Today I tested my plans for a spectacular flame fountain simulating the oil well burst. Spectacular it was (eventually); however I found myself in quite a Guy Fawkesy conundrum. In the sense that my gunpowder plot may not work out as intended. But first, the results of my little experiments:
1. Lighting diesel on fire:
– Quite hard to ignite, petrol is more flammable but significantly more risky and ‘explosive’ to handle so I personally wanted to avoid that.
– Needs a powerful, constant and direct flame in order to ignite. I used my caramelising torch gun. This presents an issue with the model because I won’t be able to light it up directly like this. I tried with a small flame on a stick/bud next to the spray nozzle but the diesel just burns it out instantly.
– The nozzle of the spraying device cannot be adjusted to fit the model. With a metallic tube to extend it through the model the diesel won’t ‘spray’ out in particles like in the video but as a concentrated stream, hence it won’t ignite at all.
– Finally all tests were lateral. I wanted my model to be vertically spraying the flame which i tried in the test for a brief second to realise how dangerous it got and that the diesel does fall downwards. The model could be placed side-ways and faked through the shots to seem level but then we still have the issue of having that constant flame next to the nozzle and fitting that nozzle in the sand pit, all without noticing it and getting it seamless. These challenges make the negatives outweight the positives of the method for the effort required and especially the risk.
– Sideways or upright, the spraying diesel could very possible go all over the mirrors and completely ruin the effect of the landscape. (we did get it everywhere in my tests, hands, devices etc. which added danger to handling fire so close and having diesel all over you)
- The only effective solution for this method is to have a hidden wider hole in the sand pit’s centre the model placed sideways (but from the footage seem upright) and we see no oil well head but just the landscape and the flame appears constant from the sand igniting the spray (still though would have to magically keep the sand from sliding off once side-ways so this solution might also not be ideal)
2. WD40 Spray (I tried it out for kicks BUT this won’t be allowed for H&S reasons)
Note: Incase you are wondering those aren’t my hands I had a friend who has handled fire in this fashion before generously donate his back yard for the tests and (much to his own enjoyment) be filmed trying my tests out.
What’s next: Still assessing the results but it became pretty clear that it’s particularly challenging and risky using any ‘spray’ method or trying to literally achieve this effect at least (of the oil well stream on fire by igniting a flammable fluid) for my video. It is with sadness that I say that because the effect would have been awesome to film in the infinite mirror landscape. And to be completely honest I have pushed the tests to a point where I myself see the fire in the form of a flammable liquid too risky to handle and would rather (as much as I wanted to) not attempt this at school.
I am however considering going back to burning an object perhaps something placed right above the model oil well nozzle to look like some kind of (paper) version of the oil erupting but obviously static. Once on fire I hope it will provide enough of a spectacle for the footage to be useful in a similar way.
After all my overarching ‘why?’ isn’t ‘because oil well fire’ but ‘because of spectacle out of footage’.
I will focus to have a draft of some footage put together to discuss the film itself further next and rethink the model in the meantime.
Would appreciate any ideas/comments from anyone perhaps there is some way I am not seeing from being caught within the ‘bubble’ of the process.