‘Cliffhanger’ shoots hot scene

A scene from “Cliffhanger” went up in smoke on Tuesday, and it wasn’t planned.

A fire broke out at Boss Films in Venice during a late afternoon special effects sequence for Renny Harlin’s “Cliffhanger,” damaging an estimated $ 700, 000 in property, including a camera on the shoot.

No production delay, however, is expected.

A scene where a model helicopter was to crash into a mock cliff and burst into flames went as scheduled until the final seconds. The explosive charge set the cliff’s foam exterior on fire, sending a cloud of smoke skyward. As it hit the cliff’s base, said Alan Fetzer, Boss’ chief operating officer, the explosion should have occurred.

It went off as planned, he added, “and when the smoke cleared, we had a fire.”

According to the L.A. fire department, the blaze, which lasted just 15 minutes, was a “greater alarm fire.” Six engine companies and 30 firefighters were called to Boss’ second facility on Glencoe, where the scene was shot. The set, which included a 10-person crew and fire marshal, was evacuated. The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fetzer said it was still being decided how to complete the sequence, which was the last in a monthlong schedule of effects for “Cliffhanger.” Boss, which is headed by Richard Edlund, is doing the bulk of special effects for the Carolco film.


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