From TAMI: Watch Chuck Norris Blow Up A Neighborhood
There’s an amazing organization that is nestled in a not-so-quiet corner of Downtown Austin where day after day the moving image heritage of our state is recorded and preserved. It’s called the Texas Archive Of The Moving Image. You may have seen their work on screen at the AFS Cinema, the Alamo Drafthouse and elsewhere. Perhaps you have also spent hours perusing their site in search of treasures. We certainly have.
Some of the material that TAMI has preserved on their site is raw, unedited footage, sometimes donated by producers or camera people who have had the reels or tapes sitting around in their storage closets for decades. That would appear to be the case with the Jim Ruddy collection. Lots of raw video here, from Blue Öyster Cult to Shirley MacLaine and all points in between.
Probably the center point between those two would be this raw behind-the-scenes footage of the making of an episode of WALKER: TEXAS RANGER where we see the preparation for an absolutely HELLACIOUS double house explosion. A shot like this is hard to do, and you only get one chance, so everyone is on their best behavior, from Chuck Norris, who relates a scary explosion story, to the extras getting “gelled up” to the director, who seems a little on edge, and of course the pyro guys, who look exactly what you would expect 1995-era pyro guys to look like.
After the explosions – which are awesome, by the way, the two houses burn spectacularly, and the leads try to get in some dialogue scenes between coughs and soon the wind changes, sending approximately 4 Guangzhous worth of Gaia-choking black smoke towards the cameras. It’s possibly even more exciting than a mid-’90s WALKER, TEXAS RANGER episode, but you can be the judge, jury, and executioner of that.