Background

In 1986, I went to Los Angeles trying to get to work for Special Effects companies. It was much more difficult to get "a foot in the door" than I could have imagined, but after several months of visits and cold calls, I finally found a company that let me in, and I got to work for films like "Flight of the Navigator", "Predator", "Big Trouble in Little China", "Poltergeist 2", and "The Abyss". However, it was not until shooting the bullet hits for Weird Al's "UHF" that I really started working with exploding squibs - or "bullet hits" to simulate flying bullets.

Since then, I solved all sorts of mechanical/physical effects for movies, TV, tage, but also for grand openings. The video below does not really have much to do with "air squibs" (you CAN see a few of them) but the clip gives you an idea of what types of effects I like to create. Some are obvious, like fire, sparks and general pyrotechnics - but special effects can involve other "gags" too - like rain, wilting flowers, shaking washers, fake concrete that can be poured over an actor without creating a rash - or setting overnight! Or maybe a lightweight welding unit that may be used by a stuntman - but still burns while airborne. My favourite is probably the fall-apart outhouse...

Many effects are rather simple to create - but safety is of outmost concern. Just like with the air squibs! They create maximum impact and are powered only with batteries and a bike pump!

OK, I need to update the clips with effects I did the last couple of years. But this is still a whole lot of fun watching stuff that blows up and falls apart. And one or two make-believe injuries.