Paintballer’s dream becomes reality

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Dirt. Paintballs. Jeeps and quads. These ingredients equaled one epic weekend and what could be the next big YouTube video.

Playing cars with his nephew led Dallin Smith, 26, from Idaho Falls, studying industrial design, to his next big idea — a huge game of paintball using jeeps as transportation.

Now this wasn’t an average game of paintball. It was a war. It consisted of all sorts of vehicles: Jeeps, quads, roadboards, buggies, motorcycles, trophy trucks and paragliders.

After Dallin Smith pitched the idea to Devin Graham, the filmmaker of “The World’s Largest Rope Swing,” — which now has almost 11 million views — Graham was on board and so were some Jeeps. In order to make their dream a reality, the group started calling sponsors. Kingman Group donated 60 paintball guns, Nelson Paintball provided 100,000 paintballs and MBS Mt. Board had mountain boarders commit to come to the event.

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The group used quads in their paintball "war".
According to Smith, the only thing holding back himself and other drivers to commit to participating in the event was devaluing their vehicles. The drivers knew their jeeps would get ruined by the paintballs.

“I had to get past the stigma of getting paint on my jeep,” Smith said.

The group had originally planned to film the paintball war at some local sand dunes, but their permit fell through two weeks before the event. Luckily, the TV and film company Nitro Circus had watched the rope swing video and contacted the group, offering their Utah location to film event.

“They said it was only a matter of time before we started doing stuff together,” Smith said.

Eventually, through Nitro Circus, enough drivers committed and the plan was set in place.

On the day of the event, Nitro Circus showed up with a trophy truck, buggies, motorcycles and riders. The battle was filmed for two days. The first day had a lot of dry shooting and stunts. They filmed a lot of charge scenes, jumping trucks, paragliders and motorcyclists performing tricks. The second day however, was complete chaos.

“The second day was total mayhem,” Smith said. “Everyone jumped in vehicles and went crazy. It was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.”

The group played a variety of games consisting of capture the flag and trying to hit various targets on the vehicles.

“There was no mercy,” said Nellie Mackey, a Wilton, Calif. native and speech pathology major at UVU. “Everyone was cool with shooting each other.”

According to Smith, vehicles were damaged from the paintballs, but there were not any major accidents.  Participants wore masks to keep safe and the drivers were extremely professional and used every safety precaution.

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Nellie Mackey standing among the crowd of participants.
“I still have battle wounds, but it was definitely worth it,” Mackey said. “I was on cloud 1,000 after that day.”

Tyler Belnap, 25, a recent UVU graduate, explained it was less about the video and more about the experience.

“How often do you have a professional paraglider, Nitro Circus, a professional mountain board team and a bunch of paintball material,” Belnap said. “I got to try all these things I don’t normally do on a daily basis. It was truly an incredible and amazing experience.”

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