Thursday, 4 April 2013

Blog Exclusive! Behind-the-scenes interview at Rovers Return fire

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog February 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)
Matt and his team from Rapid Fire Cover on Coronation Street
Q: Matt, what is Rapid Fire Cover and how did you become involved in filming the Rovers Return fire at Coronation Street?
Rapid Fire Cover is a specialist fire protection company providing fire safety services to the Television, Film and Events industry. We supply professional firefighters, costumes, props, fire appliances and other fire service vehicles. Previously we’ve worked with Emmerdale, Prisoners Wives, DCI Banks, The Syndicate, Bedlam and Silent Witness and have been involved in numerous feature films and adverts.

Q: Are you a fan of Coronation Street and if so, what's it been like to see the Rovers Return burning down?
I am big a fan of Corrie and watching such an iconic landmark burn down in front of us has been quite surreal. To have been involved from the start and to finally get to filming, after all of the planning and such a long exciting wait, has been incredible. We feel very privileged to have worked on such a high profile storyline.

Q: We've seen press pictures on twitter of Corrie's fireman Paul as the Rovers burns down. Did you have to give the actor specific fireman training?
Tony Hirst, who plays Paul, is a great guy and has kept us entertained all week. We have talked through with him in great depth various techniques and procedures that relate to his part within the storyline which have added to his already in depth knowledge through his own research.

Q: What's been the best things about working on Coronation Street
Apart from the dinners?! The cast and crew have been great and very welcoming towards us.

Q: Did you get star struck and meet Corrie cast members you are big fans of?
Having worked on many productions in the past, being star struck is no longer a novelty and you soon realise the cast are ordinary people just the same as us going about their normal working day, although this is definitely not your usual 9-5 job!

Q: As a Corrie fan, who are your favourite characters and some of your favourite storylines from over the years?
My favourite character has to be Norris; I think he makes the show! To be able to meet and work with both the young and senior members of the cast who are legends in their own right, is something some of the fans who have been waiting outside all week in the rain, can only dream of.  Although this maybe is bias, my favourite storyline has to be this one due to the fact I have heard there are some pretty handsome firefighters involved! No, seriously, having watched back what we have filmed already, I can assure you that these episodes are going to be amazing and will surely change a few of the characters’ lives forever.

Q: Is there anything you can tell us about the Rovers Return fire from a technical point of view?
Whilst we understand there is a need to get the desired footage, there cannot be a compromise to anybody’s safety, so we have to ensure all bases are covered. We have had 10 firefighters, 2 fire appliances and 2 support vehicles on standby ensuring the cast and crew’s safety were not jeopardised whilst filming. We use mainly co2 to ensure we do not cause water damage to the sets which can at times also impose its own risks. We have also had breathing apparatus crews on standby for high risk scenes where we may need to have crews inside the burning pub to carry out firefighting or should the worst occur and we have to rescue a cast member.

Q: Ooh, it sounds exciting!  Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Fans can expect an adrenalin filled week of episodes with some spectacular stunt sequences which will keep them on the edge of their seats.  Oh - and I don’t share puddings!

Matt Owens
The Television and Event Fire Safety Specialists

Follow Matt on twitter @rapidfirecover

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