Eepybird prepares to release 3-D video of rocket car

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BUCKFIELD — The Diet Coke and Mentos guys are at it again.

This time the Buckfield duo — Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz — say they have harnessed the power of their candy-and-soda geysers with a specially designed rocket car.

The front half is a modified girl’s bicycle. The back half is a utility trailer carrying their propulsion unit, a PVC-fed contraption fueled by 108 two-liter bottles of Coke Zero and 648 Mentos mints.

On June 1, the guys who perform as Eepybird plan to launch a new online video in 3-D to showcase their creation. On Thursday, they advanced the project with a short sneak peek on their Web site, Eepybird.com.

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The full video was directed by Rob Cohen, the auteur behind “XXX” and “The Fast & the Furious.”

“Our crew took to calling this, ‘The Fizzy and the Furious,’” Grobe said.

The 35-second bite ends with the guys ready to launch. Neither Grobe nor Voltz will say what happens next.

“We set ourselves a distance goal,” Grobe said. “We blew right through it.”

They hope to do the same thing with the new video’s run on the Internet. Their previous videos — particularly creating Vegas-style fountains using the spurting soda — were popular worldwide.

The viral videos sold enormous amounts of Diet Coke and Mentos and launched Eepybird’s whimsical act, taking Eepybird around the world.

Since then, they have created waterfalls with sticky notes and won four Internet Webby Awards for their videos. They have also shot a pilot for a TV show that is being shopped around to various networks.

“Hopefully, we’ll know something in the next few months,” Grobe said. “Some networks have said no and some have said ‘hmmm.’”

An online return to the Coke and Mentos might help.

“This was the first thing we thought about after we did the first geyser show in 2006,” Voltz said.

It took two years to solve the biggest problem.

“We had to consider, ‘How do we harness the power of Diet Coke and Mentos?’” Grobe said. “We tried waterwheels. We tried all kinds of different mechanical ways of transferring the energy. We finally hit upon an elegantly simple mechanism: using a sleeve and a piston.”

They spent another two years working on the rest, mostly finding a way to get all those mints into all those bottles at the same time.

The last four months were the most hectic, as they tried to make it all work together in a way that was simple to recreate.

“We have been working 15 hours a day, six or seven days a week to make this happen,” Grobe said.

Some of the work was done in a new film production facility on Portland’s Presumpscot Street. The actual shooting took place in Tustin, Calif., in a blimp hangar at an ex-Marine Corps base.

“It’s one of the largest wooden structures ever built by man for one of the most ridiculous stunts ever built by man,” Grobe said.

The resulting video should grab folks’ attention, the guys said.

Part of that is the 3-D video, which calls for the familiar red-blue glasses. People will be able to view the new video, titled “The Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car” using any red-blue glasses they have lying around. The Eepybird website will sell the glasses and will have directions on making them at home.

The video is best seen that way, with some of the action seeming to erupt from the screen, Voltz said.

“There are some cool shots,” he said.

It will also be formatted in standard 2-D, available Tuesday at www.eepybird.com and www.youtube.com/eepybird.

The explosive start to the car — with Grobe as pilot — is entertaining either way, the pair said.

“It’s one big blast, which is remarkably powerful,” Voltz said. “It’s more powerful than we expected.”

dhartill@sunjournal.com

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