Let's start the day with a link to some cool pictures. Filming in Brooklyn has some nice shots from a contributor of a car exploding for the TV show, Life on Mars. Let me tell you a couple of things about what you're looking at in the pics.
First of all, marvel at the trust the City of NY puts in our Special Effects people. That isn't some backlot they're working on. It's a relatively narrow street with real live buildings and real live people living there...and one big-ass explosion. When you want to do something like this, you need a permit from the FDNY Explosives Unit. They'll come do a site survey with the Location Manager and the Special Effects Coordinator. The Effects guy has to have the proper Pyrotechnics License and the Location Manager needs to get letters signed from all the adjascent property owners stating that they don't have any objections to the proposed 'splodey activity. It helps that there really aren't that many Special Effects Coordinators and they tend to be very well known to the folks in the Explosives Unit (i.e. FDNY knows that the guy exploding shit in the street knows what he's doing).
You can't see them, but I garauntee you there is a fire truck and an ambulance on standby somewhere really close to the set.
A couple of other things. In the lower left part of the frame, there's a 6' X 6' silk with a light shining though it. This is a way of difusing the light. Direct light can be very harsh and nobody wants that. Also, the "black screen" FIB refers to is a 12' X 12' griflon. This is a sort of plasticized tarp that is black on one side and white on the other. In the shot, the white side is facing the action and there's a light or two being bounced off of it. Once again, this is a way to light a shot with indirect lighting to soften it. Go ahead, aim a light at one of your walls and you'll see what that's all about.
And the doorway you see just to the right of the griflon is the building they use to stand in as their precinct on the show (you can see the fake, engraved precinct sign over the doorway in most of the shots). You'll also note the green lights on the sides of the entrance. Green lights make any door into a precinct entrance. And not that I'd take anyone to task on it, but if it's a precinct house, it should be flying both the U.S. flag and the City of NY flag. Just sayin'.