Our Canadian friends got a two-dimensional view of Blowdown: World Cup Demolition when it premiered earlier this year on History Television Canada.
Our American fans will have the 3D premiere of this Blowdown episode, which hits the airwaves starting August 29th on 3net in the US. There is a Program Schedule located here: http://press.discovery.com/us/3n/ but you should check your local listings.
Over the past three years, the series has been fun to produce and we even got good at the science and art of filming structural implosions. Nothing could have prepared us, however, for challenges of filming our final episode in Salvador, Brazil last August. For the Parallax Film team, the appeal of capturing the demolition of the one of the world’s largest football stadiums in preparation for the 2014 World Cup was a no-brainer. Executing though, was more problematic.
The team had been working in house for months developing and testing 3D camera systems that would meet our broadcasters HD quality standards but still be portable enough to navigate an industrial demolition site. We then had to train up personnel to operate the equipment for a multi camera shoot, including a number of what we call kill cams, that ride the structures down after the explosives detonate. Finally, Brazil is a long way from Vancouver (3 flights over 24 hours) and subject to a three-week wait for a visa, so if anything went wrong, the crew was on its own.
The Stadium went down as they always do, in the blink of an eye.
Here’s a 2D peek of the implosion, captured on President Ian Herring’s Lumix:
Controlled Demolition Incorporated and their Brazilian partners Arcoenge Ltda executed the plan, not a moment too soon for spectators who had been subjected to the blaring of a five minute siren. The crew made the return trip home anxious to see if they’d pulled it off. Were the calculations accurate? Mirrors clean? F-stops adjusted? Would we have enough footage to cut the contracted 44 minute broadcast hour, and even if we had enough footage, would we be able to pull together a storyline that made sense?
In the end, the show got made and delivered. It took a herculean effort from the team who put themselves out there every day. Finding problems and working out solutions up until the day we shipped tapes and hard drives to our broadcasters. A special thanks goes out to all them.
–Maija Leivo, Executive Producer