School House Explosion

I was never a fan of school. So much so that I didn't care enough to finish it. After graduating to the 10th grade I decided that I didn't need to learn more about number 2 pencils or who was going to be prom queen. I wanted to learn something with real world value that could help me succeed in life. Surprisingly, my mother didn't want me to finish school and the teachers didn't encourage me to stay.  So for me, leaving was easy, especially since I had already been working on the family farm and had a great sense of being self-reliant. To anyone reading this, I highly recommend you check out what James Altucher has to say about college. Basically, I applied his principles to high school. I realized what I needed to learn, who could teach it to me and who couldn't. My thirst for knowledge was much deeper than the surface shit they teach in traditional educational environments.

March 23rd 2014, we are blowing up a mother f*cking school house! Ok, so it's not a giant brick and mortar school and it's not even a real school since it's just a facade built for the AMC TV series "TURN", but it still feels great to watch it go boom. It was the final episode of the first season and the producers wanted something larger than the previous explosions throughout the show. Naturally, the Special FX Coordinator obliged. My stunt team was originally involved in this explosion rather heavily. We had skinned out plans to launch a couple people in the air by way of pneumatic ratchets and rams. Unfortunately, the producers are always quick to cut the fun stunts and instead they opted for the "just have the actor fall on the ground when it explodes" option since it saved a bunch of time and money. Yawn, snore, boring. These producers will dump droves of money into unnecessary overtime due to poor scheduling but when it comes to making fun things happen, they usually clam up. (take note if you're an amatuer film maker looking to avoid mistakes. -better scheduling-) Either way, we had a great time prepping and rehearsing with actor Daniel Henshall.  

The house itself was primarily plywood and pine board facade. It had four walls and a roof. The entire schoolhouse was originally built to film in, then it was weakened for the explosion by cutting through some of the supporting framework. This allows for the force of the explosion to blow out the cut pieces and collapse the building. Otherwise, the explosion would've only sent a big fireball into the air with the schoolhouse remaining intact. 

Trigger time! And BOOOOM! It's hard not to smile when you're watching things blow up with a bunch of other adults as you share a laugh about it. 


Behind the scenes footage of a special effects explosion for AMC's TV series, TURN.