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Burning Village Tutorial

Have you ever done a pyrotechnics shot like this before?

Yes20%[ 1 ]
No20%[ 1 ]
I've always wanted to!60%[ 3 ]

Total Votes : 5

Posted: Sat, 13th Nov 2010, 8:12pm

Post 1 of 3


Force: 702 | Joined: 17th Dec 2008 | Posts: 185

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MOD NOTE: Always have a pyrotechnic expert on set for ANY fire-related effects.

Burning Village Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing a school project (a video) and I wanted a scene to portray war and violence, and what better way to do that than show a village being torched smile. Needless to say, it was awesome! Here’s a short little tutorial on how to get a shot like this.

Here's a video of the final results:
The audio in this clip was added in later.

Creating the Village:

•a few empty tissue boxes
•some dry hay or straw
•quick dry tacky glue
•scrap cardboard

1.If you have full size tissue boxes, cut them in half to make 2 boxes. (if you have small boxes to start with, skip to the next step)
2.Get some extra cardboard and cut them into triangles and tape them on the top of the boxes to make a point.
3.Now, spread some glue on the “walls” and stick straw or hay onto it. (You may have to add more glue on top). Make sure that the straw covers the walls so it looks authentic.
4.Let it dry for a while, and then move on to the next part.

Setting up the Shot:

•a flat, non-flammable area
•a large water source (hose, or large bucket)
•fire extinguisher
•kerosene (or camping fuel) Note: Please do not try to us anything else, as it could be very DANGEROUS!!!

1.On the flat area, arrange the huts you created in the previous steps.
2.Put a little straw on the ground, to connect the huts together.
3.When you are almost ready, arrange your cameras at the right angles (preferably close to the ground, to get the right perspective).
4.Get all your fire safety equipment ready and put a couple people in charge of it in case something goes wrong.
5.Soak the village with kerosene.

Burn the Village!

There are a few different ways to ignite the village. When I did it, I made miniature torches (toothpicks with kerosene-soaked cloth bundled at the end). You can also just use a match and throw it on. If you’re really cool, you could rig an electric igniter (similar to those you might use to launch model rockets). Whichever way you do it, the steps below should still be the same.

1.Once you are ready, start the cameras rolling and position your fire safety crew around the area.
2.Check your camera angles. You only get one shot at this!
3.Stand back and light the village.
4.Watch it burn!
5.It will probably burn for quite awhile. But remember if fire starts spreading where you don’t want it to go, put it out right away and find a safer place
6.After you’ve gotten the shot you want, wait for the fire to burn away the kerosene because you don’t want that just on the ground when you’re done.
7.Once the fire dies down, extinguish it and watch it for a few minutes to make sure it doesn’t start up again.
8.Then completely water down the area of the fire and all around it.
Note: I do not take any responsibility for any damage that comes of this!!![url][/url]

Last edited Sun, 14th Nov 2010, 10:10pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 13th Nov 2010, 9:41pm

Post 2 of 3


Force: 17995 | Joined: 20th Jan 2002 | Posts: 6124

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker MacOS User


You really need a link to a video of the results. while I'm sure good results are entirely possible, many people will be dubious as soon as they see 'tissue boxes' that the results will be at all realistic, so a link to the final footage will give them a good idea of the sort of results they can expect.
Posted: Sun, 14th Nov 2010, 10:12pm

Post 3 of 3


Force: 702 | Joined: 17th Dec 2008 | Posts: 185

EffectsLab Pro User Windows User FXpreset Maker

Gold Member

There's a clip.