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Old June 4th, 2005, 05:50 AM   #1
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Swords: How Can I Get Realistic Swords? Please Help.

I'm in pre-production of a movie that will need many swords for battles and choreographed fights. I have been researching for months and have been experimenting with many different types of swords, and I have nothing to show for it. For my last movie we made wooden swords and painted them, and that worked for that movie but I want something that looks real for my next movie. I recently bought real, dull swords from a flea market, and after just swinging them around they fell apart. I do not know where to look, I want real swords that are dull and light and fairly cheap, does anyone know where I can find these?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 06:21 AM   #2
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Fighting swords are very different from display swords. Be very careful, you could be injured using swords not designed for fighting, they shatter on impact. We deal with this issue all the time with our operas, and I think you best bet will be to rent real fighting swords (unless you need them a very long time and can afford to purchase).

Weapons of Choice is really the best source for this. They've always been very helpful and responsive. Here's their website:

http://www.weaponsofchoicetheatrical.com/
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Old June 4th, 2005, 06:26 AM   #3
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You might also look around for a local SCA chapter. These are the folk who do medieval reinactments. The often have staged battles with weapons.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 06:52 AM   #4
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Drew,
First a bit of background. I'm a fencing master, fight choreographer and owned a jousting company for twelve years, before dedicating myself to my filmmaking some ten years ago.

So I know whereof I speak.

You can be SERIOUSLY injured if you are not careful. Broken blades fly off in strange directions. Untrained 'actors' can get out of controll, especially in the heat of performance.

Combat worthy stage weapons have a much wider tang than your wall hangers, and cost more too. There are a number of good sources, but they won't be cheap. Especially if you need a lot of them. You might buy several for your main characters and rely on your mock swords for big background scenes. (Wood is good, but it still breaks and splinters. Plastic is better.)

Many movies use alluminum or rubber for the big battles sequences. Some principals will have alluminum versions and steel versions for their fight scenes.

If you aren't trained in stage combat, which is NOT the same as real combat, find someone who is. The society of american fight directors is a good place to start.

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Old June 4th, 2005, 08:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Weapons of Choice is really the best source for this. They've always been very helpful and responsive. Here's their website:

http://www.weaponsofchoicetheatrical.com/
After looking through that site, I found there is a lot of stuff that I need for my movie on that site for rent. Thanks a bunch.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #6
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Is there any alternative to stage combat swords? Is there any way to obtain those rubber/plastic/aluminum swords?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #7
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If you don't actually need to fight then there are a lot of places which sell very nice replicas. However see all the cautions above if you're doing a combat scene.

For fake swords, Google "presentation swords"
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Old December 13th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #8
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Be very careful using decorative swords, many are good for nothing but hanging on a wall, as was intended by the manufacturer. Even if you don't plan on creating impact, the blade may fly free from the handle, which is a major hazard to anyone near by. Since they weren't intended for anything but decoration, the manufacturers might not build a decent tang, or even secure the handle to the blade.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:55 PM   #9
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I need swords for combat and have found the prices and info for the stage combat swords, but can't find any information on those other types of swords: rubber/plastic/etc. Are they just made specially for movies? Is there anyplace that sells them?
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:00 PM   #10
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Drew,

The rubber and plastic swords are available only through prop houses. They are specialty items, and will also be pricey.

How many swords do you need? How many fights are going on at one time? What is the era you are trying to create?

YOu can always try http://www.latex-weaponry.com/index....FQo6GAodDE6nOw My son uses these for his LARP games. They look real enough for long shots, but again, at a hundred a pop or so, not especially cheap. MUCH safer than steel or alluminum however, especially if you are putting them in the hands of untrained fightors.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:07 AM   #11
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I echo what others, especially Richard, have said.

I used to do quite a bit of modern, historic, and theatrical fencing/swordsmanship. The preferred blade type at the time was the "schlager" blades, though I know I'm screwing the spelling.

They were high quality, had a high spring tension, and would stand up to most anything. They featured the wider tangs that Richard spoke of.

A lot of companies would use the double-wide epee or "musketeer" blades. I would strongly advise against this. They break quite easily when hit "wrong", though make a really cool sound when they do. Not cool enough to counter the danger involved with a foot long piece of jagged metal flying through the air though.

There may be better technologies out there. Always think safety. Try and find someone proficient in western swordsmanship, the oriental styles are just different.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #12
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http://www.knightsedge.com/stage-steel-swords.htm

(They also have rapiers that currently aren't posted on the website.)
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Old December 15th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #13
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Yes, do what Richard says. I was a competition fencer and even competition weapons can kill with an equipment malfuntion (As a judge, it was also our job to halt the action when we saw it happen.)

And yes, competitive fencers make fun of the theaterical fencers. I could have taken Darth Vader in his first presentation of the blade with a cut to his arm. He left it SOOOOO open ;)

Oh, cannot rememeber the movie, but I do remember seeing some B-grade movie that used competition sabers.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #14
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With those latex swords from: http://www.latex-weaponry.com/index....FQo6GAodDE6nOw, do they look very realistic? I heard they are very thick, so do they look fake? Do they have a luster to them or do they look dull?
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Old December 15th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #15
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Drew,

They are suitable only for 'long shots' which is what I said in my post. They are pretty fair representations, especially the broadsword or medieval weapons. They ARE thick. They are designed for unchoreographed 'combat' without armor on. But they do look pretty good. The 'silver' is kind of shiny. Some of the broadswords go for about 70 dollars I think.

NO, they wouldn't look good in close up.

Drew. That's it. That's the information you are going to get. Real combat worthy swords are expensive. Cheap presentation swords are dangerous. Moderately priced 'foam' weapons will not hold up to a closeup on camera, but are very safe.

Find an experienced fight choreographer to help you. Stage combat is serious business.
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