William Friedkin: “We had to build a suspension bridge and we were gonna build it in the Dominican Republic over a raging river. And it was a river that in the memory of man had not varied by a foot in the dry season. We go there and we build this bridge at a cost of a million dollars. It was hydraulically controlled so that we could control the movement of the trucks. What looks to be a wooden bridge was really concealing hydraulics. We built this bridge and every day the river is going down, down, down. Finally the river receded to about one foot and we couldn’t shoot there. We had to tear the bridge down and find another location where in the memory of man the water level had not receded so much as six inches.
We found this river in Mexico and rebuilt our bridge there at a cost of a million dollars and sure enough the water receded to about a foot and a half above the ground. It was ridiculous. So we had to manufacture a rainstorm and hide the camera at certain angles so you wouldn’t know how high the river really was… That one sequence took about three months to film — one shot at a time. Many times when you see the truck seesawing on the bridge, we actually dumped the truck and the stunt men accidentally into the water. We had to fish it out of the water, set it up and do it again.”
From the book The Directors: Take Two by Robert J. Emory.