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No Goldfish were harmed in the making of this production - 23-Apr-2009

It is a couple of years since we were involved in producing a comedy pilot for Granada TV with comedian Justin Edwards AKA Jeremy Lion, Children’s Entertainer, but the memories are as clear as if it were yesterday. Picture, if you can, a large (in fact very large) feathered pantomime goose, strapped to the roof of a Hillman Imp -if you are old enough to remember how implausibly small they are. Now add the request that the goose has to lay high velocity chocolate eggs which are to hit a pursuing police motorcyclist and everything starts to take shape. The initial concern was – where do get 200 cream eggs in September and the answer was surprisingly easy, you can always buy cream eggs 24/7 365days a year if you know where (that is the skill of an effects technician, knowing where to buy chocolate). The initial brief from designers and directors may be vague or very specific but rarely reflects what is actually asked for on the day of filming and so the process of building a fully automatic (with semi auto mode or single shot) chocolate egg gun began. Thankfully we were only required to fire a single egg at a time as the initial prototype had a tendency to jam with devastatingly messy consequences.
After two days filming on location we moved to the studio where we had a further two days on camera, one with a live studio audience. During this period we had to make a toilet overflow (dropping 300 litres of water onto the above mentioned police motorcyclist), set fire to pantomime goose, spray liquid “chocolate” from the arse of the now flaming goose, explode light bulbs and liquidise a goldfish. Of course we didn’t blend a real fish to death, merely a well crafted piece of carrot, whiling injecting a radioactive looking E111 into the lethal blades, however the ever present Health & Safety department were looking out for the welfare of the very talented stunt double fish.

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Filed under: Fire & Smoke,Mechanical SFX,Random — Tags: , , , — Darren Wallis @ 9:52 am