29 June 2015

Unexpected film insurance claim

By Performance


Continuing with our claims stories and how the unexpected can happen we want to show you how easy hired in property can be damaged.

The final scene for our client to film was to create the illusion of 60 burning haystacks, which have been hired from a local farmer.

The idea is to show all 60 stacks with smoke coming from them (using a smoke canister in the lead stack), then once this has been filmed, to set light to just one stack and create the illusion of all the stacks burning.

Procedures are put in place – a risk assessment is carried out,  and we are able to advise the client on the health and safety issues that need to be adhered to and to ensure that a fire marshal is on site, everyone is upwind of the effect, and that the remaining stacks are removed to a safe distance upwind when the single stack is lit.

A special effects company is engaged to manage the smoke effect.

Unfortunately, the type of smoke effect used was sufficient (under the prevailing conditions) to produce enough heat to cause the lead stack to ignite, which quickly spread to the remaining stacks.

In all, 20 or more stacks were destroyed, leading to a claim thousands of pounds to the owner of the stacks and for clean up costs.

By following the advice we had provided, thankfully, no one was injured.  However, this claim goes to show how, even with the best-laid plans, the unthinkable can happen – and that having comprehensive film insurance cover in place really is a necessity when it comes to filmmaking.