Film ID:
YFA 4165

CRASH SPECTACULAR

1974

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film documents the recording of a scene from Alan Sidi's film, 'The Devil God'. Alan Sidi, a member of the Leeds cine group called Mercury Movie Makers, produced this film with funding from the Yorkshire Arts Association. This funding enabled him to create a spectacular pyrotechnic display with expert assistance from specialist effects company 'Action Incorporated', and this film is a voice over lead documentary chronicling the production process of the explosive stunt.

Title - Crash Spectacular.

The opening shot of this films shows a grand modern house; parked in the driveway there is the Mercedes and Triumph used in Alan Sidi's fictional film the 'The Devil God', there is also a plaque on a wall which reads, 'Val Dor.' A voice over describes the significance of the day, alluding to the Triumph's spectacular fate. People enter the vehicles and pull away from the driveway.

Men push the white triumph through the grass towards Hawksford quarry. A group of people then congregate around the Triumph, as adjustments are made to the car. Next, the car, affectionately known as 'Hubert', is pushed along another grassy path with the cart attached to it. Now at the summit of Hawksford quarry, the filmmaker captures shots of the steep drop, and a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Following this, dummies are assembled, placed in the car, and a man wearing an 'Action Inc.' jacket watches men hack away at a piece of the rock face.

The next sequence opens with Alan Sidi - the director of 'The Devil God' - and his wife - one of the stars of the film - looking at a camera. The following shots show the crew setting up their filming equipment, removing wrecks from the quarry, before a rock falls from one of the quarry walls. The voice over describes Alan Sidi's careful preparation as he briefs his cameramen. The crew then practice with a special light designed to replicate the effect of a fire burning. Next, static shots of the actors in the car are filmed, using crew members to rock the car engendering a sense of movement to the footage. The voice runs over through the logistics of the shoot, stating that six 16mm film cameras will be used to capture the stunt.

Final preparations are made; cameras are rechecked, the cars path is cleared, and the director gives his final instructions over a radio. The car is pushed to its starting position, before rolling down the slope and crashing down into the quarry. The voice over states that it was a great success, as all the cameras worked. Crew members and spectators clamber down into the quarry to examine the smashed up triumph.

The final scene from 'The Devil God' is then filmed and includes actors running through their parts. Reporters from the Yorkshire press chat to Mrs Sidi, then Action Incorporated prepares the explosions; this process involves attaching fuses to plastic bags filled with gasoline. A man at a control panel flicks a switch, and the filmmaker cuts to show the explosion. The final sequence shows the finished edited version of the stunt footage, which was featured in the climactic scene of 'The Devil God'.

Title - The end.