Hutch's Gallery

Dante's Peak

Hillside Trees

Up until this point in production, the model shop had occupied a large hanger at Van Nuys Airport. Most of the model construction had been completed, so the model shop was moved out, and the hanger became a shooting stage. Now we were alternating shots between the hanger and the temporary stage.

The hillside set had around eighty trees on it, and was built on a rolling platform. Each of the six foot tall trees was built by the model shop around a fiberglass rod, which we attached to a hinged socket on a pneumatic ram. Each ram had a solenoid valve which, when connected to the electronic timing systems, allowed us to knock over each tree on cue.

Because of the steep slope of the hillside, the air mortars had to be set on scissor lifts, well above the back of the set.

We did two different shots on this set. For one, the whole set was covered with trees. For the other, the trees were removed from the center of the set, and two houses and a road were put in.

>>  Click on any thumbnail image for a larger view  <<

Detail of the house section of the hillside set.

The hillside set without houses.

The air mortars on scissor lifts. Notice the masking pieces with smaller trees hung on the lifts. These were placed to camera as needed.

The under side of the set, showing the pneumatics that knock down the trees.

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Copyright 1997 R. Hutchins
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are © Copyright 1997 R. Hutchins. All rights reserved. - Revised December 1997