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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old August 8th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #16
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NYC Metro area
Posts: 579
For what it's worth,

Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault
I believe a type of fragile clear plastic is used and a tiny explosive charge inside a device drives a metal pin into the "glass" and makes it shatter.
I think explosive devices are only used when necessary.

"Demolition Man" with Stallone and Snipes used a higher-tech version of what I understand as the "pin explosion", i.e. a powered "pin" used to shatter glass.

The scene was where Snipes was firing some weapon at Stallone as Stallone ran through a room full of display cases. The large, glass panels were shattered using some sort of relay that activated a small, short metal rod that acted as a hammer of sorts. Each "hammer" was located near the bottom of each pane of glass. For the shot, the relays were actually hand-activated by someone off-screen and timed to Stallone's movements as he passed each display case. In that instance, I believe they used real glass. (You can learn a lot by watching HBO for "The Making of...", and "Mythbusters" also presents some creative ideas.

My suggestion of a hammer and nail from underneath is a cheapo version of the pin explosion...without the explosives or electric relays. A spring-loaded pin would probably work as well.

Whatever methond you use, just be sure to have a few extra glasses handy for multiple takes.

Let us know what method you end up using.
Our actions are based on our own experience and knowledge. Thus, no one is ever totally right, nor totally wrong. We simply act from what we "know" to be true, based on that experience and knowledge. Beyond that, we pose questions to others.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 06:55 AM   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 24
Thanks for all the replies, guys. The shoot isn't for another few weeks, so I have lots of time to prepare.

It looks like I might be going the route of the BB gun, simply because it is the only piece of equipment mentioned here that I can get for free. However, I do plan on trying out Denis' technique of the hammer and pin - I'll do a few tests and see how it looks.

Hopefully it will work, as safety is a huge concern, especially in a public school environment.

So thanks again to everybody, you've proven once again why I come to the DVi in the first place ;D

~Loggie B
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