The Epic Super Hero Battle Returns This Weekend With an Interactive Twist
This year's Epic Super Hero Battle is the first in a series of "Flashmob Fiction" events that Improv AZ will be organizing. Partially inspired by the "MP3 Experiments" originally created by the New York City-based Improv Everywhere, an urban prankster group that Improv AZ spun-off from, the interactive events will involve some sort of storyline that adds a "an extra bit of fun" to a flash mob, Moriarty says.
Improv AZ has done a similar "MP3 Experiment" of their own in 2009 along Mill Avenue in Tempe where a downloaded sound file instructed participants to shoot each other with invisible bows and arrows or engage in similarly hilarious actions for the amusement of onlookers and passers-by.
"They were getting these instructions and everyone around them is hearing them, but no one else watching has any idea what the hell was going on," Moriarty says. "It was pretty interesting, to say the least."
Moriarty says that the event was so fun that it inspired the Improv AZ's members to create their own unique events involving an MP3. Hence, "Flashmob Fiction."
"We wanted to do one of these again and thought, 'What if we add some interactive storytelling to our events?'" he says. "Let's try doing something where you show up and you're going to be interacting with your surroundings. It won't be a complicated story, but there will be some kind of story involved. So we decided to do it with the Epic Super Hero Battle because everyone's heard about it and it's a way for people to try this thing out."
Moriarty says future "Flashmob Fiction" events will be just as goofy and fun as the ESHB and could potentially include such plots as a battle between pirates and ninjas or secret agents going on a top secret mission.
In the meantime, Moriarty says he expects that this year's ESHB event will be major fun for everyone involved, even if it's sort of a hassle to plan.
"It's gonna be a blast, like the first MP3 event we did," Moriarty says. "We forgot how much work is involved though and how complicated it is to plan. When we did it on Mill Avenue, we had to figure out the timing of every single stoplight and the absolute maximum time it would take people to go from one point or another. We couldn't pause it since everyone was listening to their own file."
Hopefully, he says, the event will happen without any problems, like if some pedestrian or shop owner becomes alarmed by a gaggle of costumed characters invading Old Town.
"That's always one of our remote worries, which is why we pick a time like one o'clock on a Saturday afternoon so we're not going to be clogging major traffic or disrupting any of the bars or something," Moriarty says. "There's always some weirdo who like, 'Oh my God, somebody just ran by in a mask,' and calls the police, but hopefully that won't happen. We're not doing anything destructive and we're very careful not to be disrupt any businesses and not cause any problems and just have fun."
Improv AZ's "Flashmob Fiction: The Epic Super Hero Battle" takes place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 17, in Scottsdale. The starting point is at the Third Avenue Parking Garage.