Discovery – 3BM – Director Clive Maltby
– Location Riga Latvia & the Baltic
A two week shoot incorporating many elaborate sets in an enormous ex KGB propaganda studio in Latvia.
Their were many sets built; one of which was tanked for a rain machine, this set incorporated a 40ft x 20ft chrome key screen; the set depicted the capsized hull of the Estonia, using smoke and wind machines we created the horror of that moment showing escaping and trapped passengers. Another set had hoists attached for tilting the stage 45 degrees and more to suggest a capsizing ship.
We had stunning CGI with 20ft x 20ft green screen as the norm. We also filmed away from the studio on an icebreaker ship, swimming pools and for the poor actors in the Baltic
On 27 September 1994, the car ferry Estonia departed from the Estonian capital of Tallin at 19.00 with 989 people on board heading for Stockholm. She never arrived. Six hours into the stormy crossing, the 15,000-ton ship sent out a desperate Mayday call. 28-minutes later, she had sunk to the bottom of the Baltic Sea, claiming the lives of 852 passengers and crew. It was Europe’s worst post-war maritime disaster.
The 150 metre long Estonia left the Estonian capital Tallin and sailed into a raging Baltic Sea. Unlike the other car ferries on the route, the Estonia ran at full speed into waves more than 15 meters tall. Six hours into the voyage, she sank to a depth of more than 75 metres. The first sign of danger was the sound of metal scraping against metal.
The sound was caused by the weakly constructed locks on the bow visor breaking under the strain of the waves. The visor eventually broke off of the ship, uncovering the opening to the car deck behind. Water rushed in and destabilised the ship, starting a catastrophic chain of events that brought the ship down. Without warning, the vessel lurched some 20 degrees to starboard, and would continue to tilt to 90 degrees.
Passengers were in danger of getting crushed under falling equipment. At such an angle, it was all but impossible to move around. Those who were going to survive had already reached the deck. Tragically, by then most of the lifeboats could not be released due to sideways tilt of the ship. Soon, the ferry slipped beneath the waves into a watery grave.