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Battle Scene

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by thelightingmancan, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. thelightingmancan

    thelightingmancan Member

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    The History and Drama Clubs for our school are putting on a historical haunted house including a civil war battle reenactment, does anyone know an easy way to create muzzle flashes on PVC and wooden rifles. I also need to figure out how to make the sounds of the battle from off the field. Suggestions would be very helpful.
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Just 'cause someone's going to say it real soon anyway. One verboten subject here is Pyro. So outside of the myriad verboten ways you could accomplish this feat of technial specticle, there are a couple of electrical ways to go . You could rig one of several simple circuits something like a mono-stable flip-flop, which is actuated by the pulling of the trigger, light flashes on then off and won't re-light until the trigger button is released, < ie no Semi automatics in the civil war> I'm assuming this will be at night ? in the dark ? You could get away with some High-bright white LEDs mounted on the end of the barrel. If this is going to be happening during the day then I might suggest using the guts out of a "throw-away" or one-time-use camera. I have salvage the parts from the interior of these cameras for making "Old Time" cameras < flash bulb style> appear to flash onstage, when we didn't have access to real flashbulbs.
    A word of caution about tearing into a camera fo he flash unit........ You can shock the living crap out of yourself. The voltage necessary the cause the strobe to flash is etremely high. This is a project best done with gloves, insulated tools, and preferably by someone who's got a clue about how to work with high discharge capacitors. I'd be happy to give you a more in depth description of how to accpomplish this effect if you'd like.
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Sounds are very easy, go steal a bunch of home stereos and extension cords.
    You camouflage the boxes with hay or canvas to blend in.
    Point source.
     
  4. superdoo

    superdoo Member

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    I was wondering if I could hijack/revive this thread?
    I am going to be doing Les Mis soon and there is the infamous "battle scene."
    Does any body know of some good effects to use. I want to stay away from sound effects because well I have enough on my hands without developing sounds and cueing them.
    I was thinking of clapping 2x4's and other oddities and maybe micing them. But it seems rather cheesy.
     
  5. thelightingmancan

    thelightingmancan Member

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    Well, you are in luck, I was the TD for our school's production of Les Mis last year. First, I am assuming you are doing this on a stage indoors, not outside in what would turn out to be a mud pit for us. Here is what we did for effects, we first had a fog system-that we never actually built-but was designed, and would have worked great if we had time. We had a HVAC duct induction fan at the end of our pipe that the fogger sprayed into, then we had a series of splits that channeled the fog to places around our barricade to have fog in random areas. We would then run bursts of fog through it for a not to bad gunshot effect, and since some pipes were longer, there was a delay as to when the fog left certain spaces. This was a wonderful visual effect, but you have to keep distance between the fogger and the fan, but the fan will suck all the fog up, so you don't have to worry about a seal of some sort.

    Small lighting flickers add a nice effect as well, but are not needed.

    As for audio effects, hinged 2x4's would work great, have your stage crew behind your barricade, or off stage slapping them together at random intervals, the more the better. Handles on the 2x4's are very nice, and they are easy to operate and hard to break. For our show, we had live music, so we got our pianist to use a keyboard to play gunshot effects off the keyboard into the sound system, then into the house. It actually sounded pretty good, and since he could see what was going on, more lifelike than recorded sound effects.

    Mic-ing the 2x4's would be fairly difficult, because you would run into peaking fairly easily, and might sound bad in your sound system, but it is something you should test.
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Lots of haze and fog. If you can get your hands on some stage rifles and a fight choreographer you would be in business.

    I would be happy to talk Mis with you as it was our season closer last season with an 81 performance run. Photos here.
     
  7. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Absolutely amazing Alex.
     
  8. superdoo

    superdoo Member

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    The show will be outdoors so fog is a little unreliable.

    I think I might stuff some kids upstage of the barrier and have them throw splinters while hitting it with pieces of steel! I really enjoy putting people in tiny spaces on the stage.
     
  9. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If you are good with building pneumatic systems, you could put tube in the barricade that blow something like baby powder, it will kinda look like smoke, but be a little more controlled. You could also have it gently shoot debris, but you DON'T want to make an air cannon that flings splinters at people, no one would be happy with that.
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I think that a few baby powder tubes in the barricade would work really well. Baby powder takes so little air to move that any debris that had fallen down in to the tube wouldn't make it very far, because you wouldn't have the compressor at very high PSI at all. You could either get some air solenoids from a salvage yard and hook up a simple toggle switch control system (I've been watching far too many episodes of Scrapheap Challenge recently), or you could simply put valves at each tube and have someone underneath pull them. With the electrical control system, I would put a hard safety on each air solenoid control. By hard safety I mean you actually have to plug a wire in to give the switch that controls the solenoid power. This would be cheap and efficient, and it would produce some great smoke effects.

    And hinged 2x4 with handles makes great live gunshot effects. Just put the handles really close to the hinge, because if you put them at the other ends of the 2x4, you aren't gonna get up enough speed to make the desired sound.
     
  11. Joshwahr

    Joshwahr Member

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    For the Sound FX if you use Mac (OSX Tiger or later), there is a program call Soundtrack Pro (I will refer to as STP), this has a whole library of Sound FX including battle sounds, gunshots, explosions, and much more
    Check it out
    Joshwahr :cool:
     

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