How to blow someone up or catch them on fire?!

Hello, I'm Gage Welch and right now I'm working on a new short film titled "Retribution" the film is almost complete, but I need help with making this end scene work.

Basically the last part of the film the main character (Nate) goes to rescue his girlfriend who was taken by this gang he owes a bunch of money to. He gets there in time, but doesn't have the money so she is tied up in this chair outside where they meet. The leader of the gang has his men then pour gasoline on her after he finds out Nate doesn't have the money.

What I then need help with is how to make her catch on fire? How should I shoot this scene to get this to work? Should I actually show her burning? Would it be easier to create a fake version of her then change the shot away from her so you don't actually see her catch on fire right away then change the shot back to her up in flames? Would it be better to blow her up, or should I just change how she dies all together?

If anyone has any tutorials or knows any way to do this successfully please let me know! If this is to hard to accomplish without having a large budget let me know! Thank you I appreciate it tons!
 
Hello, I'm Gage Welch and right now I'm working on a new short film titled "Retribution" the film is almost complete, but I need help with making this end scene work.

Basically the last part of the film the main character (Nate) goes to rescue his girlfriend who was taken by this gang he owes a bunch of money to. He gets there in time, but doesn't have the money so she is tied up in this chair outside where they meet. The leader of the gang has his men then pour gasoline on her after he finds out Nate doesn't have the money.

What I then need help with is how to make her catch on fire? How should I shoot this scene to get this to work? Should I actually show her burning? Would it be easier to create a fake version of her then change the shot away from her so you don't actually see her catch on fire right away then change the shot back to her up in flames? Would it be better to blow her up, or should I just change how she dies all together?

If anyone has any tutorials or knows any way to do this successfully please let me know! If this is to hard to accomplish without having a large budget let me know! Thank you I appreciate it tons!

You could do a cheat and make it happen in the editing. I think we need to see her on fire but use a manequin. Quick cut to Nick after she's doused with water from a gas can, then we see the bad guy toss a match, road flare, zippo lighter. Then to the dummy burning. I hope this helps. Will
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
If you want to light someone on fire you cover them in this stuff

col_2738_L_17fcb980.jpg


But I wouldn't recommend trying it as an amateur.
 

The best way without a budget is to imply it....

Bad guy douse her with liquid
Show her fear
Hero reaction. Bad guys holding him back
Show bad guy sparking the lighter
Reaction shot of bad guys groupies
Reaction of hero
Bad guy throwing the lighter and color on him changes orange
Reaction shots of bad guys groupies
Hero cries
 
Do not endanger your actors and crew with real fire in the same shot. For the amatuer, I would suggest wetting down your actress' hair and hit her with a fog machine, while she screams and writhes. Next, get some stock fire footage from Video Copilot (Action Essentials), detfilmsHD or NCcinema.ch. I have footage from all three. Composite the fire footage in front of and behind your actress. She would be the middle layer in After Effects, or whatever you're using.

For blowing someone up, check out the 3:10 mark of this short I made. I used a Bulge filter, a fog machine and had someone throw some fake blood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi2wLA175WQ

If anyone's interested, I've done quite a few fire scenes. However, I always recommend professional stuntmen and pyro-technicians, which I have used.

Btw, the flames in this shot were made in MAYA, by visual effects artist, James Rogers.
fireguy2.jpg


Reverse shot, using a dummy
burninghijacker.jpg


Me with latex makeup
destiny4.jpg


Same makeup, but put on a dummy head
destiny5.jpg
 
I recently did a bunch of fire scenes for a horror film (shocking...) they had a real enough budget that they got some fire in camera, but they made enough mistakes, that it took quite a bit of nudging on my end to fix. Ultimately, it looks- in line with the rest of the flick:

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/somekindofhate/

Adding fire really is not too hard, because at least its always moving and amorphous. If you play around with overlay modes, displacement maps you ought to be able to make it work.
 
You should hire a professional stuntman for this. They aren't ridiculously expensive and are way better than potentially picking up a manslaughter or negligent homicide case. Just do a little research online for stuntmen for hire.
 
WE DID IT!

Thanks everyone for the responses on this. We ended up doing a little fire on our actress then, put a dummy in to allow it to burn for the rest of the scene. It worked well!!! I'll post some photos here soon of the effect we got with it all!
 
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