It was 120 degrees in the shade – and there was no shade. Â Buttercup Valley outside of Yuma, Arizona, mid-Summer, 1994 – whew Â – so hot that I couldn’t breathe in through my mouth or it would burn my lungs. Â I had a miracle neck scarf that turned icy when dipped in water. Â 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. Â Kurt Russell, James Spader, Djimon Hounsou and others never complained. Â Extras, many of them elderly and imported from the nearby farms across the border in Mexico, were dropping like flies in the swelter. Â 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. Â Somewhere in my photo archives I have a picture of the grips huddled in the dark sunshade cast by standby camera equipment. Â It was their only relief. Â Tons of water were consumed each day by 400 of us working to make a movie in this blinding desert. Â It was one of the best shoots I’ve ever worked on.