DIARY: The burning issue of moths a la flambe

It was just an everyday press release about a common or garden special effects industry award until, that is, one reached the second paragraph.

It was just an everyday press release about a common or garden special

effects industry award until, that is, one reached the second paragraph.



It is there Artem Visual Effects explains exactly how it created a film

scene of a moth flirting with a candle flame before becoming engulfed in

fire.



‘The effects were achieved by using a number of specially bred Brazilian

combustible moths,’ it says.



‘This timid creature of the mighty rain forest explodes when its body

temperature gets three degrees above normal. An intensive breeding

programme produced a moth that would do so at only one degree above the

norm.’



Before passing the release to the League Against Cruel Sports I phoned

John Spring, Artem’s sales and marketing manager. He assures me that the

company used model moths rather than ones of the combustible Brazilian

variety.



‘I wanted to do something different,’ Spring explains, ‘and to get

people reading.’ Mission accomplished.



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