When Yellowstone blows, it will be the end of the Western Hemisphere as we know it. VFX company Lola made it happen.

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Get this for a disaster scenario: A volcano with the force of 10,000 Mount St Helens erupts throwing millions of tonnes of ash into the air, blocking out the sun. Over 2,500 miles away ash a foot thick coats the ground. Global temperatures plummet by 21 degrees, rain is poisoned, humans are pushed to the edge of extinction, three-quarters of all the plants in the northern hemisphere are killed. Science fantasy? No, the results of the last super volcano eruption in Sumatra 75,000 years ago.
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Now consider that Yellowstone National Park in the USA is itself a super volcano just waiting to blow. The whole of Yellowstone is a crater on top of a magma field 85km long by 45km wide. Since 1923 the average surface height of Yellowstone has risen by 73cm, indicating a massive swelling beneath. 
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Geology tells us that the Yellowstone super volcano erupts every 600,000 years or so. The last time it blew was 640,000 years ago. When she goes, Yellowstone National Park, bison and all, will be blown 50km into the atmosphere. Within minutes, tens of thousands of people will be dead. 
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Enter the BBC and post production company Lola. Together, they created the two-part Supervolcano, a docudrama on the day Yellowstone blows.
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Visual effects supervisor at Lola, Grahame Andrew, explains: “Nobody has ever seen a super-eruption happen ... the first thing to get right is to understand the dynamics of a supervolcanic eruption – how it would unfold, what it would look like. The other major challenge is the scale.”
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Lola was established in November 2000 by Flame compositor Rob Harvey and Andrew, a 3D animator. Both Harvey and Andrew were heads of department at Cell Animation, before joining Mill Film as founding directors. 
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Harvey won an Oscar in 2001 for his VFX work on Gladiator. Andrew was nominated for a BAFTA and was on the Oscar long-list for his work on Babe II. Before that he won two Silver Pencils for his advertising work on Guinness Chain, as well as numerous other awards during his 15 years in the industry. 
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Andrew says Lola was approached by the BBC for Supervolcano. “The producer, Ailsa Orr, worked with us previously on Pompeii – The Last Day, and was keen to work with us again.” Andrew explains: “Because we’d worked together before, the production team realized <BR>
it would be a good idea to get us involved in pre-production.”
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Lola did various pre-visualization tests ahead of the shoot to decide the look of Virgil, the computer generated holographic volcano monitoring device that the authorities use when responding to the disaster.
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“Audiences are very sophisticated these days,” says Andrew, “and we wanted to make sure that the volcanic explosions were absolutely believable. To this end we suggested commissioning a cloud-tank shoot specifically for the various volcanic column shots, and comping the results, rather than achieving these in CGI. 
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“This gives a very natural organic feel to the results. Where necessary we enhanced the elements adding CGI particles to achieve believable blending.”
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<h2>Pirate TV</h2>
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GEOLOGY TELLS US YELLOWSTONE SUPER VOLCANO ERUPTS EVERY 600,000 YEARS. THE LAST TIME IT BLEW WAS 640,000 YEARS AGO
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