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Old January 22nd, 2007, 07:18 PM   #1
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Low Budget Pyrotechnics

Can anybody tell me how to come up with low budget pyrotechics or areas where i can find low budget pyrotechnics for a short film only about 12 min. long so I need only just about one on location explosion. The rest I can CG in post.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 07:51 PM   #2
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The answer is going to be a resounding "Find an expert...". For good reason. I would say find a way to do the whole pyro bits in post...too dangerous. I would assume that if you can't afford regular budget pyro with a certified pyro tech, that you're not buying insurance for the production to account for blowing someone's finger off.

While I'm a HUGE proponent of not spending any money and DIY all the way, this is the one place I don't recommend going DIY. There are many libraries of low priced royalty free pyro video stuff...

http://www.detonationfilms.com is a good place for these, others will cime in with others as well.

Safety first, then budget. If you can't afford a pyro guy, don't write it into your script...or find an offscreen way to show it...flash lights at onlookers and throw some styrofoam debris into frame...overlay an explosion sound...done deal, no money spent, explosion happens off camera.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 08:12 PM   #3
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Isn't "low-budget pyrotechnics" an oxymoron?

I've been under the impression that most "real explosions" seen on screen (other than fireworks and scenes with Nomex-clad stunt men/women) are a combination of compressed-air and separately-ignited - and professionally supervised - controlled flammables. Isn't what really happens just a quick release of compressed air followed very closely by ignition of something flammable, with a small army of fire-extinguisher-wielding pros standing off-camera in some well-protected area?
I've been told by someone in the business that even in scenes where an explosion occurs and debris comes falling back to earth, the debris is often simply dropped from a crane or tossed from a high platform located just off-camera.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 08:48 AM   #4
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Don't forget that no matter how you do the explosion you MUST add sound to make it truly effective. A small puff of smoke can be made to seem like a big explosion with the right editing and sound effect.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 03:21 PM   #5
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Don't forget to shake the camera too, ala STAR TREK!

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Old January 27th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #6
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....and don't forget to run like hell, 'cause if the local fire chief comes around and sees what you're doing, you're going to have to pay a HUGE ticket....

:-))
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Old January 29th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #7
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i've been using pro pyrotechnics more than once, each time i got away with very little money..I just found some explosion freaks who do it unofficially, but still professionally...You might want to seek in some pyro forums...

check my movie trailer, there are couple of scenes with explosion.
Is on the frontpage: www.swb.ee
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Old February 4th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #8
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thanks for the advice and the links i'll take them into consideration when i shoot my short film this month
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