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About The Production
Besides the visual effects team creating the dragons, several groups were responsible for presenting a vision of a world destroyed by dragons as true-to-life as possible. This included the production design team, headed by Wolf Kroeger; the Special Effects team, headed by Dave Gauthier; and Nick Gillard's stunt team.

A 25-year movie stunts veteran who has recently coordinated the stunts for such high-profile action blockbusters as "Star Wars" Episodes I and II and Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow," Gillard faced an all-new challenge on "Reign of Fire" as he prepared for the Archangel sequence. The film's central sequence, follows several members of Van Zan's group as they jump out of a helicopter to try to kill a dragon.

"Normally, when you shoot an aerial sequence, you shoot it with 16mm film and then ‘blow it out' to 35mm. But ‘Reign of Fire' is shot anamorphic, so our cameraman had to wear the 35mm camera with a 40mm anamorphic lens on the head." The cameras were enormous and extremely heavy.

"The cameraman wore a surgical neck brace, just to keep him from breaking his neck from the weight of the camera when he pulled open his parachute. We also had a little parachute inside his helmet, so if he got into trouble he could take off the helmet and throw the camera away, and it would come down safely.

The stunt doubles for the sequence were prepared for their work. "Two of them were ex-SAS (Special Air Service) soldiers – they had jumped out under combat conditions with weapons," Gillard notes. "They're the best guys to get – they'll always give you 100%.

"But for the most part, I try not to use doubles," Gillard continues. "We make it safe for the actors to do their own stunts and only use doubles if it's absolutely necessary. Matthew, Christian, and Izabella are all pretty physical."

In the fight sequence, McConaughey and Bale fought for themselves. "I have all the heart in the fight, but Van Zan has all the skills," says Bale. "Matthew and I really went for it, and we clocked each other a couple of times. And there was a head butt – Matthew headbutted me for real, and everybody said it echoed on the castle walls and sounded like a watermelon being smashed. I was dazed for a few seconds, but it's all there in the movie, and obviously, it's better because it's real. I didn't mind it, and I don't think  Matthew did, either."

"My involvement on this show has particularly been with the fires on the set – the real fires," notes Dave Gauthier, special effects supervisor on the film. "Rob called me up in the middle of the night – 2:30 in the morning – and asked me to take the job. He had two missions for me: to give him as much practical fire on the set as we could handle, and to make it all safe.

"I've done several projects of this scale, but knowing Rob and the kinds of things he likes to do – and how big he likes to get – I did a little research before coming to Ireland," continues Gauthier, who had previously served with Bowman on "The X-Files" television series. "By the time I got to Ireland, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, and then we put it together – namely, the Dragon's Breath apparatus."

The Dragon's Breath creates an e

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