When Big Things Go Wrong: Exploring History Channel's Fascinating Stories of Film Mishaps and Failures

When Big Things Go Wrong: Exploring History Channel’s Fascinating Stories of Film Mishaps and Failures


Lights, camera, action! The world of filmmaking is a captivating one, filled with glamour, creativity, and inspiring storytelling. However, behind the scenes, there are often unexpected challenges and mishaps that can turn a production into a nightmare. In the History Channel’s series “When Big Things Go Wrong,” viewers get an inside look at some of the most notorious film failures and accidents in history. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of film mishaps and discover the valuable lessons they teach us.

The Curse of Physical Effects

When it comes to creating stunning visuals, filmmakers often rely on physical effects, such as explosions, stunts, and intricate props. However, these fantastic elements can sometimes lead to disastrous consequences. One of the most iconic examples of this is the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers.” During the making of a car chase scene, a car crash resulted in injuries to several crew members and even caused damage to nearby buildings. This incident serves as a reminder of the meticulous planning necessary in executing high-risk scenes.

Technical Glitches that Bring Chaos

While technology has revolutionized the world of filmmaking, it is not immune to glitches and malfunctions. From cameras suddenly breaking down to data loss and corrupted files, these technical issues can bring chaos to a film set. In the History Channel’s series, we get a glimpse into the challenges faced during the production of the 2009 film “Avatar.” Director James Cameron had to deal with multiple technical setbacks, including issues with the motion capture cameras and delayed software development. These stories reveal the importance of having contingency plans and a skilled technical crew.

Location Disasters

Choosing the perfect location can greatly enhance the authenticity of a film. However, it can also introduce unexpected complications. In the case of the 2014 film “The Revenant,” the production team faced numerous challenges while filming in remote locations. Unpredictable weather conditions, including snowstorms and freezing temperatures, caused delays and discomfort for the cast and crew. Despite the hardships, the film ultimately triumphed and won multiple awards. This highlights the resilience and adaptability required in filmmaking.

Human Errors: A Costly Lesson

No matter how experienced and talented the cast and crew may be, mistakes can still happen. Human errors can range from continuity issues to major accidents that result in injury or even death. The 1982 film “Poltergeist” is infamous for the “Poltergeist Curse,” which saw multiple deaths of cast members during and after production. This tragic sequence of events serves as a haunting reminder of the importance of safety protocols and vigilance on set.


Filmmaking is a labor of love that requires meticulous planning, creativity, and adaptability. While film mishaps and failures can be challenging and costly, they also provide valuable lessons for aspiring filmmakers and enthusiasts. The History Channel’s “When Big Things Go Wrong” series offers a captivating insight into the world of filmmaking and serves as a reminder of the dedication and perseverance required in the face of adversity. So, the next time you watch a film, remember that behind those captivating scenes, there may have been a tale of unexpected challenges and triumphs. Lights, camera, learn!


1. What are some examples of big film mishaps and failures explored in the History Channel’s show?

Some examples of big film mishaps and failures explored in the History Channel’s show include “Cleopatra,” “Waterworld,” and “Heaven’s Gate.”

2. How does the show delve into the causes behind these film mishaps and failures?

The show dives deep into the causes behind these film mishaps and failures by interviewing key individuals involved in the production, conducting extensive research, and analyzing historical context.

3. What can viewers expect to learn from watching “When Big Things Go Wrong”?

Viewers can expect to learn about the challenges faced by filmmakers and the impact that mishaps and failures have on the production, budget, and overall outcome of a film.

4. Is the show only focused on Hollywood films?

No, the show explores film mishaps and failures from various industries and countries, including Hollywood, Bollywood, and international cinema.

5. Are there any success stories featured in the show?

Yes, the show also highlights success stories that emerged from overcoming film mishaps and failures, showcasing the resilience and creativity of filmmakers in difficult situations.

6. How does “When Big Things Go Wrong” appeal to both film enthusiasts and history buffs?

The show appeals to both film enthusiasts and history buffs by providing an in-depth exploration of the historical, cultural, and cinematic significance of the films covered, while also examining the behind-the-scenes challenges faced by the filmmakers.

7. Does the show offer any insights into the impact of film mishaps on the careers of actors and directors?

Yes, the show often touches upon the aftermath of film mishaps and failures, discussing the impact on the careers of actors, directors, and other industry professionals involved.

8. Are there any common themes or patterns that emerge from the stories featured on the show?

Yes, common themes such as budget overruns, production issues, creative differences, and external factors beyond the filmmakers’ control often emerge from the stories explored on the show.

9. Can viewers expect to see exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews?

Yes, the show includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with key individuals involved in the films, providing a unique perspective on the challenges faced during production.

10. How does “When Big Things Go Wrong” shed light on the collaborative nature of filmmaking?

The show highlights the collaborative nature of filmmaking by exploring how mishaps and failures can occur when multiple individuals, departments, and creative visions come together, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and effective communication.