November 11, 2015

The New James Bond Film Set the World Record for Biggest Movie Explosion Ever

Spectre Explosion World Record
Of all the things for which a person can hold a world record, "largest movie explosion" is among the most badass. That title now officially belongs to Spectre Special Effects Supervisor Chris Corbould.

In a new video released yesterday by Sony Pictures, we get an inside look at the process of bringing that explosion to life. Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcCp0k7l7aI

To sum up, Corbould and his team used 8,418 liters of kerosene and 24 individual charges, each fitted with a tiny computer for precise control of the explosion, to pull off this single high octane shot. The final explosion was the equivalent of  68.47 tons of TNT, and the explosion lasted for over 7.5 seconds. Today, Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, and producer Barbara Broccoli accepted the award from Guinness on behalf of Chris Corbould.

When you combine this explosive shot with some of the other major action sequences in the film, it's clear that the production team was trying to create a more immersive and realistic experience for the audience by capturing as much of these sequences in camera as possible. Here are a few of the BTS videos that show off the production of Spectre's insane action sequences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej9kDTw6RgA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYKB75aIHWE

Regardless of whether you're a fan of the Bond franchise, or action films in general, it's interesting to note Hollywood's shift back towards practical effects and in-camera action sequences. Thanks in part to films like Mad Max: Fury Road, practical effects are exploding in popularity, and are even being used as a part of the marketing campaigns for films like this. Whether that means practical effects are experiencing a renaissance, though, is a matter of interpretation.

Still, congrats to Chris Corbould and the entire Spectre VFX team for their historic explosion.     

Your Comment

22 Comments

Why they use film for the explosion only?

November 11, 2015 at 5:06PM, Edited November 11, 5:06PM

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Csonka Olivér
Wannabe anyone
220

They didn't, the entire movie was shot on film.

November 11, 2015 at 5:21PM

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David West
Filmmaker
971

Oh, cool.

November 11, 2015 at 5:35PM

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Csonka Olivér
Wannabe anyone
220

And the Alexa seen in the first shot of 'the action of spectre' clip?

November 11, 2015 at 7:05PM

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How quaint...

November 11, 2015 at 7:08PM

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kyleclements
Artist / Photographer / Scenic
998

They show like 4-5 different models of film cameras in the last clip. It's all on film

November 11, 2015 at 5:36PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

According to IMDB this film was shot with the following cameras...

Arri Alexa 65, Panavision Primo 70 Lenses

Arri Alexa XT M, Panavision AWZ2 Lenses (aerial shots)

Arriflex 235, Panavision Primo Lenses

Arriflex 435 ES, Panavision Primo Lenses

Beaumont VistaVision Camera, Panavision Primo Lenses

Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision Primo, C-, E-Series, ATZ, AWZ2 and Zeiss Master Anamorphic Lenses

November 11, 2015 at 7:42PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30057

Thank you.

November 12, 2015 at 4:54PM

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Csonka Olivér
Wannabe anyone
220

To clarify, Chris Corbould is a Special Effects supervisor, not a Visual Effects supervisor. I think we all know the difference. Smoke machines and flame bars, not green screens and tracking marks.

November 11, 2015 at 8:01PM

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Good catch. Got it updated in the article.

November 12, 2015 at 12:57AM

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Rob Hardy
Founder of Filmmaker Freedom
4772

Practical effects are often the best effects. :)

November 11, 2015 at 9:21PM

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L.Rowan McKnight
Film student
102

Practical effects are awesome, but don't help when the script is this bad.

November 12, 2015 at 5:59AM

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Markus Koepke
Director of Photography
140

Never miss an opportunity to throw more garbage into the atmosphere.

November 12, 2015 at 9:31AM

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Dave Esposito
Film maker - owner Agricola Media
147

Thats not one explosion. Thats a series of small to medium explosions spread widely apart.

Not a record in my book.

November 12, 2015 at 9:23PM

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Also thats environmentally F$&#ed.

November 12, 2015 at 9:24PM

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It's not your book mate.

November 13, 2015 at 3:35PM, Edited November 13, 3:35PM

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I don't think this could possibly be the biggest real explosion in film history. In Lethal Weapon 3, a downtown building next to City Hall in Orlando, Florida was blown to the ground. For real.

November 12, 2015 at 9:24PM, Edited November 12, 9:24PM

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Alec Kinnear
Creative Director
416

the film still sucked

November 13, 2015 at 4:11AM, Edited November 13, 4:11AM

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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
627

So you're telling me the Bond franchise runs out of money every few years and then they use it to set a world record for the biggest explosion? what a non sense!

Ok, maybe somebody with greater post knowledge can correct me, but arent explosions one of the easier to implement kind of effects? why would they waste so much money on this? to have a viral video and a world record?

why not make it a viral in the opposite direction: "you know, we wanted the biggest explosion ever, but we also didnt want to polute the environment more than necessary. thats why we did it in post." again, maybe im completely wrong with my claim, but going for the biggest explosion ever, seems like a waste of money.

November 13, 2015 at 12:22PM

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Paul-Louis Pietz Pröve
director / dop / editor
541

Does a duck and a series of small ducks equal a giant duck????????

November 13, 2015 at 8:44PM

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I finally got a chance to see the movie. I used to love bond films but they've lost it. I was actually bored. So much wrong with it. So much stupidity.

A. Why did the helicopter at the start with 2 pilots in it just spin in circles for ages while the fight in the back wasn't touching them?? Why did it stay over the crowd?

B. Why did Blowfeld not know Bond had explosive gadgets when his spy C knew everything about Bond and Q??

C. Why does shooting one gas bottle create a chain of explosions so big that it levels the entire complex and if so why does it take so long that Bond can climb the hill to the helicopter?

D. Then why does Bond not check that Blowfeld was dead, even flew off while Blowfeld drives away in the other direction??

E. The big guy who Bond kept fighting goes through a windscreen of a Land Rover Defender and Bond couldn't take one moment to put a bullet in his head?? And later the big guy falls off a train into the sand at night and thats meant to be his death?? Pathetic!

I could go on.

We expect far better but they are crap plots. The Mission Impossible films are FAR better Bond movies.

November 17, 2015 at 8:42PM

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What seemed strange to me watching it in the cinema was that the framing of the shot made it look like a rather weak piece of CGI - the actors were so far away from it that there was no 'wind' from the explosion affecting them and the explosion itself was all background, plus they just stand and watch. It's a rather wet explosion, mostly kerosene - the South American building blowing up is more dramatic, though obviously CGI.

Thought the whole film was strangely uninvolving - never have bought Craig as Bond, though in 'Munich' he was very good as the witty cool psycho South African assassin which I had assumed was the role that got him Bond, Then they promptly removed all that was great about him in that film, gave him a couple of sharp suits and said 'You're Bond"...not surprised he's bored.

November 24, 2015 at 6:00PM

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Peter Delaunay
Screenwriter
90