In 2007 I created the graphics for Richard Hammonds interactive DVD.
The main game was you had to guess which caravan Richard Hammond was in. You get it wrong and the caravan blows-up. The Top Gear Producer, Andy Wilman wanted to use actual caravans and blow those up so I ended-up going to help, with loads of others at work, to a quarry near Peterborough.
Well we got to this quarry and there were six caravans all lined-up with big numbers on them.
Richard did his introductory piece to camera, then separate scenes for each caravan for the right or wrong answer.
We would then help the pyrotechnic guys drag the caravan to the end of the quarry and set-up for the explosions. To achieve this, they had huge clear beer barrel shaped plastic containers and filled them with fuel. There was an explosive device inside each container that would aerosol the fuel, then a secondary explosive was triggered to ignite the fuel afterwards.
They shot all this with Phantom cameras, which had a ridiculously high frame rate.
After each explosion a Mega-Truck like vehicle would rock-up and spray-down the burning remains of each Caravan. These were used during normal quarry operations to mist-spray down the dust after the explosions in the quarry (we witnessed one of these, which was awesome)
Our Producer, Carine had to phone all the local farmers to get permission to over-run on the shoot as we were running late.
BOOM! The last one went-off and that was that. I managed to grab a photo with Richard as he was finished for the day. Winner!
Earlier, when I was watching him do his takes, he was literally one-take Hammond. He knew his lines inside & out and rarely had to re-do. What a total Pro.
As I was tasked with the Graphics for this DVD, most of the execs had an opinion at some point. One day Andy Wilman was sitting behind me with the rest of the team, looking at my work.
“Ted, have you ever seen ‘40-Year-Old Virgin’?”, he asked.
“Yeah, why’s that?” I replied
He then pointed to all my nerdy SciFi toys balanced on top of my monitor (they were CRT’s back then). Everyone laughed and I went red as you like, which made them laugh even more. To this day, I have never surrounded my workstation with anything except a Wacom Tablet & Pen.