Dream Machines Episodes

The Battleship Shredder
Season 1 - Episode 106
The Battleship Shredder
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"Get your butts out here."

Dude, when that call's coming from the one and only Peter Berg, the guys are on the next plane to Los Angeles. They've always wanted to be involved in the movie or television industry, and Marc is sure this is going to be their shot.

Peter Berg wants them to build a Shredder to promote his movie Battleship. When the guys see the footage, they're blown away. This thing just tears through everything.  It's vicious. It's a big, rolling ball of badass. Marc is so psyched that he's ready to run back to Florida, because there is no way he's going to be able to sit on a plane for six hours.

It's time to get everyone in the shop on the same page. Marc sums it up with,

"If it does not make small children cry, we have not hit our goal." The giant, jagged "VICIOUS" sign hanging at one end of the shop doesn't hurt, either.
Shanon wants the thing to be big, while Marc wants it to be stable. The bigger they go, the less stable the design will become. When they agree on a six-foot drive wheel, Shanon goes to his design board. This beast is going to need a couple of front wheels to stabilize it. The design in the movie had a whip-saw tail that can use to attach two small Shredder balls in the front, making something of a reverse tricycle.  Shanon takes the scales and tails, while Marc takes the rest of the Shredder.

They're tear-a$@ing through the build. The wheel frames come together, and then a hubless wheel system goes into place. This allows the wheel frame to rotate around the driving pod as it's moving; just like the Shredder in the footage they were shown.  Because nothing's ever easy, there's a roadblock that they just can't get around.  The Flo-Jet machine runs out of cutting garnet. They can't cut any more pieces for the build until that garnet arrives.

To blow off steam until the garnet arrives, the guys decide to go play in the mud pit behind the shop.  Karen decides to prove to Marc that girls really can play on their level, but the massive H2 gets stuck when she misses the mark. 
After about a half-day, the garnet finally arrives, allowing them to plow ahead.  The inner wheel goes on its casters and into the track of the outer wheel.  After a weight test that a couple of the team might not want to remember, the back wheel is deemed tested and will hold together.

After an argument over the wheel treads, Marc decides to keep Shanon occupied so he'll stop screwing with things.  It's prankin' time. With a little help, Marc goes through Shanon's office and turns everything upside down, including his office chair. That should keep him busy and out of Marc's hair for a little while. At least long enough to get the wheel treads finished.

When Peter Berg checks in via Skype, he's all thumbs-up over what Marc shows him. Telling Marc that they're shutting down Hollywood Boulevard for the premiere and there'll be about 50,000 people there as their creation arrives?  No pressure.

Since the driver is in an enclosed space with enormous blind spots, it needs a drive-by-video system.  As Shanon's initial experiment with their mom's minivan proved a failure, it's time to go to the pros. The Brevard County Bomb Squad has a camera-assist driven robot. Taking a turn driving that and talking to the Bomb Squad guys gives Shanon all of the inspiration he needs to figure out a drive-by-video system for the Shredder.

With the drive system in process and the electric motor tested, it's time to start welding scales and blades on this beast. There's a problem, and it's not one that is discovered until just about all of the scales and blades are on.  They're too sharp. While Marc doesn't want anyone to touch it, anyway, Jeff insists on the blades being filed down to avoid a liability. Marc loses that battle.

When Marc gets proven right over the fact that they don't have enough battery juice to turn over the motors for the fully-built machine? It's time for crisis mode. The batteries are three days away. Delivery? Four days away.  Installation takes two days. They need a miracle.

Working every spare second and grabbing every battery they can get their hands on in the Melbourne area, they manage to pull off that miracle and get the Shredder through its first test drive. After carting it 3,000 miles to Los Angeles, they're giving it another run-through when Peter Berg gets his first sight of the thing. He's absolutely speechless, and that takes a lot. "This is a home run." 

The red carpet awaits. When Peter Berg drives up to the photographers in the Shredder, Marc and Shanon are like children on Christmas morning. They have their first success in Hollywood, and the sky's the limit.

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