David Knight - 11th Aug 2010

For Dancing Pigeons and Diesel:U:Music, Tomas Mankovsky has conjured up this extraordinary, eye-popping, extremely dangerous duel of fire and water, played out by a couple of gibbering redneck idiots at a sumptuous one thousand frames per second. And that's got to be worth a few minutes of anyone's time.

In particular this compellingly lurid clash of the mental midgets features what must be the best bit flame-throwing footage since (I'm slightly guessing here) Arnie was in his pomp. It's the result of Tomas and Artem, his SFX team, custom-building their own flame-thrower. Nice.

"Duels fascinate me," says Tomas. "It used to be a popular thing, but in modern days it has died out," "So I thought that probably somewhere in the States, some hillbillies are still doing it, their way."

He says that shooting almost entirely on the Phantom camera at 1000 fps threw up its own difficulties. "Since we shot at high frame rates we needed a lot of light, but I wanted to shoot it at night, which made it dif?cult. And on top of that, the main element in frame was a huge ?reball that was really bright. Adam Frisch, the DP, did a great job." Shooting in camera was a conscious decision to create a more real and visually striking ?lm. "It was dif?cult to know how this shootout would look like in superslowmo. We did some tests with a gas-?amethrower but the ?ame was only 2-3 meters and it looked quite bad in slowmo, so the special effects guys had to build a new ?amethrower from
scratch.

"They made one with liquid fuel, and that one was much better, ?ring out 10-15 meter ?ames. But the ?rst time we saw how the ?amethrower and ?re extinguisher looked and behaved in slowmo was on the day of the shoot."

Credits

Casting directorSophie North
DirectorTomas Mankovsky
ProducerP
1st ADChris Kelly, Ben Fogg
Director of PhotographyAdam Frisch
Focus PullerJeremy Fusco
Production CompanyBlink Productions
Make-upIzzy Broad
StylistTess Loe
EditorJulian Tranquille
ColouristGeorge K
OnlineDrew Downes, Karmen Markov
CommissionerDiesel

David Knight - 11th Aug 2010

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