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Filming a Realistic Accident

Mark Pirro November 14, 2016

Car crash Pirromount's Celluloid Soul with Dennis Kinard and Azize Erim

Creating a car accident scene is never easy, especially creating that car accident without spending any money, destroying or even scratching a car.  We recently took on that challenge as we arrived at the final shooting day of principal photography for our upcoming movie, Celluloid Soul.  For convenience, we decided to use my car, a 2011 red Honda CRZ, which is pretty much in the same shape it was on the day I bought it.

Car used in Pirromount's Celluloid Soul

This is the car we worked with. Not a scratch on it.

First, we went to A-Victory Auto Glass, an auto glass repair shop in Burbank, California and asked the owner Al Ramirez if we could buy a broken windshield.  The wonderful Mr. Ramirez gave us two.  Key word here being “GAVE.”  I explained to him that we were doing this small film and didn’t have much of a budget, and where many would have heard a ‘kaching’ when the word ‘movie’ was in play, this great man said, ‘Just take them.  I was going to throw them out anyway.’  THAT’s what I love about the support we indie filmmakers can sometimes get.  Needless to say, Mr. Ramirez has earned a great seat in the Pirromount love network.  Once we got the windshields, we gently placed one over the actual windshild, and the results were astonishing.  To the naked eye, it looked like the windshield was smashed.

Azize Erim in Pirromount's Celluloid Soul

Actress Azize Erim filmed through shattered glass in Pirromount’s Celluloid Soul


As usual, our great crew of Director of Photography Bruce Heinsius, 2nd Unit Director Craig Bassuk and Associate Producer John Ahern kept things running just as smoothly as possible.  This car accident opens the movie, and so far, we have shot five evenings to film the elements we need for this scene which will run under three minutes in the finished movie.  Thanks to a wonderful crew (many of whom have been associated with Pirromount for almost 35 years) the shoot could not have gone better.  Everyone knew their jobs and executed them well.  I am always in their debt.


Celluloid soul

Azize Erim suffers from an accident in Celluloid Soul

Celluloid Soul - Pirromount crew at work

Celluloid Soul from Pirromount

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Mark Pirro is the Owner of Pirromount Studios.