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Few spe­cial effects can be used as such ver­sa­tile styl­is­tic ele­ments in a film like fire and flames. It serves many film­mak­ers as one of the most emo­tion­al styl­is­tic devices in a pic­ture, be it in an action movie or a roman­tic com­e­dy. Burn­ing can­dles, oil bar­rels, cars, camp­fires, hous­es or a whole for­est — our exper­tise does not only lie in set­ting things on fire, but of doing it in a con­trolled and repro­ducible man­ner in front of the camera.

The types, shapes and colours of fire are numer­ous, as are the meth­ods of pro­duc­ing and han­dling it. We are there­fore hap­py to advise you also on tech­ni­cal and scenic ques­tions regard­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of your ideas. Our work­shop also devel­ops and man­u­fac­tures any kind of (un)flammable props and effect devices for you.

With our work ahead, dur­ing and after pro­duc­tion, we are not only respon­si­ble for the suc­cess of the effect, but also for the safe­ty of all those involved. Since fire on the set is always a safe­ty risk, we can also pro­vide our own fire­fight­ers and vehi­cles on set.

What is there to consider?


Depend­ing on the size and loca­tion of the fire, we some­times have to involve dif­fer­ent author­i­ties in the plan­ning. In extreme cas­es, this can also mean that it will not be pos­si­ble to per­form an effect in the desired size, time or location.

In any case, espe­cial­ly in the case of fires in pub­lic places at least two weeks lead time for cor­re­spon­dence must be planned.

Atten­tion must also be paid to exist­ing fire alarm sys­tems!
Depend­ing on the effect and cir­cum­stances, a pro­fes­sion­al fire brigade will have to remain at the loca­tion of the effect for sev­er­al hours to pre­vent fires from reigniting.


Of course, the own­er or man­ag­er of a loca­tion must give his (writ­ten) con­sent; the col­lec­tion is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of pro­duc­tion and with­out a per­mit we will not oper­ate in any case! For larg­er effects we also need a water source to be able to extin­guish it after­wards. Our fire engines have built in tanks, but these are only suf­fi­cient for small fire-fight­ing oper­a­tion. If there are no func­tion­ing fire hydrants on site, we have to install mobile water stor­age tanks and work with tanker vehicles.

Then the spe­cial require­ments of the loca­tion have to be con­sid­ered. These can make our work very time-con­sum­ing to car­ry out, or some­times make it impos­si­ble. A fire in a barn (with­out burn­ing it) will always require many days of prepa­ra­tion for fire pro­tec­tion mea­sures. Parts of the inte­ri­or can be flam­ma­ble, but may not be allowed to be treat­ed with fire retar­dants and must there­fore be replaced. In some his­tor­i­cal build­ings, not even large quan­ti­ties of can­dles may be lit due to soot.

Even if an effect can be real­ized with­out any prob­lems, it will then require the dam­age caused to be repaired afterwards.


Fire in the stu­dio or on stage gen­er­al­ly requires the approval of the admin­is­tra­tion, the respon­si­ble stage man­ag­er and usu­al­ly also the local fire brigade. There can also be many restric­tions here. We will also dis­cuss the effect with the con­struc­tion team to avoid the use of unsuit­able mate­ri­als and sta­t­i­cal­ly unsafe struc­tures in the first place.

The size and length of an effect in the stu­dio also depends on the size of the place; and oth­er impor­tant fac­tors such as smoke gen­er­at­ed and exist­ing ven­ti­la­tion systems. 


Not every­one likes to act in the vicin­i­ty of fire; dis­cuss planned effects with your per­form­ers before­hand. We will also talk to them before the effect and set out pre­cise rules of con­duct. Maybe we will also do a train­ing, espe­cial­ly for scenes with larg­er crowds.

Work­ing in the imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty of large fires is a high phys­i­cal strain and involves risks. Med­ical prob­lems such as res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­eases, reduced mobil­i­ty, etc. are a con­traindi­ca­tion. The heat expo­sure may result in only a very short work­ing times near the effect and require long breaks between takes.

The cos­tumes of the actors and props should also be adapt­ed to the cir­cum­stances; We will be hap­py to advise the respec­tive depart­ments and, if required, also make non-com­bustible copies of items.


The big­ger and more dan­ger­ous an effect, the less per­son­nel should be in the imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty — in case of emer­gency, every unnec­es­sary per­son on the set rep­re­sents a risk should an evac­u­a­tion be necessary.

The cam­era crew usu­al­ly wants to be close to the action; exact risk assess­ment is nec­es­sary here. Fire­proof cloth­ing can be worn in some sit­u­a­tions, but in oth­er cas­es the use of remote heads for instance is bet­ter and safer.

Equip­ment on set hard­ly ever responds pos­i­tive­ly to the com­bi­na­tion of fire and quench­ing water — for exam­ple, rain hoods for cam­eras are not fire­proof. Also, many equip­ment is pro­tect­ed against rain, but can’t with­stand the bom­bard­ment from a fire hose. We can also help here with fire­proof cam­era hous­ings and fire safe­ty devices.

Espe­cial­ly in the stu­dio the ris­ing, warm air has to be con­sid­ered. Even if z. B. If the spot­lights on the ceil­ing are far away from the loca­tion of the event, the quick­ly pre­vail­ing sauna con­di­tions there can become a problem.


The effect and the scene are wrapped. Depend­ing on size and vol­ume, it is some­times not pos­si­ble to start clean­ing up until the next day when every­thing has cooled down. Until then if nec­es­sary a fire watch is required.

The removal of cal­cu­lat­ed (!) dam­age can now be car­ried out by the pro­duc­tion and usu­al­ly involves work such as paint­ing of scorch marks, repair­ing dam­age to mason­ry or road sur­faces etc.

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