Location: Budapest, Hungary
Project Type: Scenic, Engineering, Architectural
Jeremy Thom Role: Production Designer & Art Director
In the summer of 1982 I spent six months in Hungary building and shooting a movie roughly based on the story of Jaws but set at a Rock'n'Roll Festival, and with a giant grizzly bear as the 'bad guy'. For this we (myself and assistants at Plumbline Design) built an enormous and hugely detailed model to establish the look, propping and camera angles. We shipped everything (including catering, American Jeeps, animatronic bear models, etc.) from UK to the tiny valley of Pilisborisjeno about 6km outside of Budapest where we built a huge facsimile of an American eagle with programmable lighting up wings and a rotating head that breathed 25' long flames from each nostril. ... The entire stage and surrounding area was built so that the director could shoot a 'real' show, with many thousands walking from Budapest to fill a large portion of the valley, and with Nazareth as the headline band.
The Bear's demise came upon the electrified lighting panels of the Eagle's wings as a firework display, through which the bear had just rampaged, exploded all around. Fabulous fun! ... But the producers went ran out of funding following shooting and the movie never saw the light of day - With a story-line like this it might have been a good thing, but it was fun to build!