There are many reasons for my comedy feature film Winning Formula (writer/producer) to have taken about three and a half years since its original conception with Anna Bennett as “Dead Broke” in 2011. Personally, it was my first feature film so everything was a learning curve, but at every road block we pushed forward. There was no less than a metric shit ton of improvised problem solving at each turn. Not sure what that converts to in imperial, but by anyone’s standards, the quantity of shit was immense.
Included in the pile, was a car explosion scene that I had written into the script (rookie) and we had nonchalantly said during production “we’ll do it in post” (double rookie).
Fast forward to post production, we discovered quite far down the line that two significant (and rather large) scenes needed to be reshot due to audio issues that could not be adequately rectified with ADR (which was a blessing in disguise as they were reshot as far more impressive scenes than the originals). The only thing was, we blew the budget that was set aside for the afore mentioned explosion scene.
When post production gives you lemons… bugger lemonade, make it into Smirnoff Ice. We’re turning this scene into a classic gag, using scale models à la Indiana Jones… AKA “traditional special effects” (AKA waaaaaay cheaper than the real deal).
So I’m thinking to myself – where do I go to find someone with a penchant for pyrotechnics, a whole lot of property, and a solid collection of earth moving equipment? It’s got to be my Burning Man mentor, Glenn.
Klaus and I researched fake explosions (it’s corn starch, not just regular flour, by the way), we ordered some miniatures of my car online (they only came in blue so we sprayed them sliver), then Glenn took to the side of his driveway with a bobcat and our scene was set.
Diecast model of my car
protecting ‘glass’ from spray
one at a time
Glenn and his bobcat
adding sand to “make it look legit”
So here’s my appalling cut of our explosion scene – the cut that ended up in the film is far shorter, with far craftier editing, so you’ll have to watch that when it screens (keep your eyes locked on the facebook page)… But in the meantime…
(If we lock in a decent distribution deal, we’ll reshoot the explosion scene at full scale. My fingers are firmly crossed.)