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Old March 11th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #1
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Gunshot FX- Where to get/make squibs?

After doing some reading, and always having been curious, where do you get squibs from for gunshot effects? Is there an online place to order? Are they protected- and require a permit? Has anyone made them?

I have my own ideas of construction- usually with igniters from model rocketry and such, but I'd like to a. be as safe as possible, and b. go right to the source.

I'm also aware of the "pull string' effect, but I'm also interested in smoke and buying blanks.

Info greatly appreciated!

Jeff Patnaude
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Old March 11th, 2004, 12:37 PM   #2
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Check out this link - A good detailed article on squibs and fake blood.

LINK: www.dvfreelancer.com/articles/squibs.html
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Old March 11th, 2004, 12:48 PM   #3
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Jeff, my real thought here is to hire a pro. Gun powder, esp black powder, is touchy stuff. I am a shooter and ammo reloader and I have a healthy respect for this stuff.
Ask you local mayor who does your Fourth of July fireworks and contact them. They may know somebody.

If you make something yourself and someone gets hurt, you're going to get in a lot of trouble. You could even get hurt just creating this stuff.

Depending on what you need, remember you don't need fire to make smoke. You can use a gardening product called "diatomatious[sp] earth". If you hit a small pile of that with a burst of air, you get smoke. That's safe, just don't inhale.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 01:43 PM   #4
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Hire a pro.

Joe's right on. Dealing with squibs and blanks is a very dangerous business. We always have a special effects technician handle all of the squibs and / or an armorer to handle all of the blank firing weapons.

Besides, when you deal with squibs, you are dealing with explosive charges, ignition charges, incendiary devices and other things that go boom!

Probably not a good idea to get stopped in this day and age with a trunkfull of "bomb making" equipment unless you are a licensed technician.

Diatomaceous Earth, also known as Fuller's Earth is used to simulate bullet hits. These are plastic capsules, filled with Fuller's and fired from a specially modified paintball gun. The same is done with Zirconium, these are called "Zirc Hits", and the difference is that they spark on impact.

Gunfire, in real life is very anticlimactic. It is nothing like what you hear in the movies.

The best sound effects that we have ever gotten were from full-load theatrical stage blanks fired from specially modified firearms. Always remember that a "blank" will kill you just as fast as a real bullet if you are not careful. This is why we have an armorer on set to handle the guns, EXCLUSIVELY! He does nothing else except that.

I have a good link for smoke effects on my other computer. I'll post it tonight.

RB
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Old March 11th, 2004, 02:59 PM   #5
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Bob Shelley's SFX - Atlanta

Try these guys. They are located in Atlanta and provide what you're needing. They work on feature projects all the time.

Bob Shelley's Special Effects: 404.622.9245
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Old March 11th, 2004, 03:09 PM   #6
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Try reading these links.

non-explosive bullet hits

http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/blood/index.html
http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/blood/blood.html
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Old March 11th, 2004, 04:49 PM   #7
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Here it is.

http://www.tri-esssciences.com/specialeffects.htm

Some pretty cool smoke / fire / blood effects.

RB
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Old March 11th, 2004, 09:00 PM   #8
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I guess everyone knows about that Masonic ritual gone bad? True story, happened this week. They made this inductee sit in a chair and set up bottles and targets around him. They then brought out a gun to scare him that supposedly was loaded with blanks. Only, they brought out the wrong gun ...
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Old March 12th, 2004, 09:17 AM   #9
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I heard about that.
Brandon Lee- killed on the set of "The Crow" the same way.
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Old March 12th, 2004, 02:34 PM   #10
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Jeff,

Brandon Lee actually got killed in another type of incident.

Apparently the barrel of the gun was fouled, by a round that was "fired" inadvertently using only the cap. The firing cap produced enough energy to force the projectile into the barrel and lodged it there.

Fast forward to when the gun was supposed to be fired using a blank, which they did...the blank caused the projectile to leave the barrel and strike Lee. Killing him.

I don't remember what the outcome of the case was, whether it was negligence on the part of the Prop Department for not having checked the barrel, or what.

There was a case many years back where a soap opera star was joking around and put a gun loaded with blanks against his temple and pulled the trigger thinking that it would be a great joke. I don't think I have to go into detail about what happened next.

At long distances the bullet kills you. Up close, as in a contact wound, all you need is the explosion of gases to scrammble your innards, much like a powerhead or bang stick kills a shark.

Sometimes dealing with blanks is more dangerous than live rounds as it may lead people to believe that, since no bullets are fired, no one can get hurt.

RB
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 11:28 PM   #11
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Be creative and use cool editing. Gun fires, cut to guy bleeding. It works!

I think you need a license to use firearms and stuff.

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Old May 5th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #12
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I asked the same question on this board last summer. Someone gave me this link:

http://www.creative-effects.com/Spec...Guns/guns.html

They're really cool, but just to warn you -- you'll need insurance to rent one.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #13
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Please BE CAREFUL. Brandon Lee and THE CROW come to mind in these discussions...

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Old May 6th, 2005, 12:08 AM   #14
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The link I posted is for a non firing gun. It's pretty cool. It uses an electric charge to ignite flash powder. I haven't actually used one, but from the video clip on the site, it looks realistic. Plus they have everything from handguns to an M-16.

As far as safety goes, sure... I'd think twice before firing at someone's head, you never know what can happen, right? But if you read through the description they provide, it seems safe. It's just that the safety it provides is gonna cost you.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 01:17 PM   #15
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Just fake it in post. Hell, Rodriguez did a lot of that in Once Upon a Time in Mexico and you can't tell the difference. Watch his behind the scenes video.
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