How can I __________?
This fill-in-the-blank question has dominated every step of this film. Recently, I was asking myself: How can I create a Thunderstorm? The answer: Cloud Tank!
Cloud Tank: Practical Storm Cloud Effect
A cloud tank is technique that dates back to Charlton Heston and the Ten Commandments for creating storms and weather. You've seen it in tons of pre-CGI movies from Ghostbusters to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
We decided to use this for the Thunderstorm on Frank & Zed. Once we did, a whole slew of new 'How can I' came into effect. (How can I purchase 20lbs of salt? How can I drill a hole in glass? How do I light and focus on something that isn't there?)
To create this effect, you fill a tank halfway with salt water and then, very carefully, pour freshwater on top. If you do it just right, the two layers won't mix. Then when you shoot a liquid (heavy cream in our case) into the top layer it stays above the salt water giving the effect of a cloud forming.
What do you think? The above is just the begging of the effect.
Finishing up insert shots
The film continues, as always, to go way better than I expected and way slower. Thank you so much for your patience. We are getting close!