It was 120 degrees in the shade – and there was no shade. Buttercup Valley outside of Yuma, Arizona, mid-Summer, 1994 – whew – so hot that I couldn’t breathe in through my mouth or it would burn my lungs. I had a miracle neck scarf that turned icy when dipped in water. Because pristine sand dunes were important to the shots, once we got to the set, we couldn’t leave until wrap and only then by dune buggy along pre-specified trails. Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou and others never complained. Extras, many of them elderly and imported from the nearby farms across the border in Mexico, were dropping like flies in the swelter. Director Roland Emmerich, eyes trained 360 degrees in every direction, chain-smoked and watched as the crew set up each shot, jumping into action on cue from the AD’s. Somewhere in my photo archives I have a picture of the grips huddled in the dark sunshade cast by standby camera equipment. It was their only relief. Tons of water were consumed each day by 400 of us working to make a movie in this blinding desert. It was one of the best shoots I’ve ever worked on.