One set sank and others floated away

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From Jaws to Titanic, many water-based movies have proved to be huge hits – but shooting conditions also present significant problems for filmmakers during production. The production of Waterworld was beset with such on-set difficulties, mainly due to what has become known in insurance terms as ‘acts of God’.

Waterworld was shot in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii, in a specially-built artificial enclosure. Situated far off-land, the enclosure was still vulnerable to the elements. Treacherous weather caused one expensive set to sink completely, whilst high winds caused others to float away from their original location.

Kevin Costner nearly died filming the scene where he’s tied to the trimaran

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Kevin Costner was at the height of his action hero fame when Waterworld came along. Always keen to do his own stunts, on Waterworld Costner found himself at greater risk than ever before, with one scene requiring Costner’s unnamed Mariner to be tied to the mast of his trimaran boat.

While shooting the scene, a sudden localised storm whipped up whilst Costner was bound, meaning the actor’s life was briefly at genuine risk – not just from the ocean below, but from the helicopter shooting him a mere 20 feet overhead. Thankfully, Costner also had stunt doubles, including pro-surfer Laird Hamilton.

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