Do you remember being a child and reading the Guinness Book of World Records? Remember dreaming that maybe one day, you could maybe skip and beat the world record? Or grow your fingernails? Or chew gum the longest?
Flash forward thirty years and adventurer and businessman Frederick Schuett’s children receive a Guinness Book of World Records for Christmas from a friend. It was with sheer delight and pleasure that they found their Daddy on one of the pages. At first, Schuett thought that the children had mistaken someone for their father, but when he examined the book more carefully, they were right! It was a picture of their father, Schuett at the Crater of Fire in Turkmenistan.
Frederick Schuett joined the National Geographic team to the “Gateway to Hell” or Darvaza in Turkmenistan’s Karakoum desert to rig a zipline over the Crater of Fire. The Crater of Fire is a crater that has been continuously burning for over forty years when the government decided to light it (in hope of extinguishing it). Schuett rigged the tyrolean traverse for George Kourounis to traverse across the flaming gas crater and then lowered him down into the crater to extract samples for science. And so, started the hunt for Schuett to do the rigging for more World Firsts.
After joining National Geographic to rig the zipline over Darvaza’s Crater of Fire in Turkmenistan, Schuett took Brazilian celebrity, Karina Oliani (who had heard about the Turkmenistan stunt) to zipline over Erte Ale Volcano in Ethiopia. Not a year passed and another expedition, this time to Marum Volcano in Vanuatu with a Princess (can’t say which one) to set a couple more world records. The fun is just beginning as international calls and contracts keep coming from people asking for Schuett’s rigging expertise. He is the only person to date who has rigged these ziplines over lava.
Schuett has many world first ideas that no one else has dreamed of. Now he is searching for potential clients to complete the stunts. Will it be royalty? A celebrity? An oil tycoon? You?
Have you ever wanted to open up your home for filming?
In 2011, Frederick Schuett and Christa Niravong purchased an 1877 limestone church and set out to do one of Centre Wellington’s most significant renovations. The building functioned as a Presbyterian Church for the first 40 years and then was sold to the city for use as a community hall. The remaining members joined the Presbyterian Church a few blocks away. Over the next 80 years or so the church had a wide variety of uses including a movie theatre, opera theatre, printing press, furniture warehouse, girl’s school, post office, pottery studio and as the build degraded, it became an underground bar.
A developer had purchased in 2004 with the intention to convert the buildings into condos but after eight years, gave up and sold it to Schuett. At that time, the roof was leaking almost everywhere. Under one extremely large hole in the roof (several feet in diameter) was a large plastic pool that successfully caught the water, only to overflow and then leak into the basement. Raccoons had made homes in the bell tower and parts of the building had been burned down. Schuett basically bought the limestone walls and added everything from the roof to the beams to the floors. After moving into the building, Schuett/Niravong were honoured with winning the Gordon Couling Award for adaptive reuse of a building that was condemned.
The space operates as a business and home but with over 10,000 s.f. and two thirds of that raw space, they decided it would be fun to offer the space for filming. They’ve had professional photographers, film crews and production companies use the space for photo shoots, commercials, documentaries and even a Dutch TV show. Recently, a dairy commercial was filmed in the basement which was staged to look like a barn as well as the Canadian 175 documentary, “The Story of Us” filmed part of the documentary in the front foyer staircase and bell tower. You can also find a replica bell tower (used for an explosion scene), in the side-yard that is now used as a play prison for the children.
Their space was quite unique but even if your home seems ordinary, that may be exactly what a film crew is looking for. Consider listing your home on the Ontario Locations Library. It is totally free and who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next venue they use for their new film!
Find out more information about listing your home in the directory by clicking here: https://digitallibrary.ontariocreates.ca/DigitalLibrary/Location/LocationSearch.aspx
December is coming soon and with that, Christmas present season! Nowadays, it can be so hard to find the right gift, especially for those who are hard to buy for! I can totally relate since I often fail at gift giving and both the receiver and I are disappointed at the result. There’s nothing worse than seeing the gift that purchased at the next summer garage sale or local thrift store. So, I have a solution this year!
Buy gifts that leave the person with a memory. A gift that stays with them. Something that reminds them how they conquered their fears or pushed their limits. Not everyone has the time and funds to go on a big expedition, but we can all take a few hours out of a day to invest in ourselves and our experiences.
Check out ONE AXE Pursuits’ line of one-day adventures. Zipline and rappelling (called Zipline Extreme), Caving, Rock climbing and this year’s favourite – Ice climbing right here in in Elora, Ontario. There are two timeslots this year. Experienced belayers start at 8am and complete beginners start at 11am. What a great gift for someone who has everything? Maybe wrap the gift certificate with a chunk of ice or a nice mug?