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
‘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
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
‘I wanted to do something different,’ Spring explains, ‘and to get
people reading.’ Mission accomplished.