Director George Miller's insistence on practical effects in "Mad Max: Fury Road" is already legendary, requiring actual stunt men to be behind the wheel of actual War Rigs, or to be hurled through the air on long, flexible poles. However, it turns out the filmmaker's devotion to realism also extended to the show-stopping flame-throwing guitar.
Speaking with MTV News, "Fury Road" production designer Colin Gibson revealed the instrument wasn't a mere prop: It was a functioning guitar that also happened to belch flames.
"George — unfortunately — doesn’t like things that don’t work," Gibson said. "I have in the past built him props that I thought were just supposed to be props, and then he goes, 'OK, plug it in now.' The first version of the guitar which — I think I put too much into the flame thrower, not enough into the reverb. And yes, the flame-throwing guitar did have to operate, did have to play, the PA system did have to work and the drummers … Unfortunately, I did get practice in all positions, and I’ve got to tell you, the drumming was very uncomfortable at 70 [kilometers] an hour, eating sand."
Sean Hape, aka iOTA, who played the maniacal Doof Warrior strapped to the amps, conceded to Noisey that it "wasn’t a great guitar."
"It spent a lot of time out in the desert, you wouldn’t want to record with it," he said. "Most of the time, I’d just try to make noise. I pulled out some AC/DC, some Soundgarden, some Zeppelin, but after eight hours, you do just start thumping on it for a while."