Deadly Pool Storm

Let's have a look at how Director Ridley Scott filmed the dramatic parts of his sea 
adventure 'White Squall' in the famous horizon water tank of the Mediterranean Film 
Studios on Malta.

'White Squall' in the Malta pool.
A full-size aft section of the 'Albatross' brigantine with a shortened mast was mounted on 
a pivot rig (steel framework) with the possibility to rotate the whole fifty tons thing for 
up to 95 degrees.
The mockup 'Albatross' section was 75 feet long with a width of 25 feet.
All in great detail, since scenes with the actors were filmed on it.
The full-scale set was built by Stephen Cullane, Brian Morrison and Maltese 
production designer Les Tompkins and 'MFS' construction coordinator Michael Redding and 
their crews. 
For sure a few actors got a queasy feeling when they visited the set for the first time.
The 'Albatross' was surrounded by scary storm-making equipment.

All hell breaks loose - a fatal freak storm in the Malta pool.
Tons of water are released from tip-tanks mounted on towers. 
Three wave machines generated pounding ocean swells.
With a sharp eye you might see the numbers on the right, 1,2,3. 
Wind machines, powered by aircraft engines, ensure a hurricane.
Technicians used fire hoses to simulate spray and heavy rain.
Some smoke effects are created for an additional eerie atmosphere.
The sloop rolls and wobbles ... and the fearless performers standing right in the 
middle of all this!
All the physical effects are done live in-camera, by Special Effects Supervisor Joss Williams 
and his crew (Kevin Draycott,...). 
A few smaller, but still full-scale, interior set pieces were built for scenes involving 
crew members trapped below deck as the freak storm hits the 'Albatross'.
A miniature (1/4) of the Albatross was built for some full-length exterior views of the
ship in trouble (the 95 degrees shot). 
Another miniature was built, a relatively small model of eight foot, for underwater shots 
with the 'Albatross' floating keel upwards (180 degrees).
You must be able to swim ... everyone had included in the contract.
What a magnificent man-made storm!
The 'Albatross' tips over. 
The full-size section is rotated by 95 degrees.
A tractor is connected via a cable to the pivot rig and pulls the section to the 
desired position.
95 degrees. The disastrous storm has the Albatross thrown to the side.
Skipper Sheldon (Jeff Bridges) and his boys are struggling to survive.
Wave machine no.2 is on Full Steam Ahead. 
Additional giant waves rushing out of the tip-tanks.
In the wave pool. The 'Albatross' goes down.
Survivors of a disaster - Apparently filmed in the Malta pool.
The spray mist in the background should probably hide the edge of the pool.
For further informations about the SP/FX in White Squall I recommend 
Cinefex No.66.
'White Squall' - Filming on the 'Albatross'.
The Brig 'Eye of the Wind' was cast to play the Brigantine 'Albatross'.
She had quite some experience in the movie business. 
You can see her in 'Blue Lagoon' (1980), the swashbuckler 'Nate and Hayes' (1983) 
and she had a double role in 'Tai-Pan' (1986 - Kit West SP/FX Supervisor) as 
'Morning Cloud' with white sails and as the "White Witch'" with brown sails, 
which she uses to this day.
Over 100 years old, but she is still very active on the seven seas.
Check out her website here: 'Eye of the Wind'
For further informations about the water tanks on Malta, click here: 'MFS'