy. And they wanted the car lower than it should be, so we did that. We talked the studio into putting Chevy engines in the cars, make them easier to work on. Disc brakes in front for stunts. Electronics-we designed the dash, but the studios did the wiring because of union regulations. The rockets were done with computer graphics-they just had a flame shoot out the nose and added the rockets with CG.

MT. What was your toughest movie car to make?

E.P. "2 Fast 2 Furious" was a rough one simply because of the quantity of the cars-we made 220. And there's a lot more to the whole thing than just building cars. On that movie, for instance, we had to rent buildings. We got the job on, I think, a Thursday, and by Friday we had to start buying cars. We had to buy like 50 cars on our credit cards and these are $20,000 cars. This is even before we had a con- tract from the studio, but we had to start buying because we were out of time. We didn’t even have time to use a realtor. In one day, we just talked a guy into letting us rent 60,000 square feet of his building; he moved all his stuff out and we moved all our stuff over there. Then you gotta bring in the lifts and all the equipment-because when we got the shop it was an empty building, and we had to turn it into a car shop in less than a week. And then you have to negotiate with the police and the mayor, so they’ll let you move all these race cars around in the middle of the night without anyone complaining and thinking we're running a chop shop. When it was all done, I actually convinced the studio to shoot the movie here in El Segundo . I didn’t want to go anywhere else!

MT. Buying cars on credit without a contract sounds awfully risky. Ever been ripped off?

E.P. It happens more than you’d imagine. The producers of "Cobra," for instance, went bankrupt and took advantage of a lot of people--I was one of them. When we did the movie, they gave me a down payment, and I built seven 1950 Mercs. But after the movie, because I'd heard about their financial troubles, I'd told them, 'I'm keeping the cars until you pay the balance of what you owe me." And they were, like, "Oh, yeah, yeah. No problem.' So they told me they were bringing a check and a transporter for the cars. The driver came into my office and said, "I know you’re not going to release these cars until you’re paid, so here are the keys to my transporter. I'm just supposed to wait here until the accountant brings the check down. But could you do me a favor and line up the cars--I need to load 'em up quickly once he gets here.' So we lined 'em up, and then I got a phone call: My secretary said, "It’s the accountant with the check. He's lost. And he insists on talking to you.' So I took the call, and he started asking me all these weird questions-- "I'm on this street, I'm on that street:' And while I was talking to him, I heard a noise out front. So I put the phone down and ran outside, and all the cars were speeding around the comer. The truck was a decoy. They had a bunch of drivers hiding who came up and told my guys they were supposed to load up the cars-that I gave the okay-then they hopped in the cars and drove off. They stole the cars, and there was nothing I could do. The police just said it was a civil matter.

MT. You never saw the cars again?

E.P. Well, its funny. Today I have one of them in my shop. A guy bought it on ebay, and he's having us restore it. We think its the car that did the flip stunt. That car was a junker, and we just slapped it together with Bondo for the crash stunt But now it's come back to bite me. I'm having to replace all that rusty metal I never fixed in the first place!

MT. Any other horror stories from the business?

E.P. Unfortunately, there are lots of them. For instance, I've got guys like George Barris [of Bat mobile fame] and Craig Lieberman showing up at auto shows claiming they built a lot of the cars we did for movies. I hear that Lieberman even appears on the "2 Fast 2 Furious" behind-the-scenes DVD implying that he did all the cars we built!

Need a flying replica of an Otto Lilienthal glider for your movie? Eddie Paul is your man.

MT. Oh, man. Okay, lets change the subject We heard you also used to do some stunt driving yourself.

E.P. I got hired to build a bunch of aircraft for this movie called "The Wright Brothers.' It was about all these famous people from early aviation history who get together as kids in this small Western town-really weird. I don’t think it ever even came out. Anyway, for the movie I built a Lilienthal glider and a Wright Flyer. And during the filming, where I flew the planes because I used to be a glider pilot, I met a bunch of stuntmen who worked on "The Dukes of Hazzard” And soon I was working on "Dukes" as a stunt driver, crashing everything, for about six months.

MT. Isn't stunt driving normally a tough business to break into?

E.P. It is. But I was often making the cars they were shooting in the film, and I realized early on that, if I made the cars complicated enough to drive, they'd have to hire me to drive them! I put in levers that didn’t do anything, put the steering in backwards a few times--just anything that would goof somebody up. And once the stunt driver couldn’t make the car work, they'd come up to me and say, you have a Screen Actors Guild card, right? Can you drive this thing?" [Laughs.]

MT. Still stunt driving?

E.P. Nope. My wife made me stop after I broke my neck doing an underwater stunt with a Hyundai Tiburon, a commercial that was a takeoff on 'Jaws.'

MT. Speaking of underwater stuff--didn't you used to work with Jacques Cousteau?

E.P. Yeah. In 1989, I made a mechanical swimming shark that Cousteau used to study shark behavior. In fact, right now I'm building a full-size, moving Great White model that Cousteau’s grandson Fabian will get inside of. He's going to swim with real Great Whites for the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

MT. Um, that sounds just a little risky...

E.P. To tell the truth, I think the Discovery Channel is hoping something goes wrong so they get it on camera [laughs]! But that’s why I'm building the shark really, really strong.

Eddie lookin' down the barrel of a shark.

MT. Cars. Bikes. Historical gliders. Mechanical sharks. What other stuff are you working on?

E.P. Hmmm ... well, we've got a patented, 100-gallon-per-minute, 115-pound portable water pump we're selling to fire departments. We've got a new device called Circlescan 4D that allows anybody with a video or movie camera to shoot movies in 3D. And we're doing lots of sales and training videos. I'm also working with the Department of Defense on the Airborne Laser Weapons System.

MT. [Doing Dr. Evil impersonation] A giant lay-zer? How’d you get involved with that?

E.P. Originally they hired me for my fire pump to help pump the gases in and out of the laser. And I was down there looking at the thing, because I'd never seen a laser before, and I said, "Why is it square?" And they said, "Well, all lasers are square.' And I said, "Why don’t you make it out of a tube?" And they were, like, 'We've never even thought of that' Next thing I knew, they'd given me a security clearance and were saying, "Give us some more ideas.” Now I see the head guy every year for Christmas. It’s amazing how one thing leads to another.

MT. Did you have lots of specialized training for all this stuff? I mean designing custom cars and swimming sharks and laser-weapons system?

E.P. None. My dad was an inventor, but I'm self-taught. I never even graduated from high school. I just buy lots and lots of books and read on every subject

MT. How about your employees? Are they all highly trained specialists?

E.P. We hire more for personality than for skill. For instance, the foreman in our machine shop was a carpenter when he came in. He'd cut his thumb off on a saw. He and his nine fingers came in here, and we taught him how to use the machine. And now he’s one of the best machinists I've ever had. He had the mind for it, plus the willingness to learn. Now there's nothing he can’t build. I'll say, "Jon, can you do this by tomorrow?" and he'll be, like, "Yeah. No problem.”

MT. How many people are on your staff?

E.P. When we're doing a feature film, we have about 35 people. Right now, we have about six to eight.

MT. How has the business changed since you started? Are you now using computers for a lot of your work?

E.P. Not really. We're starting to design on computers now, and they're great for making sales animations. But there's still nothing like going out and bending metal-making something. It’s like my mechanical shark. I started designing it on the computer, then one day I just turned the computer off and started bending metal. I mean, I wrote this program in Excel just for bending the shark ribs, but in the amount of time it took to perfect the program I could have had 'em all bent and in the shark. Computers are neat, but I don’t see the advantage for designing cars.

MT. You're involved with all sorts of fascinating projects. Is it fair to say you're doing exactly what you want in life?

E.P. Yeah. The inventing is fun. I just wish it were easier to do the marketing. In a perfect world, I'd just be an inventor. I'd make something, then hand it to someone else and say, "It’s not finished yet, but perfect it, market it and get it out of here. I want to work on something else now." But that’s what’s great about films. You never work on anything more than a couple months, then you work on something that’s totally unrelated. So it’s never boring.

MT. Any advice for anyone dreaming of following in your footsteps?

E.P. Well, I've been in business for 35 years now. I learned a long time ago to ignore what people say are hurdles. The key is to keep an open mind and to do a good job. If you do a good job, people will come from anywhere to get it.

Paul demonstrates how Jacques Cousteau's grandson Fabian will ride inside his mechanical Great White, built to swim with real sharks for an upcoming Discovery Channel special. Small TV cameras hidden inside lifelike remoras (top) will capture all the chummy action.

 



 

Los Angeles Times • February 1, 2004
Cousteau to Get Inside Shark's Head
A replica designed by a prop maker will allow scientist's grandson to swim with the fish.
by David Pierson, Times Staff Writer

Eddie Paul is so certain that great white sharks aren't ruthless killers, he's willing to bet Jacques Cousteau's grandson's life on it.

The industrial mechanic and Hollywood prop maker, responsible for the hot rods in the movie "Grease" and the blazing import cars in "The Fast and the Furious," is building what he calls the world's most realistic mechanical shark for Fabien Cousteau to climb into and study the animal's behavior.

Cousteau, a New York antiques appraiser, wants to follow his famous grandfather's marine biology footsteps and dispel some of the fears associated with sharks, Paul said.

To do it, Cousteau, 36, enlisted Paul, who had made a remote-controlled shark for his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau, in the 1980s. That one wasn't nearly as sophisticated as the current contraption, which was showcased and fine-tuned Saturday at the Loyola Marymount University swimming pool.

Discovery Channel plans to broadcast a two-part documentary on the project this summer.

"Sharks aren't mindless eating machines," said Mike Hoover, a filmmaker for the Discovery Channel. "They have no hands, so the only way to check things out is with their mouth. … The problem is, they're not warm and cuddly."

The mechanical shark is believed to be the first to be controlled from the inside. Cousteau will be protected by a stainless steel skeleton and followed at all times by a mini-submarine.

The fins are made of bulletproof plastic. Its eyes are cameras that project the open ocean onto two waterproof screens in the head for Cousteau to see. The 14-foot, 700-pound replica will then be covered in a rubber-like skin detailed with scars.

"Nobody has ever made a fish like this without using a propeller to move it," said Paul, 55. "We're using the tail. It's basically going to move like a real shark would."

The challenge is finding enough power to move at a realistic pace.

"It will take a quarter of a horsepower to move the speed of a shark, about 2 mph," said Joe Valencic, a professor of marine science and technology for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Saddleback College. "A prime Olympic athlete can put down a maximum of one horsepower for 15 to 30 seconds."

Paul is experimenting with hand and foot pedals. But air-powered pistons or electricity may be required to generate enough speed.

Once complete, the shark will test the waters off Catalina Island before heading off the coast of San Diego and Australia. If successful, it may change the way some people look at the species.

Paul said he'll probably provoke a dramatic end to his creation, as he has done with his previous two models he has made while working with the younger Cousteau.

"The first one got eaten," Paul said. "The second one: We got bored with it after the third day. So we pumped blood into the water. Then we weighted it to one side. As soon as it started swimming erratically, the sharks turned around and attacked. I think they thought it was injured, so it was like a mercy killing."

The latest one, which is paid for by both Paul and the Discovery Channel, is nicknamed "Sushi 1."

"We're almost positive it's going to be attacked," Paul said.

 



 

Daily Breeze • February 1, 2004
Inventor hopes pool shark fools real thing:
El Segundo man's mechanical fish gets a test run Saturday to prepare it for a close encounter on a Discovery Channel program.
by Dennis Johnson

Little is known about the nature of the great white shark, an animal whose lore of violence exceeds its mysterious reality.

So, what's the best way to investigate this animal's unseen marine world?

Would you believe dressing up in a shark costume and mingling with them?

Farfetched, maybe, but the truth nonetheless. And if you're going to crawl into the insides of a 14-foot great white, you'd likely prefer the one built by El Segundo inventor Eddie Paul.

Paul has constructed a stainless steel beast that will go tooth-to-tooth with the real thing for a Discovery Channel special featuring the oddest commingling of creatures since a wolf slipped on a wool coat to spend time with a flock of sheep.

The self-taught engineer behind the hot rods in the "Fast and the Furious" movies and a crew of diving and technical experts gave the mechanical shark a test spin Saturday through the shallow end of the swimming pool at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester.

"Starting with 'Jaws,' the great white shark has pretty much been labeled a mindless eating machine, but in fact ... for a big animal like that, it seems to be pretty intelligent," said Mike Hoover, a documentary filmmaker who helped establish the series that studies shark behavior.

For the July television special, Jacques Cousteau's grandson, Fabian, will don the cage-like shark suit and pilot it, using cameras mounted inside its eyes and in attached, ersatz remoras to guide the way, mix into a school of great whites to study their reaction.

The idea, Hoover said, is to see how sharks treat the mechanical beast and, if they attack, study their mannerisms and catch the whole thing on video. To do so, and ensure that Cousteau's skin and limbs stay intact, Paul constructed a shark-shaped cage from stainless steel tubing.

During Saturday's test run, Paul piloted the shark from the inside, using a pulley system to power its flexible caudal fin to propel it the width of the pool.

The stainless steel tubing is filled with air to help with buoyancy, something inflatable air bladders also helped control.

In designing the creature, Paul said they studied the biomechanics of how a shark swims and moves and tried to build it to replicate these motions.


This isn't the first time the inventor has been involved with studying great whites.

For an IMAX film, he built a 10-foot remote control shark that carried two cameras and lighting.

"It finally got attacked and torn to pieces by a great white," he said.

Paul said he predicts the mechanical shark will be ready in about three weeks, after which time it will be loaded on a large boat along with another small submarine and taken out to sea for further testing.

From there, the traveling crew will likely go to shark-infested waters off Australia or Baja California.

There they'll see if they can find out just how intelligent the creatures are.

 



 

Easy Reader • June 26, 2003
2Fast 2Furious 4Real
by Robb Fulcher

As the major motion picture 2Fast 2Furious continues to tear a rubber-squealing roadway through America’s box offices, Eddie Paul, the man behind about 150 of the 2Fast hotrod cars, barely gets a rush out of it.

Well, forgive him. Paul’s real life rivals any big screen depiction of things fast and furious.

So far, the 55-year old El Segundo resident has worked as a Hollywood stuntman, breaking his neck, back and everything else in the process. He has developed a lightweight plastic shark-proof suit and tested it by enduring an underwater attack from a dozen of the giant beasts. He has fallen 350 feet from a hang glider at Torrance Beach and lived to tell about it. He has piloted a motorcycle from LA to Vegas without touching the handlebars.

He has designed and created life-size mechanical sharks for TV and film. He’s built autos, life-size horses and other special effect elements for movies such as E. T., Mask of Zorro and Nightmare on Elm Street V. He’s developed foam-shooting vests for soldiers in Iraq and better ways to shoot laser beams for the military. He’s invented a portable pump used by firefighters, and a deceptively simple “4-D” movie camera that makes images appear in 3-D layers that retreat back into the screen.

He has fought off truly hostile attempts to take over his various companies, which turn his various projects and inventions into money. He has authored his second book.

In short, he is a stunt-driving, sky-riding, entrepreneurial inventor, author and underwater shark handler who has defied death, broken bones the length and breadth of his frame, and who likes to relax by driving a fleet of cars and motorcycles that seem to accrue to his El Segundo workshops that total 17,000 square-feet.

So when he sees a movie, even one with fast cars he’s customized, he doesn’t exactly experience an adrenalin spike.

“The movie’s doing pretty well, isn’t it?” Paul said in a low-key, almost drowsy way, as he sat in an office surrounded by diving bells and inventor stuff, including the firefighting pump, which is used on remote brushfires and the like and runs on gas, diesel, a 12-volt battery or windmill power.

For 2Fast, 2Furious, Paul modified and customized about 150 cars, many of them special stunt vehicles. His cars were used in every race scene. He also shot the photos and wrote the text for 2Fast 2Furious the book, which is laden with pictures of the cars.

The publisher, Motorbooks International, says Paul’s glossy, 127-page volume quickly became its hottest seller ever in the few brief weeks it’s been out. The book’s early sales have outstripped its printings.

“They were going to fly me to Athens, Greece for a book signing but they couldn’t get any books to sign because they were all sold out,” Paul said. The Athens trip had to be postponed.

The 2Fast cars needed little internal souping up, Paul said.

“A stock car can go as fast as you need for any scene in a movie,” he said. “And the nitrous you see on them? That’s just Hollywood magic.”

Buckle up

One possible effect of the movie that Paul hopes he won’t see is a thrill-seeking audience that leaves the theater and then tries to stunt-drive in Hollywood-style street races. Some public concern has been expressed about that, and the Los Angeles City Council has taken the precautionary step of authorizing police to seize autos used in street racing.

“I want people to enjoy the racing and understand that it’s entertainment, and leave it in the theater building,” Paul said. He pointed to a study that found male theatergoers “pumped up” upon leaving an Arnold Schwarzennegger movie.

“This is the same thing, and they should know if they act on it they’re going to kill people,” he said.

‘Euphoric’ pain

“When I was a stunt driver on Dukes of Hazard I was a nice guy. I’d smash up a car and get paid, and then get in my own car and drive away nice and slow,” he said.

He performed stunts for movies and TV, both inside and outside of cars, for the money rather than the thrills, Paul said. But in the process he’s broken everything that can be broken on a human body.

When he plunged from a hang glider onto a dirt yard adjoining Torrance Beach in 1970, narrowly missing a chain-link fence, the result was a year in a hospital and then six months in a wheelchair.

“I should have been killed,” he said. “Some paramedics were out there watching a surf contest and they saw me crash.” He chalked up the incident to being “young and dumb,” and careless with his aircraft.

Once out of the hospital, Paul began to modify his wheelchair to reach high speeds.

“My dad caught me and put an end to that,” Paul said.

Paul figures his physical pain threshold must be higher than that of most other people.

“It’s hard to compare because I don’t know what it’s like to be another person,” he said. “But I’ve pulled a [surgical] pin out of my shoulder myself, and it didn’t hurt. And I slit my thumb open with a saw one time and it didn’t hurt.”

But he now suffers from a seasonal, osteoporosis-like condition called “bone crusher’s disease.” It attacks his entire body every year around his birthday, each bout becoming less incapacitating with time. His condition was finally diagnosed at the Mayo Center.

“The first time it happened I thought I had Lou Gehrig’s disease,” he said. “It was scary. I thought I was going to die. Just rolling over in bed was the worst.”

His wife Renee has forbidden further stunt work, and Paul seems to accept that.

“There’s a saying that when you hurt yourself and it starts to feel good, it’s time to quit,” he said. That time came for Paul during a stunt for a fight scene in the movie Mask, when he fell rolling down a hill with a 350-pound man landing atop him.

“I separated my shoulder, I ripped everything out, and I felt no pain,” he said. “It’s almost euphoric to get hurt that bad. It’s hard to explain. It’s beyond pain.”

It took 50 stitches, seven pins and five surgeries to repair his shoulder.


Shark Bites

Paul took time out of a busy Friday morning to give a tour of his E.P. Industries plant, pausing to commune with the massive head of one of his artificial sharks. Paul has made a few of them, including one he used in a documentary for the Jacques Cousteau outfit, for which he used to dive.

It was for Cousteau that Paul designed and created a plastic, shark-proof suit for divers, after seeing a man struggling underwater in much heavier chain mail. Paul paused at a monitor and showed a video clip of him under water, in a standing position, dressed in white plastic gear and surrounded by circling sharks.

“I thought if I designed it I should test it,” Paul said. “It would be kind of cowardly to say ‘Here, I made it, you try it out.’”

He returned his gaze to the screen in time to see a shark strike from behind.

“Ooh! That one bit me in the butt” he said.

Paul showed a red and silver motorcycle he customized for a Power Rangers movie, and showed how the chassis folds open into wings so the bike can fly like an aircraft, on the screen at least.

“I could have made it actually fly,” he said. “Anything’s possible for enough money.”

Paul strolled by cars, bikes, and some jeeps that were used in the action packed film XXX.

Fourth dimension

Back at a monitor, he gave a look at some video shot in the “Circlescan 4-D” he invented. With special eyeglasses the video looked sharply 3-D, with the layers of images retreating into the screen, rather than popping out from the screen.

Paul said the invention was a simple one. Approached with a challenge by another inventor who was trying, and not quite succeeding, with his own 3-D idea, Paul was driving away from the meeting when he struck on his idea. He mounted a couple of mirrors on an ordinary camera, causing it to capture slightly overlapping images of each shot.

A pair of his 4-D glasses have one clear frame and one that’s like a mild sunglass frame, weakening the vision in one eye and “causing you to think” you’re seeing in 3-D, he said.

Circlescan is being used by Lobo & Associates for a documentary called Islands: Worlds Within Our Worlds, and another called The Story of Saudi Arabia.

Aid for Iraq

Turning a corner downstairs, Paul almost stumbled upon a pile of vests he developed for soldiers in Iraq. The vests hold decontamination foam that can be sprayed using a standard DeWalt drill as a nozzle. Lightweight and portable, the vests carry the foamy liquid throughout their bulk, spreading the weight in front of the soldier and behind, making the load easier to carry than a pack on the back.

Another corner turned, and we come upon some metal tubes he’s using to develop a better laser muzzle for the U.S. military. The device, he said, will be used to stun rather than hurt or kill people.

Paul likes to work, and if Friday wasn’t date night with Renee he would remain at E.P. Industries almost around the clock. His employees seem to feel the same way.

“We’re trying to go to a four-day week, but when we come in here on Saturday we find people in here working. They’re not supposed to,” Paul said.

“This is the kind of job where you jump out of bed in the morning to get here,” said artist and animator Dave Mansfield, who was sitting at a monitor beside a dry-erase board with a to-do list of items such as “XXX car,” “IMAX camera,” “hotrod Mustang” and “The Tarantula.”

“And I’m not even a morning person,” Mansfield added.

 



 

Daily Breeze • Tuesday June 17,2003
The Flash and the Curious:
Eddie Paul customizes cars for Hollywood and invents unusual things
by Dennis Lim

El Segundo resident Eddie Paul may be best known for customizing cars for flashy Hollywood blockbusters ranging from "2 Fast 2 Furious" to the classic "Grease," but his most important work reaches well beyond the realm of Hollywood. From his garage in the Smokey Hollow district of this South Bay city the self-taught inventor develops sensitive gadgets to bolster the nation's defenses and scientific advancement. For the recent war in Iraq he developed a lightweight decontamination unit worn on the back that can spew out a thick paste of liquid and foam to suppress any potential biological danger. The gun portion that shoots out the white goo is a modified DeWalt drill, a relatively common tool. He created a larger version of the same invention that is transported via ATV and can be dropped by parachute from a plane to any location around the world. Paul, 55, has begun working on a two-man submarine for use by SOCOM. The design is a revamped version of a machine he created for use in filming underwater.

Paul has developed a series of lasers to be used to destroy land mines before a car drives over them. His engines have been used in a project for Raytheon to develop lasers that would fire from the Earth to incinerate enemy satellites or incoming missles. "For me it's all the same, I just love tinkering around with all this stuff," Paul said as he thumbed through a copy of a book he wrote about his experience making the cars for "The Fast and the Furious." The book has sold out at most locations. Wal-Mart is in talks to begin selling the book with a DVD filled with interviews and video of the car work being done. For the original flick, "The Fast and the Furious," Paul had to custon1ize 80 import cars in a month's time. For the sequel he customized 120 cars within two months. "I've always just loved inventing things," he said. "I feel most natural in the garage welding things together and digging into some grease. There's a diversity when you're inventing things that's much better than the monotony of being stuck in the office all day. No two days are alike for me. I never know what I’m going to work on next." Paul's fascination with machinery and tools began when he was a child. His father, an inventor himself, encouraged him to fiddle with tools and mechanics. His toys often fell victim to his creative experiments as he mixed engines and parts.

By the time he turned 11, he even had a car that his father bought him to work on. A forbidden joyride, however, slammed the brakes on that activity. His father poured concrete, over the two-door 1950 Chevrolet and converted the customized vehicle into a waterfall in their back yard. A high school dropout, Paul never received any advanced education in engineering. For most of his life, he bounced around from job to job, working as a stuntman, auto shop owner and at one time almost joined the El Segundo Police Department. He picked up most of his know-how through reading books and on-the-job training, an experience that influences his hiring practices today. "I'm looking for personality more than anything when I hire someone," Paul said. "I don't care if they have talent or not. You can teach someone that." The future seems bright for Paul and his company, E.P. Industries. Currently they are working on creating a two-man submarine that will look like a shark to help scientists better study shark attacks. Jacques Cousteau's grandson, Fabian, will pilot the mechanical wonder amid a group of sharks. He will then try to be attacked. The Discovery Channel plans to document the entire process from the creation of the submarine to its use off the coast of Catalina Island. "I might have to get into that thing and get attacked if (Cousteau) backs out," Paul laments. But he added with a smile: "Well that might be fun."

 



 

Hollywood Reporter
Convergence
New dimension in filmmaking for inventor

August 3, 2001
by Paul Bond

Eddie Paul is so high on his latest brainchild that he's building a production company around it.

Paul heads E.P. Industries.com in El Segundo, Calif. One of his inventions is a portable pump for fighting brush fires. The product runs on gas, diesel, a 12-volt battery or even power supplied by windmills.

He has been selling the pump for seven years at $12,000 a pop to fire departments worldwide, earning enough money that he can concentrate again on the industry he loves: moviemaking. "The pump has been funding a whole lot of development," Paul said.

One development is something he calls Circlescan 4D, a camera or tripod attachment that transforms film or video footage into an all-encompassing, four-dimensional moviegoing experience, he explains while showing some impressive underwater footage on a television screen.

"3-D is gimmicky," Paul said. The 4-D effect he describes while showing off his underwater demo tape: "It looks like there's a big hole in the wall with fish in it. They're right there in the room with you. Everything is in layers. If you try to touch the screen, it's difficult, because you don't know where it is."

Special glasses are required for the full effect, but without the glasses, images appear just fine --even sharper, Paul said, than footage shot without the attachment.

The first couple of projects from Circlescan 4D Prods. are "The Story of Saudi Arabia" and "Dream of Flight," the story of early aviator Otto Lilienthal.

"I realize we're a small pawn in the film business," Wolfe said. "But this device really has some great applications. People have to see it for themselves."

The plan is to make the bulk of profits from selling the odd paper spectacles, which will be distributed to video stores, theater chains, museums and any other outlet featuring Circlescan films. They also will sell ad space on the glasses.

The Circlescan attachment consists of a series of strategically placed mirrors that rotate in front of a camera lens at 1 rpm. That creates a depth of field in a manner similar to the way a cat or a dolphin must sway its head back and forth to gauge depth accurately, Paul said.

The first few Circlescans cost Paul about $20,000 each to build, but that figure will come down. Eventually, he intends to create an inexpensive, plastic model for home use.

Paul said production of a 3-D film can triple regular production costs. But to film in Circlescan, the cost is minimal. In fact, he intends to lease the equipment to moviemakers and charge only 5% of a film's production budget.

Paul is no stranger to the entertainment industry .In addition to inventing fire pumps --not to mention anti missile laser devices for the military --he has constructed mechanical sharks for Jacques Cousteau, custom cars for such movies as "The Fast and the Furious" and "Grease" and produced special effects for such movies as "Nightmare on Elm Street V" and "Wild at Heart."

Not bad for a self-taught engineer who never got past 11 th grade.

"I like the challenge of moviemaking," Paul said. "Just about everything they give us is impossible. You can't think about; you just break it apart and do it."



 

CIRCLESCAN 4D RELEASE

July 25, 2001

BIG CHANGES FOR LARGE FORMAT FILMS

Santa Barbara, CA - Reality entertainment has come to large format films in a very big way with the introduction of a revolutionary new technology, Circlescan 4D. The amazingly simple, single camera/single projector process far surpasses current 3D technology and brings ultra-realistic depth to 2D theaters. The process works with any type of film or television project, but when it's combined with a large format film, the results are breathtaking.

Mal Wolfe, CEO of Lobo & Associates of Santa Barbara, is a veteran large format producer. He was searching for a better way to convey the magnificent beauty and mystery of seldom-visited islands in the South Pacific for his latest film, Islands: Worlds Within Our World. He considered using traditional 3D technology to make the majestic island images even more dramatic, but realized that the limitations of 3D projection would prohibit about 2/3 of the 418 worldwide large-screen theaters from showing the film.

About the same time Mal was trying to solve the 2D/3D dilemma, a longtime friend and associate, Eddie Paul (founder and president of E.P. Industries in El Segundo, CA) called and told Mal about his latest invention, Circlescan 4D. Wolfe recounted, After meeting with Eddie and reviewing some test footage, I was so excited that I knew Circlescan 4D would revolutionize the industry and would be perfect for Islands. Suddenly, Islands could be shown in 3D from the standard large format 2D projector and the results would be superior to any existing 3D technology.

According to Eddie Paul, whose 30+ years experience in the entertainment industry and in-depth optics research, resulted in the patents for Circlescan 4D, A film shot in Circlescan 4D can be appreciated without special viewing glasses. Unlike traditional 3D productions, viewers do not have to wear the special dark/light glasses to see a clear, high-resolution picture with enhanced depth. Optical technicians at Universal Studios and Eastman Kodak have analyzed the quality of the images delivered by film shot in Circlescan 4D and compared them to the images delivered by standard filming methods. Independently, the technicians estimated that the picture filmed in Circlescan 4D was 20% clearer than the standard picture with a greater depth of field. The tests were performed using normal cameras with the Circlescan 4D lens attachment. The test footage was viewed on an ordinary television using an average VCR. What is notable here is that these results were achieved without the special viewing glasses. But, once the Circlescan 4D glasses are on, viewers experience an incredible new level of realism.

Although an audience can enjoy a noticeably clearer picture without special glasses, we still recommend that viewers wear the glasses to get the full effect. The image is just as clear without the glasses, but the real difference is that the glasses offer substantial depth-enhancement from any angle. Most of our test audiences preferred to experience Circlescan 4D productions with the aid of the viewing glasses. However, many people claim that after a few minutes they didn’t need the glasses to enjoy the depth and realism that Circlescan 4D produces.

Large-screen theaters, with flat screens up to 8 stories tall and dome screens 99 feet in diameter surround audiences with viewing angles that approach those encountered in real life. With the added depth and reality provided by Circlescan 4D, the future of large-format movies is very, very big. And, Circlescan 4D has tremendous potential for all film and video formats.

Wolfe and Paul have formed Circlescan 4D Productions to continue advancing the technology and bring to market the countless possibilities and applications that are rapidly emerging for this cutting edge technology. Additional information about Circlescan 4D can be obtained by contacting Circlescan 4D Productions at 310-322-8515.

 



 

Easy Reader • July 19, 2001
Inventor works "Fast and Furious" for hit film

by Laylan Connely

In E. T. he built the Ford van for the rescue scene. For the Mask of Zorro he constructed two full-size horses to jump off of bridges. In Nightmare on Elm Street V, his special effects left viewers terrorized for months.

So when the producers of Fast and Furious needed cars for their movie, they contacted Eddie Paul right away. In two months of sleepless nights, he modified and created over 58 cars for the hit film that brought street racing to audiences throughout the nation. Paul and his crew turned out a car a day for the film.

"I always look for challenges," Paul said.

All of the race scenes in the movie featured cars that were modified by Paul. He bought most of the cars from "Auto Traders," then redesigned them for the film in a 10,000 sq. ft. El Segundo factory.

For at least 20 years, Paul, 52, has worked behind the scenes, usually under demanding deadlines, with special effects and unique props.

"I always try to find something that no one else has done," Paul said, as he stro1led through his factory, filled with his own inventions.

During the six years he worked on the Cousteau Series he built a mechanical 10-foot Great White Shark that even sharks couldn't tell was a fake. The mechanical shark was accepted as the group leader for three days, before its followers chewed it up.

With over 23 films, 7 documentaries, 15 commercials, and 24 television series, he has much to look back on.

One of his most memorable car recreations was for Grease, where he customized approximately 30 cars in two weeks out of his auto body shop.

"A man came in, back in the days when people would just leave a suitcase full of money, and asked us if we could pull it off," he said. "We finished five minutes to deadline. Word got out that we weren't the cheapest, but we were definitely the fastest."

For Paul, who had at least 15 other projects in the works, some of which hold patents; it was just another day on the job. "Just like most other things, it was just a business deal."

What he does feel the most pride from is the inspiration he has given his nine-year-old daughter.

Runs in the family

His father was an inventor, now his nine-year-old daughter Ariel is an inventor.

When Paul didn't finish high school, he had no idea he would one day hold 15 solo patents.

"My father was an inventor; he created about a dozen items," he said.

The inventor gene in his daughter came to light on a vacation with friends when their car started sliding on ice.

"She came up with the idea of how to stop cars on ice. I did a patent search and there is currently nothing available," Paul said.

They are working on an air system with a bag that has spikes that come out as a car slides. The bag deflates when it is finished. It will be her first patented product.

"I am extremely proud of her," he said. During a recent tour of his El Segundo facility, Paul shared a few of the patented products that are in the making.

A whole new perspective

Although Paul's customized works have provided viewers with memorable on screen appearances, it is the thrill of creation that keeps him going.

"Even though we work with some of the most famous people in the world, it is developing new technologies that keep us motivated," Paul said.

One of Paul's most ambitious projects is the creation of a whole new film viewing system. 3D will be a thing of the past, he said, after he brings his patented 4D, or Circlescan, to the movies.

3D comes out of the screen. 4D goes into the screen, creating depth. It works with only one camera, shooting the scene from different points in a circle.

"We are the only ones with this camera," he said, as he looked as his prototype with pride. "This really is breakthrough technology."

He wants to introduce the Circlescan with a film that he and his family are making.

"A Dream of Flight," which will document Otto Lilienthal, one of the pioneers of flight, is being researched and developed using the 4D cameras.

The fire fighting solution

Several years ago he recognized a problem with the pumping equipment used by many fire departments. That resulted in the CFX Compressed Air-Foam System, which is about 80 percent lighter and smaller than the other pumps currently used on the field.

The design, which mixes water, air, and soap within one pump, gives the system the ability to handle the tasks of three separate units.

It also saves on the amount of water being used to extinguish fires, he said.

"We are hoping this will be the new technology," Paul said. "It is definitely safer and smaller, it is simple enough for anyone to use it."

The CFX is currently being sold to fire departments around the nation.

It is more convenient for firefighters, according to Paul, because it can be attached to electrical golf carts and is small enough to mount on a pickup truck, and can go off road, something that current fire trucks cannot do. He is also looking into having the CFX Compressed Air-Foam System mounted onto helicopters.

This product has only been on the market for about a year, and Paul hopes that it will soon become mainstream for fire stations throughout the nation.

As his products reach mainstream markets, Paul said he is motivated each time he thinks of a new product to bring into society.

"I love when someone tells me I can't do something," he said. "Because nothing is impossible." ER



 

Daily Breeze July 11, 2001
A Fast and Furious pace
El Segundo inventor had a key role in
racing film's success

By Ian Gregor STAFF WRITER

Eddie Paul has squeezed himself into a new-age suit of plastic armor and encouraged bull sharks to gnaw on him to test his homemade device.

The El Segundo resident has broken his neck working as a Hollywood stuntman. He spent six months in a hospital and a year in a wheelchair after his hang glider broke apart 300 feet above Torrance beach.

So, Paul didn't blink when his movie industry pal, Dave Marder, asked if he was interested in building cars for the top-grossing movie "The Fast and the Furious."

Fifty-eight customized street racers.

In two short months.

"It isn't really complicated," said Paul, 52, running his fingers over a model shark in an office of the Sierra Street headquarters of his company, E.P. Industries. "It's mainly in the organization."

From some people this would come across as false modesty. From Paul it comes across as a simple statement of fact gleaned from years of accomplishing things that most people never even dream of.

Paul, a high school dropout, is an adventurer whose exploits with sharks have been chronicled by the Discovery Channel, among other media. He is a stuntman who quit the business three years ago when he broke his neck filming a car commercial. He is an inventor who has patented a dozen devices, including an ultra-light-weight water pump that has been bought by fire departments worldwide, and a device he calls "Circlescan 4D," which he said greatly lowers the cost of filming three-dimensional movies while producing a more realistic image.

Paul's wife, Renee, and 9- year-old daughter Ariel, are in on the act, too. Renee Paul patented a mascara applicator and Eddie Paul said he is preparing a patent application for a device his daughter invented that stops cars from sliding on icy surfaces.

"It's the inventing that's fun," Paul said as he whizzed from his headquarters to his nearby body shop in a new, apple red BMW convertible.

"Cars are nothing -- that's just what I do for a living."

Cars always seem to ram their way into Paul's life. In fact, they're responsible for his start in business.

Paul said he opened a body shop in 1970 while waiting to become an El Segundo police officer. But after a month, he said, he realized he was earning more as a businessman than he would in law enforcement.

The door to the movie world blew open a few years later when Marder stumbled across Paul's shop while filming a TV show nearby and asked if he could repair a wrecked car that was needed for shooting the next day.

"That's how I met him and it all went downhill from there," joked Marder, 60.

Bodywork flowed into stunt work, and Paul's resume now includes 27 movies, 15 television shows, and countless commercials. For "Grease," he restored and customized 30 vintage cars in two weeks. For "Gone in 60 Seconds," he leaped from cars and helicopters onto motorcycles, and vice versa. For the TV show "Rescue 911," he built two mechanical barracudas that were used in a recreation of an attack on a human and he filmed all the underwater scenes, with Renee acting as his safety diver to ensure that none of the live, toothy fish harmed him.

So, it was no surprise that Marder came knocking when he was hired as the transportation coordinator for "The Fast and the Furious," which blasted its way to the top when it opened three weekends ago and has raked in more than $80 million to date.

"I knew he could do it," Marder said.

Paul immersed himself in the project, establishing a "war room" at his Sierra Street offices and directing six of his employees to scour classified advertisements in search of specific years and models of Ronda Civics, Toyota Supras, Mitsubishi Eclipses, Mazda RX-7s, VW Jettas, and Acura Integras. He acquired all 58 vehicles in two weeks, streamlining the process by promising sellers a trip home in a limousine if they drove their cars to his shop.

Marder hired mechanics to soup up the cars' innards; Paul modified the interiors and exteriors.

In his cavernous, 10,000-square-foot shop on Oregon Street in El Segundo, he toiled furiously to- build meticulously detailed car interiors from panels with Velcro backings that were installed and removed so interiors could be quickly changed around to save shooting time. He contracted out the paintwork, but installed all the custom wheels, flares, hoods and exterior fiberglass accessories, and repaired vehicles that were damaged during filming. "His piece de resistance is 'The Fast and the Furious,'" Marder said. "The cars had to look like $100,000 and cost 12 cents.

"We fought like hell to get enough cars to shoot the first day."

Delivering the cars wasn't a problem because many of the street racing scenes were filmed in El Segundo and on Hawthorne Boulevard near Hawthorne Municipal Airport. Shooting wrapped up last September, and the movie opened last month to positive reviews, including from real-world street racers impressed with the realism of the cars and the racing scenes.

Paul said he hopes to work on a sequel that the movie's producers are planning. In the meantime, he launched a new project -- filming and producing a movie he wrote about Otto Lilienthal, a German who built and flew hang gliders in the late 19th century.

Shaped aluminum rods are laid out on a patch of smooth concrete floor in his Oregon Street shop. They'll serve as the prototype for his hang glider, which he aims to test himself, despite his near- death experience at Torrance beach three decades ago. The actual machine will be crafted from willow wood, just like Lilienthal's.

He doesn't know what's in store once he completes this project.

"If it ever gets boring, I'll do something else," he said.

 



 

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