Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
In the scene where we see a group of men on horseback in a desert, production held horses in a secure area. A large steel frame marquee was erected containing 25 stables. The stables were bedded down with sterile wood shavings and the horses had access to fresh water and hay at all times. The camels were held there also. All movement areas were regularly wetted to prevent dust. The marquees were air conditioned and ventilated.
The horses appeared in good condition, they had traveled from Dubai on 01/20/21 the journey taking approx. five horses. The vet on location in attendance throughout and undertakes a health check four times a day. There is a wash down and cool down area with high pressure hoses and a specific rolling area for the horses. The endurance horses are walked out in hand by the grooms before and after exercise.
Prior to shooting the various scenes with the horses in the desert, all horses and camels were ridden by registered and experienced film stunt riders. The route to set was carefully controlled so that only the horses and camels traveled up the sand dunes to the set and all service vehicles were held until the animals were safely on set.
I walked the film pathway prior to filming and all obstacles and dangers were removed.
There was a full cast and crew safety meeting prior to filming and safety working with horses was discussed.
In the scene where the actor leans on a horse on a sand dune while other men on horseback ride past him, there was a company mini move into the sand dunes where a sand dune had been selected for the horse to lie down. Prior to shooting the scene, the horse master led the hero horse to the chosen sand dune area which was just below a ridge in the sand. He gently asked the horse to lie down using the nearside rein shortened towards the saddle and he triggered the lie down using the white schooling whip, tapping it gently on the horse’s forelegs. The horse laid down at his side stroking his neck.
In the scene where the men on horseback chase the actor who’s also riding a horse and shoot at him, all weapons carried were rubber. All horses and camels were ridden by registered and experienced film stunt riders. The route to set was carefully controlled so that only the horses and camels traveled up the sand dunes to the set and all service vehicles were held until the animals were safely on set.
All tracking vehicles worked on separate film pathways and worked at pre-approved distances and speeds. The tracking insert vehicles were driven by experienced stunt drivers experienced with working with horses. There was full radio contact between the insert vehicles, myself, the horse master, the stunt master and the riders. There was ample emergency peel out areas for the insert vehicles and a good chain of command was established. All horses and camels were acclimatized to working with tracking vehicles. Water for the horses and riders was transported to all sets. The veterinarian was on set at all times.
In the same horse sequence, we see a windstorm which was created through fans, safe vfx, and CGI. The horses wore a variety of face masks with googles for sand and powder protection and ear protection, either covers or PomPoms. During filming, the horses were held just off set to acclimatize them to the sand storm effects. The horses would not be riding into the actual sand storm but they would need to be ridden to the start of the storm and the noise of the effects was extremely loud. All the horses had their ear PomPoms or ear guards in place and wore sand protecting googles that they had been wearing throughout. The jet engine would be used to create the sand storm and three V8 wind fans would be positioned throughout the set to distribute additional sand and Bentonite. The jet and wind fans were started and the horses were lead onto the set, all the horses remained calm amongst the noise and the sand storm did not distribute sand where they would be traveling. American Humane approved the type of VFX and noise levels.