Gotta say, I really like the color detail on Fynch’s face in Panel One.



Dangerous Distractions

I was permitted to add some sparks on the truck sideswipe, and a little bit of blood, but the sparks were the main thing. I like sparks. I could shoot sparks all day; they are like the easiest effect to do, and always give a little snazz to a scene, and everyone likes them.  But after a while you just have enough sparks for most purposes. Still, I’ll occasionally get a request for some bouncing off a wall or a downshot of some on the floor or something, and I can get in and play with the titanium sponge once more.

After years of searching I finally got hold of some zirconium granules. Zirconium is the Holy Grail of sparks; it is hard to come by because in fine powdered form it’s considered so flammable that it can’t be shipped. But I did get hold of a small amount. Zirconium wool was used in the old flash bulbs back in the day, so as you can imagine the stuff burns fast and a bright white. And yes, it makes nice sparks.  But as with many things, I found that it doesn’t matter that much if you are doing it for effects overlays — titanium is cheaper and safer and let’s face it, white is white on camera — hell, if you run it through After Effects you can make the sparks any damn color you want.  So I keep the zirc more for its novelty value now and just work with good ol’ Ti.

Here in the USA, it was just Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July; a holiday that used to be observed with a religious fervor around this household before it became part of what I do as a job. Now, however, as you can probably imagine, it has become something of a busman’s holiday. I deliberately don’t do anything fireworks-related on the 4th, because I know the Fire Department is on high alert, and they already have their hands full with drunks clowning around with Thunderkings. Don’t get me wrong; I still love dangerous fireworks fully as much as the next irresponsible nutjob. Perhaps more. But on the 4th I am content to simply stand around with my hands in my pockets, smelling the heady smoke drifting over from other people’s displays and listening to the sirens heading for their houses.

Let them get in trouble for a change.  I didn’t do it.

— Bob out