Zabriskie Point Explosion Scene

Nina Moog

Dear CML,

I've been asked by a director to recreate something similar in feeling to the explosion scene towards the end of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970.) Of particular interest are not the explosions themselves, but the shots following where debris is flying into the sky to the sound of Pink Floyd. 

Any advice on how to shoot this with a (very) limited budget, or ideas for similar scenes to reference/watch would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much, 


Nina Moog
DoP/ Germany 

Scott Dorsey

It's been probably forty years since I have seen Zabriskie Point but I
still remember the end.

Watch the film with the sound turned off, and watch each shot one after the
other. I suspect you will find one big explosion shot and then a lot of
individual closer shots of debris. It's not hard to get those close-ups because
you can have debris fairly close to the camera and rely on foreshortening.

Try just focussing at 4 feet or so, stop down, point the camera upward and
throw some dirt in the air. Overcrank a little bit too... not too much.
Get a sense of what you can get away with. Later on you'll need to be
tossing some larger stuff higher with a longer lens, but get a sense of what
it looks like.

Oh, and don't forget a daylight filter on the lens to protect it from falling

Scott Dorsey
Kludge Audio
Williamsburg, VA.