Features, Mini-Series and TV

We have credits spanning over 35 years on more than 150 Features, TV Series and Mini-Series, and over 2,000 TVCs.

“Dance Academy – The Comeback” – Feature

“The Alan Bond Story” – Telefeature

“Indigo Lake” – Feature

“UnIndian” – Feature

“Home & Away” – TV – many and various effects from 2005 – 2016

“Populate” – Mada Productions – design and construct stage illusion

“Woolcorp” – Burning Bedroom – Producer / SFX Supervisor

“The Wolverine” – Feature – Snow and Rain (Snow Unit)

“Australia” – Bazmark – Feature – (extra unit)

“Eye of the Storm” – Feature

“Me & My Monsters” – Series

“Cops LAC” – Series

“Underbelly – The Golden Mile” – Series

“False Witness” – Screentime – Mini-Series

“Cedar Boys” – Feature

“Rogue Nation” – Docudrama

“The Square” – Igloo Films – Feature

“Hobby Farm” – Hero films – Feature

“The Eternity Man” – Eternity Man Productions – Feature

“Disgrace” – Disgrace Productions – Feature

“Emerald Falls” – ABC – Telemovie

“The Chaser” – ABC TV

“Jindabyne” – April Films – Feature

“Can I Call You” – Multivision 435 – Short Film

“Matchbox” – AFTRS – Short film

“Lucky” – Bluetongue Films – Tropfest Short (runner up)

“The Alice”- West Street Productions – Telemovie

“Fuel” – Bluetongue Films – Short Film

**Best Achievement in Special Effects – 2004 St Kilda Film Festival**

“Small Claims”- Telemovie

“Blackjack 1 & 2” – Telemovie

“The Lieutenant of Inishmore” – Belvoir St Theatre

“Threepenny Opera” – Belvoir St Theatre

“Go Big” – Telemovie

“Newton” – Warner Bros. TV pilot

“Motorola” Mobile Phones – TVC (US/UK)

“White Collar Blue” – TV

“Svetlana in Slingbacks” – Belvoir Street Theatre

“Japanese Story” – Feature

“The Rage in Placid Lake” – Feature

“ABC Corporate IDs 2002” – Fire& Ice

“White Collar Blue” – Pilot

“Survivor – Australia” – Reality TV

Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremony – Lawnmower Man Segment

“Do or Die” – Mini Series (Aus/UK)

“Blabbermouths” – MOW (US)

“Risk” – Feature

“He Died with a Felafel in his Hand” – Feature

“Bootmen” – Feature

“Mr Accident” – Feature


SFX Manager

“Asian Games 2006 Opening Ceremony” – Live TV Sport


Special Effects Key / Senior Technician

“Superman Returns” – (US) – Feature

“Farscape” – (US) – Mini Series & TV Series

“Stealth” – (US) – Feature

“The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions” – (US) – Features

“Darkness Falls” – (US) – Feature

“The Quiet American” (US) – Feature

“Farscape” – (US) Series

“Frank’s Dream” – Short Film, Mystery Clock

“Monkey Mask” – Feature


SFX Facilities Provider

Fury Road (pre-production) – Feature

It’s Complicated – Feature (US)

Australia – Feature

Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader



Exploding food

Few things are more fun than blasting food all over a set and the talent therein.  It’s even more fun when the Art Department do the cleanup!

We create all in camera special effects for Film and TV, and do events and theatre too.

We have over 20 years experience, a wide range of SFX equipment, a well equipped workshop and a range of on set gear and vehicles.

Our experienced technicians have worked on projects of all sizes from the smallest TVC to major motion pictures.

We have the experience and knowledge to handle every aspect of your project, from script analysis, planning, scheduling and budgeting through the shoot and beyond.

Call us when next you need quality in camera special effects.

exploding food

Fire on set

Fire on set

DTFX can create fire effects on any scale for your project.  We use a wide range of products and processes to safely create the look you need.

Whether it’s a simple kitchen fire or a burning building, we can give you the result safely, on time and on budget.

We’ve done every type of fire from campfires to burning houses.

We can create a fire outdoors, indoors on location, in the studio – anywhere you need it.  We’ve set fire to real houses (and left them unscathed), cars, warehouses and studio sets, as well as created them in a wide variety of locations.

With proper preparation you can have a fire just about anywhere.

We have the experience you need to safely have a great fire shoot.

Call us when next you need fire on set.

Fire on set

Fire special effects

Fire & Explosions

At DTFX we blow stuff up and set things on fire, safely and looking great to camera.

We manage every aspect of the process from script analysis to design, shot planning, scheduling, budgeting, and on set operation.

Our main criteria are getting the look you need safely and efficiently.

We create explosions of every size, from small scale exploding appliances like TVs and computers through to electrical boards, gas bottles, cars, sheds, and buildings.

We make fires of all sizes from campfires through to burning buildings.

We have experience with fire on location and in studios and locations, and have even created fires on and in existing buildings – all without unintended damage.

We use a wide range of proven products and processes to create  great looking fires safely, repeatably and reliably.

We’re fully licensed and insured, and have years of experience creating great looking explosions and fires for Film and TV.


Call us next time it needs to explode or catch fire.




The Snow Report by DTFX



Snow is a useful tool for any film maker. Snow can be achieved in most environments given adequte planning and preparation.

A variety of products and techniques are usually required to create a realistic snow scene.

There are also a number of production issues that need consideration.

This report is designed to give you the basic information needed to have a successful snow shoot.

Used in combination with CG, snow effects are limited only by your imagination

Please contact DTFX for advice about the combination of snow products and techniques that best suits your job.

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BMW. Foreground dressing with CG background

Snow Products

The right product for the job depends on how close to camera it will be, and what it needs to do. There are products suitable for dressing, and others that work well for falling snow.

In general terms, the further away from camera, the less refined the product needs to be. For example, for background areas, snow blanket might suffice. Closer in it will need to be top dressed with paper, salt, polymer or starch.

Some of the products we use include:

  • Snow blanket – a heavy geotextile used as a base layer for dressing, usually with a top dressing layer of paper or salt closer to camera.
  • Starch and foam – primarily used as falling snow, but also good for dressing in some circumstances.
  • Paper – a top dressing layer with good texture and look. Available in biodegradeable for outdoor use, and fire retarded for indoor use. Applied with a custom built blower system that wets the paper on application, giving it good adhesion. It can be used to dress trees or vehicles, for ground cover, or areas reasonably close to camera.
  • Salt – for dressing roads and beaches, but not for use on soil, nature strips or gardens.
  • Polymer snow – good for close ups, it has a “wet” look and leaves a good imprint when walked on, but can be slippery.


Paper snow being used to dress a tree using the custom snow blower system


Snow scenes usually require a combination of techniques to achieve a realistic look.


Generally we’ll need to lay down a base snow blanket, then dress over the top with the appropriate combination of products to suit your location. This would typically be a heavyweight geotex snow blanket topped with paper or salt.

Indoors we might use paper or salt over the geotex. If a deep snow look is required, say on a roof or for deep tracks, we might need to build a framework to give the illusion of depth, then dress a thin layer on top to save time and money.

 Falling snow

Falling snow can be achieved with foam snow blowers, or starch snow and a venturi system. Both have benefits and drawbacks. Foam is easy to use and self-cleaning, but sometimes looks a little lightweight in still air, particularly close to camera. Starch snow, a food grade product which floats very convincingly, doesn’t “melt” when in contact with actors, but is expensive and can be sticky when wet and difficult to clean up.

And for deep background, CG is a very effective augmentation to realistic physical effects.

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Paper snow dressing – Winter in summer for Canon cameras


Snow is messy and generally requires an extensive cleanup. Careful planning can help reduce that through the use of the right product for your location, but you should plan for cleanup time in your schedule.

Our Service

DTFX can help you plan your snow shoot for maximum efficiency and lowest cost while providing you with a great looking scene. We know the products and techniques, and we’ve created snow scenes for major clients including BMW, Samsung and Canon, and on films like The Wolverine.


Call us when next you need great looking snow at the right price.



David Trethewey

SFX Supervisor

0418 669 873




Snow dressing in progress for The Wolverine



Backlight, Background & Coverage

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Rain effect Sydney

The DTFX oscillating rain head system in action


Rain is a useful tool in the filmmaker’s kit. With a little planning you can get a fantastic result for a modest outlay. This report outlines the things you need to have a great rain shoot. Topics covered include:

> Lighting
> How to Cheat Rain
> Storms
> Types of Rain Systems 
> The Oscillating Rain Head System
> Locations and Location Recces
> Interior Rain
> God
> Background Wetdowns
> Production Issues – things to consider 
> DTFX Rain Machines & Gear
> Prices

Generally a rain system will need to be tailored to your shoot, so feel free to call us with any questions you might have.

Wide Shots
Lighting Backlight, Dark Backgrounds & Coverage
Like most things filmic, lighting is crucial to capture a good rain effect.

Rain is best shot in two ways –

1. Falling Rain – backlit against a dark background works best.

2. Rain on Hard Surfaces – If for some reason you can’t backlight (e.g. sun in the wrong place, no room for a light) then the next best thing is to see the rain hitting hard surfaces. This means you see the rain bouncing off roads, umbrellas, and car roofs etc.

For this to be successful you must have full coverage over the area you’re seeing.

You must backlight falling rain. Front lit or side lit rain doesn’t read well on film. (sometimes you can’t even see front lit rain with the naked eye)

The Best Rain you can get

The best result you could hope for is to have backlit rain at night falling full coverage on hard surfaces. This looks amazing!

How to Cheat Rain
Narrow Patterns in front of camera
If you are not seeing the ground or any hard surfaces, you may only need a narrow pattern falling in front of camera and onto actors (if any) to give the impression of rain. This can be especially useful if you have location issues such as power lines or budget issues. It is quite common to do this if you’re shooting through a window and not seeing hard surfaces.

For a great storm effect, just add wind (and maybe a little smoke) (and perhaps some leaves and/or tree branches or a car or two flying through shot…)

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Storm for Allianz insurance- wind, rain and flying debris


Types of Rain Systems

Rain Heads and Nozzles:
There are a wide range of specialty rain heads and nozzles available, each of which does a different job. There’s broad, flat pattern nozzles, circular nozzles, square pattern nozzles, pin point nozzles, even nozzles that create a hole in the middle to keep cast dry –  there are thousand of types available, but we probably have all the ones that work for film.

Rain Stands
These are 6 metre high stands with one or more of our specialist rain heads attached. Typically the heads will throw a broad but not very deep pattern. Rain stands are very useful for pathways, for under trees, and locations where a crane or boom lift can’t be used, such as in a park or where there are overhead obstructions like awnings or power lines. They can also provide useful infill or over-camera coverage.

Straddle Bars
This is a “goal post” arrangement over the top of shot, using a variety of rain heads to achieve the best look. The stands can be cheated right to the edge of shot, so they can reach quite deep into the background if using longer lenses.

Overhead Rain – Cranes and Boom Lifts
A crane or boom lift allows you to get a rain head over a wider shot. In general terms, to successfully use overhead rain you need to position the crane where it can get the rain head centred in shot. You get a larger coverage area with less effort and less reset time by using an overhead rain system.

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Boom lift rain – 20 x 15 metre full pattern coverage


The Oscillating Rain Head System
There are a number of types of crane-flown overhead rain heads available, but the by far the best we’ve seen is the new Oscillating Rain Head.

The old style spinning head which many companies still use is actually a fire-fighting tool called a cellar nozzle. It is designed to dump a lot of water very quickly into a burning warehouse. It leaves a big rain-free hole in the middle of shot – which is usually where the focus of the shot is.

The Oscillating Head was originally used for dust suppression in mining where full pattern coverage and low water consumption are important issues. It gives even coverage over the area at low water usage rates.

The Oscillating Head uses about 1/7th the water of a spinning head and gives wider coverage. (54 l/min v 353 l/min & 15 sqm v 10 sqm {40mm})

Lower water usage is good for the environment and requires less pumping power, which reduces costs.

The DTFX Rain Head rig, in standard format, provides coverage starting at 20 x 15 metres from a Cherry Picker or Crane, or larger custom sizes and shapes using lighting truss hanging from a crane. The system can be expanded to cover any size you need, location and budget permitting.  We can also create shapes that will provide rain in T intersections and crossroads for instance.

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Crane rain on location – Home and Away


Location Recces
A location recce is vital to work out the best way to get the shots you need.

A recce allows us to plan:

• the area that needs covering for each shot that makes up the sequence
• whether a crane flown, straddle bar, rain stands or combination system is best
• what hazards like power lines need avoiding
• where to park the crane and tanker
• where the water is coming from and whether we need a back up tanker
• what the drainage is like
• whether we need to protect the location from foot traffic or vehicle damage
• how much background needs to be wetdown
• which pumping options we employ

From this information we can accurately price your job. If money becomes an issue, we can help you work out how to shoot the scene to make the rain price fit the budget.


Interior Rain
It is perfectly possible to have it raining indoors, or to achieve a fire sprinkler, broken pipe or other water effect.

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Interior rain for Opera Australia


Sometimes it is as simple as a “rain outside a window” effect, which can be easily achieved, sometimes a little more depth is required, sometimes you might need the whole studio deluged.

With a little planning it is possible to have the convenience and efficiency of a studio shoot and rain as well. Call us to discuss.

As with many Special Effects, God wins most arguments. Things that can upset the best-planned rain job include wind, or the sun coming from an unfriendly direction.

Oddly, real rain is generally not helpful because it’s rarely consistent over a shoot day or days. Sometimes real rain is hard to match, so it’s best to run the rain machine even if the real stuff is coming down.

Background Wetdown
A background wetdown is usually required to make roads, paths, trees and cars etc look like they are being rained on when in fact they aren’t.

DTFX carry a full range of wetdown hoses in both 20mm (fire hose) and 40mm (fire fighter) which reach over 100 metres from the tanker.  We can also arrange to get an additional wetdown tanker to give coverage over bigger areas.


Production Issues
Rain presents particular challenges for the Production Department, but a little planning will ensure a smooth shoot.

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Rain stands – Justice Crew music video


Where cast will be working in rain, you need to make provision for their wellbeing. This is particularly important in winter when hypothermia becomes a real danger.

The best first option is to keep cast dry on the inside.

  • If they are wearing wet weather gear as part of their wardrobe, then most of the work is done.
  • If the cast can’t wear wet weather gear for any reason such as script requirements, then you can still help keep their skin dry and reduce the health risks.
  • A lightweight plastic poncho or raincoat worn under a bulkier costume could work well. The Wardrobe department might be able to re-cut plasticwear to suit the costume, or even sew a plastic layer to the inside of a costume if they are making it from scratch.
  • If cast are wearing lightweight summer clothes, a wetsuit might be worn under the costume, or a waterproof under-layer which can reduce water contact with the skin.
  • In winter a wetsuit under the costume will also help keep cast warm.
  • Light coloured clothes often go transparent when wet, so a flesh coloured wetsuit is a good option.
  • if the actor starts a shot with dry clothes, then you need sufficient costume changes to allow each set to dry between takes (and you’ll need a dryer!)
  • You need sufficient towels to dry the cast off (these will need drying too)
  • A Hot Room will help to bring cast’s ambient temperature back to normal (this can be as simple as a pop-up canopy with full side flaps and a heater inside)
  • A hot shower is a useful way of restoring body heat.
  • A nurse or medical officer to monitor cast wellbeing should be part of your plan.

Hot Rain
DTFX can provide heated water to reduce the chilling effect of cold rain. This requires careful planning of water consumption and would typically need additional tankers and pool heaters, and sufficient time to heat the water. Please call to discuss.

Crew should bring full wet weather gear including gumboots. Camera crew in particular often get soaked. A scarf or tea towel around the neck will help stop water getting inside the wet weather gear. A change of clothes may also be a good idea.

Film Gear
The DOP will need to place some lights in or near the rain. Hog wire does a good job of protecting lights. The Gaffer will also take the normal precautions with power and cabling such as plastic wrapping the cable joins and keeping cables out of gutters and water courses. Other gear such as dolly and tracks, set dressing and vehicles that might need to be in the rain may also need to be protected from water. Crew should bring sufficient towels or cloth to dry the set dressing or gear between takes if required.

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Rain stands for Eternity Man


As well as plastic rain covers for the camera and lenses, you may wish to consider a rain deflector to keep the lens clear if the camera will be in the rain.

You should consider the effect of rain on your location.

• Is there sufficient drainage?
• Will pools and puddles develop?
• Will the ground get soaked and bog vehicles like the crane, tanker, grip and lighting trucks?
• Will the garden get soaked and damaged from lighting stands and dolly tracks and crew walking through?
• Can you lay boards to lessen damage, or keep crew out of certain areas?
• Can you safely lay plastic down to keep areas dry?

The location recce will help answer these questions.

DTFX Rain Machines
DTFX offers the following configurations of rain gear. Custom water and rain effects can be developed or larger areas accommodated.

We bring all our standard gear to every job, so if things change on shoot day, we can usually cover the changes.

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Rain stands for Canon Cameras Korea – 10 x 10 metre coverage


Rain Stands 
Up to 6 rain stands. Useful amongst trees or where a crane or boom lift can’t go.

Straddle bars
A goal post 6 metres across which allows over camera coverage. This is often used in conjunction with rain stands.

Boom Lift Rain
Gives 20 x 15metre full pattern coverage. Suitable for level locations. This is the most economical overhead system.

Crane Rain
Our unique crane-flown Oscillating Rain Head System gives standard coverage starting at 20 x 15 metres, and can be expanded to suit your needs. Good for general use and for off road and sloping locations.

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Crane Rain in a forest – 50 x 15 metre coverage


Tracking Rain
It is possible to track rain with vehicles with appropriate planning.

Car Roof Top Rain Rig
Gives effective rain on a moving vehicle from a roof mounted rig. Suitable for interior shots.

DTFX Tanker
DTFX operates a 2000 litre tanker mounted on an Isuzu NPR300. It’s small, easily manoeuvrable and doesn’t attract unwanted attention in a water conscious world.

The tanker takes up 7 metres of roadway and needs to be parked near the crane.

At lowest output (one Oscillating Head) the tanker will run for up to 40 minutes before refill.

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DTFX rain tanker and standard gear


Tanker Refill
Most metro streets have hydrant points every 50 metres. If we have a hydrant on the same side as the location we can often just plug in and refill as we go.

If there’s no hydrant point close by, we need either to go to it, or to have a feeder tanker bring the water to the pump tanker. The tanker refills in around 7 minutes – plus travel time to the nearest hydrant point if required.  In rural places or where there is no convenient hydrant point, a feeder tanker often makes sense.

We operate petrol and electric pumps.
The petrol pump is not recommended for use in suburban streets or shooting sound.
The electric pump requires a 3-phase 32amp input. (4kva, 5 pin Wilco, soft start) We usually plug into the Gaffer’s generator. We can arrange for stand-alone power if required.

Of course we have all the current licences and authorities required to make great rain.

Every job is different and the recce is the only way to work out what’s best for your job, and what it will cost.

In simple terms, the wider the shot the more it’ll cost. Tighter shots will require less coverage, so less gear, people and money

There are price guidelines to assist with pre-recce budgeting, so call for more info. DTFX includes the cost of a half-day recce in all rain prices.

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DTFX can create explosions for all occasions.  From an exploding TV to giant fireballs, we have the experience to make it happen, safely and effectively.

We’ve blown up everything from computers and Tvs to cars to buildings.

With the right planning and choice of products you can safely have an explosion in a huge range of environments.

We’ve even done large scale fireballs indoors.

Call us to discuss how to get a great looking bang for your buck on your next production.