I was working at my computer, headphones on, listening to my Sunshine playlist (Bob Marley ‘Sun Is Shining’), when everyone in my office started getting up. I took my headphones off. ‘Is it happening?’
“It” involved pyrotechnics. My headphones were off and I was out of there in seconds. There’s nothing that gets everyone here more excited than when stuff gets blown up.
Every time there are big, explosive special effects on set, it’s always kind of like a class trip- we go outside, pair up with friends, get all giddy, everyone looks slightly different because you aren’t seeing them sitting at their desk… and, of course, the bad kids hang out at the back smoking cigarettes…
We headed straight down to the set to watch as the Special Effects crew did the final set up.
As they got closer to being ready, we all had to leave the set and go outside to watch on the monitors. Hey, let’s play a ‘Where’s Wally‘ type game. Can you find Alex Garland? (Yes, I’m expecting another email from him now… but I don’t consider it a photo of him if I can’t see his eyes. ;)
We waited and waited. Not realising we’d have to wait so long, we hadn’t all worn our coats. We started to get cold so shoved our hands into our pockets and jumped around a bit. We passed the time by talking about the last couple special effects explosions, describing them for people who had missed them. Suddenly, firemen appeared and jumped into action connecting hoses to the fire truck and taking them into the studio. Whenever there are explosions, firemen are required to be on hand in case something goes wrong. Of course, the special effects team spends several hours setting up the explosions so that nothing will go wrong, but the firemen need to be there nevertheless.
Within minutes, the cameras were rolling and we were told to cover our ears.
BANG! After all of the waiting around, it always seems to be over so quickly. I immediately ran up to the studio door to take a photo and was promptly yelled at because… well, basically, the set was on fire, it hadn’t been made safe yet and only special effects crew and firemen were allowed in.
The risks I take for you guys… I don’t know…
The fire was put out in seconds and the studio filled up with smoke. It smelled like someone had just blown out a candle.
Everyone said goodbye to each other and slowly wandered back to real life feeling slightly let down. The explosions are never quite as big and exciting in real life as they are on film…
Still we’ll all be out there again for the next one hoping for an even bigger bang.