Artem Case Studies
Hummingbird A Film by Steven Knight
Artem provided the special effects for the British thriller Hummingbird, starring Jason Statham (Crank, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Vicky McClure (Broadchurch, This is England). The film was written and directed by Steven Knight who wrote Dirty Pretty Things and Eastern Promises.
Artem provided a full range of special effects: from blood rigs to fire effects, pyrotechnics, bullet hits and explosions – even a steamy shower scene. The film has a strong sense of place as it follows the lead characters around the streets of London, where ex-Special Forces soldier Joey Jones finds himself homeless and on the run from a military court martial. Trapped in London’s criminal underworld and convinced that he’s beyond redemption, he begins to seek out his own form of justice.
The film was shot over six weeks of mainly night shoots in a variety of locations across Central London – Soho, Covent Garden and Chinatown - which occasionally presented challenges when shooting scenes alongside the crowds of revellers and tourists. But between production and the Artem crew, everything was kept under careful control, even when shooting violent scenes.
Mike Kelt, Artem’s supervisor on the film, commented. “Working with Steven Knight on ‘Hummingbird’ was a great experience. He knew exactly what he wanted and we got to put all of our expertise into practice while having great fun doing it – especially in the more explosive scenes!”
One scene, repeated through the film as a flashback, involved 6 stuntmen in a confined armoured vehicle being sprayed with gunfire, which took careful planning and preparation, but was thankfully achieved in one take. Other more mundane requirements included providing a seriously hot shower to run on demand and steam up the set for real, and controlled condensation to form on the bathroom mirror. While doing the exterior night shoots, a couple of steaming ventilation units (using smoke specially developed for the purpose), were hung randomly on walls to add atmosphere as required.
- Pyrotechnics & Fire