BLAST! Extra

BLAST! Production Update - Filming in Antarctica

Posted by Paul Devlin:
Here’s a little behind the scenes action that shows some of my adventure in Antarctica shooting BLAST!.
This was originally produced for our Artist Share  fundraising campaign in which participants had a chance to share in our filmmaking process as it was happening.

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BLAST! - Wammo - "Give It Hell"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Wammo is the multi-talented front man for one of America’s most distinctive bands, The Asylum Street Spankers.

Wammo was also featured in our film SlamNation.  He visits often when he's in New York City and offered to write a theme song for the movie, BLAST! while it was still in post-production.  The result is this charming, exclusive performance edited by Rina Svet in her early days with DevlinPix.

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BLAST! - World Premiere at Hot Docs

Posted by Rina Svet:

Thank you so much everyone for your recent support of BLAST! in our On Screen/In Person tour!  It was a fantastic run, and we'll have more updates for you soon!

In the meantime, a walk down memory lane... in this extra from BLAST! at our World Premiere... at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto in 2008!  BLAST! was shown twice during the festival, and we had an amazing time. Check out the video for all the details! 

The festival this year starts April 26th and runs through May 6th! They have some fantastic movies showing, so if you're in the area, make sure to drop by!

The group at opening night!

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BLAST! - Sweden Launch

Posted by Paul Devlin:

The launch of BLAST in Arctic Sweden was one of the most arduous shoots of my career. 

We had already been waiting weeks for the launch day because of weather delays.  I wanted to hire camera help from the nearby city of Kiruna. But it was impossible to give a definitive shoot date. When the day finally arrived, the actual launch time of 9AM was delayed for about 18 hours, and did not happen until around 3AM the next morning (still well-lit because of the midnight sun).  I wouldn’t have been able to keep a crew on anyway, so I gave extra cameras to the grad students instead.

I had a wireless mic on the launch leader, Victor Davison, that allowed me to keep track of progress. The two main areas of activity, the telescope and balloon, were separated by about 300 meters of flight train. As I heard Vic directing, I would run back and forth along that 300 meters – camera gear in hand – to catch the action as it was happening. A serious workout in the early hours of the morning.

There was one other professional camera man shooting the launch. He was hired by NASA and hoped to make a special for Discovery Channel. We had both spent weeks waiting, the crew knew us, and we were able to get close to the inflating of the balloon.  I knew his camera would eventually be high on a hill catching the launch from front and side.  So I decided to stay behind and catch a close-up of the balloon rising.  Both spectacular shots.

Later I offered to trade footage with the other cameraman, so we would both have better coverage. He declined. Luckily for me, he was working for NASA at the time, which put his shot in the public domain. I was able to use his anyway.

By the way, his show Space Balloons, was very well-produced and did play on Discovery.  But the segment on BLAST stops as the telescope rises into the sky – no mention of the disasters that follow. Too many shows like this become science propaganda, glossing over what’s really going on behind the scenes. We wanted to buck that trend with BLAST!. Celebrate the failures! Failure is an essential component of learning and progress (not too mention great for a dramatic arc!) Space Balloons also did not give proper credit to my brother Mark’s role as Principle Investigator of BLAST – another unfortunate choice.

At the last moment, Victor invited Mark to ride on the launch vehicle during launch.  A rare privilege!  If only I had given Mark a camera too.  What a spectacular shot that would have been!  We tried again to get that shot in Antarctica, but the cameraman was removed from the launch vehicle when the winds kicked up just before launch. Someday I hope someone can get that elusive shot!

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