Pages Menu

Categories Menu

Posted on Feb 25, 2006 in Armchair Reading, Front Page Features

Band of Brothers – A Few Nostalgic Words and a Photographic Retrospective

By Roach

Hanger 146 and a few words about fake snow…

“Is there anybody out there?”

For several days during the earlier phases of production we had noticed several truckloads of fully-grown pine trees being driven onto the lot and disappearing to… well, to where exactly we were not entirely certain. Finally the word filtered though that one of the hangers was being transformed into a winter wonderland and, sure enough, the uprooted trees from nearby Hatfield Park (the by-product of managed tree management I hasten to add before the green amongst you get started…) were being ‘re-planted’ in Hanger 146; this was to form the massive set where a great deal of the Bastogne and some of the Foy scenes were shot.


Indeed, ACG’s Seimon Pugh-Jones trod the boards (well, compacted earth and paper snow) for his his first appearance as a photographer – talk about type-casting. Here are a few pictures of Seimon, and Alan, Chief Webber, but here in character as faithful assistant, both dressed for their starring roles.

BOB_028.jpg BOB_029.jpg
Seimon and Alan huddle together for warmth as they wait to go on… what do you mean, it’s not real snow…

You may want to take note of the chequered laundry bag visible in the bottom right of this picture. The humble laundry bag is an essential tool of the movie business – you’d be amazed at how many sets of webbing you can squeeze into one of those…


The creation of an indoor forest isn’t anything that is particularly out of the ordinary where big budget movie productions are concerned, but that doesn’t take anything away from the overall effect that was created. And it is a surreal feeling to be surrounded by trees and snow, only to look up and see gantries and arc lights.

Perhaps an even more interesting effect is that which the sight of fake snow has on you. You know that what you are seeing is paper; all sorts of paper treated in many ways to look like snow. And you know that paper does not have as one of its qualities an inherent temperature that registers below freezing. But, in spite of what you know, as you stand around surrounded by the stuff, you start to feel the chill; you know what you know but it doesn’t matter: suddenly you are very, very cold!

Nor does it matter if the scene is being filmed outside; the sun is high in the sky, blazing down and causing the hold up of the shot because everything is too bright. But the snow special effects boys have been out there spraying everything with their paper snow – and once again you start to feel it as the temperatures don’t actually plummet but feel as if they are. Your brain has once again decided that it doesn’t matter what you know, because it can ‘see’ snow so basically, you will shiver damn it! The mind is certainly a funny thing.

[continued on next page]

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11