"I really love my job", claimed Danny Hargreaves (above), the founder and MD of Real SFX, as he fired what appeared to be lazer gun at some lurking Daleks at the back of the company's premises in Cardiff. On the evening of the 29th February, RTS Members were given some very impressive demonstrations of how to create realistic special effects for TV and film covering a wide range of situations.
Originally from London, Danny moved to Wales in the 90s, and founded Real SFX to service the growing drama based production market in south Wales. Since then, the company has expanded, with bases in Manchester and Glasgow as well as Cardiff. In recent years the company has picked up a host of awards, including a Primetime Emmy and two RTS Craft and Design Award nominations for the BBC’s 50th anniversary special, Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor.
Danny emphasised that, with all real effects, the aim is to ensure safety and control as well as realism. For example, a car was set alight in the yard outside, but in reality the fire could be turned on or off instantly. In another demonstration, two volunteers from the audience smashed pint glasses made of harmless sugar glass over their heads. Danny pointed out that great care is taken on set, "actors are like children, they're very precious. If an actor has to fall onto the floor, you make sure it's soft - you can't afford to lose a day's filming due to injury."