Hit Me Like a Ton of Bricks!

man under bricks

This image was shot for Kodak. The copy line was, “When an image hits you like a ton of bricks.” It took an elaborate setup to make it happen. The set was built with holes for the man to wiggle his arms and hands out of under the bricks. I was in a crow’s nest, looking straight down from overhead. We placed air canons under the bricks and fired them for each exposure. We put fullers earth and wood chips in the funnel of the air canon, which created the dust and debris. The guy was terribly uncomfortable under the bricks, wearing a respirator, so he did not have to breath the dust. He lied on another small platform that was under his back. It held him up high enough to get his legs out. The suite was completely destroyed by the end. But we had bought it for the shoot.

We had one soft box form overhead at 1200 watts and 4 heads under the set. The heads under the set did not have reflectors on them, so the light was scattered. The set was built on legs so we could get under it and place our lights. Our biggest challenge was to create a place for him to lie and not block the dust or lights. We wanted to see the light coming through he bricks, but he was blocking most of the opening. We had to cut the platform that he was laying on down. We made it smaller and smaller until the light and dust could get through. He was not happy about being under there for 3 hours. But the talent doesn’t complain. They just smile for the camera, right?


  1. says

    I love elaborate setups! it makes me feel like a little boy with experimenting with a magnifying glass when I delve this deep into a shot! great work folks! you rock!

  2. says

    Straight down from above is a kick: gets the imagination working. Vertigo disappears . . . as long as you’re looking through the viewfinder, at least.


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