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True Lies Had Just One Take To Capture The Bridge Explosion – SlashFilm

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According to an article at the visual effects publication Befores & Afters, the sequence, wherein the Marines slam four missiles into the bridge to knock out trucks carrying stolen nuclear warheads, was shot practically in two locations. There was actual stunt work done in the Florida Keys, while the bridge explosion was filmed via miniature. And this was one massive miniature.

Leslie Ekker, who supervised the sequence for Stetson Visual Services, told befores & afters that the plaster bridge model — which was 100 meters long, one meter wide and three meters tall — was shipped to the bridge location for its explosive close-up. Given the detail that went into crafting the miniature, the Stetson team could only blow it up once.

One of the key elements of the sequence involved executing the right kind of explosion. It had to look absolutely spectacular, with flames and debris filling the screen.

How do you blow up a bridge the right way? Per Ekker:

“…(W)hen you build roadways like this, we usually use plaster. If you load too much pyro into that plaster, you’ve got a model in one frame, and the next frame, you have a puff of dust, and the next frame after that, it’s gone. So it has to be blown up in just the right way in almost a slow explosion, to see particles and to see chunks and the guardrail bending and flying and things falling and splashing in the water, not just vaporizing.”

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