Years after my blowgun book was published, I was working as Video Production Manager for Paladin Press™ and was responsible for shooting and editing all their videos. Since I was in the unique position of being both an author and a Paladin™ employee, I had the benefit of seeing the feedback Paladin™ received from its dealers and customers. In general, the feedback on my blowgun book was very positive, but many readers asked for something more comprehensive that also evaluated the many commercial blowguns and accessories that became popular in the mid 1990’s. Since video is so much more expressive than printed materials, I figured that an updated video version of the book was the way to go.

Since I was Paladin’s™ video department at the time (doing two-camera video shoots, plus all lighting and audio by myself), the idea of adding the task of appearing as on-camera talent as well didn’t seem like much of a stretch. In reality, it was a real pain, since I had to set up every shot, carefully calculate the limits of what appeared in the frame, start the camera, and then jump in front of it to do my part. Presenting the material to the camera was also a challenge, since ultimately I was talking to myself.

Despite the challenges, I persevered and ultimately captured and edited everything I needed to not only bring the original content of my book to life, but to also cover many other topics not addressed in the book. The result is by far the most detailed and comprehensive treatment of the blowgun done to date. In addition to demonstrating and quantifying the power, range, accuracy, and velocity possible with the blowgun, I teach you step by step exactly how to construct blowguns and both conventional and “specialty” darts (including hypodermic darts, impact projectiles, and multiple-projectile darts) for just a few dollars from easily available materials.

This video ultimately caught the eye of the producers of the cable television show Ripley’s Believe It or Not! In fact, they were impressed enough with the visual appeal of blowguns in action that they came to visit me in Colorado in 2000 and shot a segment with me on blowguns for the show, which can still be seen in syndication around the world.

Michael D. Janich