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How have you "melted the witch"?

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Rockey, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Rockey

    Rockey Member

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    Another Oz question... for those of you who have done the Wizard of Oz... how have you melted the witch at the end?
    I know that there are a lot of options with smoke, trap doors, etc. But I'm wondering specifically what other people have used and if anyone had any ingenious ideas that looked spectacular.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

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    Trap door and fog machine, just like you said. I'd advise drilling some holes in front of the trapdoor though, so the smoke can rise before the door is opened. Most of the audience will figure out it's a trapdoor, but they shouldn't see it, and that was our biggest issue two years ago. (Guys and Dolls this year will be so much easier. ;-)
     
  3. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Since neither of the two stages I have done Oz on had a built in trapdoor, we built platforms. At my high school they built one with a fairly large sized hole in it, painted it black, and covered the hole with a black cloth. Then when the witch melted, she would step into the hole covered by black cloth, and her cloak/costume would disguise the hole as she went down.

    Here at my college we built a sliding trap door into the set for the witches castle, when the time came a member of the stage crew would slide the trapdoor out from underneath and she would go under.

    In both cases the costume was large enough to cover the hole in the stage. However, here we used a bit of the canned fog. At my high school we did not use any fog that I can remember.
     
  4. theatretechguy

    theatretechguy Member

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    For our production the entire "witches lair" was a large square rolling platform with stairs on the side going up. The "trap" was always open and was actually a "slide". Because of the angle, the audience never saw the trap and at the right moment, smoke was brought in and the witch knelt down and basically slid down the slide, out of sight. The unit is rolled off at the end of the scene, witch still inside.
     
  5. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    We had a truck which was the witch's throne room, with her throne at the centre of it. The seat of the throne was built with hinges at the front and he;d up by bolts at the back; when Dorothy threw the water at her, she fell back onto the seat, which was unbolted at the back by two crew who were behind the truck, and it then tilted down. The witch slid butt first down the seat, which was by then at about a 45 degree angle, and disappeared behind the truck, leaving her hat behind. This was, of course, helped with a lot of smoke and strobing! This is the only picture I have of the truck, it's not particularly helpful but is better than nothing!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I built a platform about 3' tall. With a 2'x2' trapdoor in the middle. The trap door opened down and toward the front of the stage. On the left and right side of the hole under the stage I built ladders.

    At the start of the scene the witch straddled the hole. A crowd of soldiers was gathered around the witch at the moment the water (large blue and green glitter) was thrown. Two technicians opened the trap and shot some smoke out. The witch proceeded to climb down the ladders, one foot on each side, smoke coming up around her. Under the stage, a technician was guiding each foot step so she could do this smoothly and confidently. She had a large black cape made just for this scene that came off easily and spread around the hole. As she went down the ladders, she took off the hat and the soldiers gathered around made sure that as the door was closed the trap was covered with the cape and hat. It took a little practice to get it right but it looked really good in the end.
     
  7. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Am I not recognizing this because it's one of those south of the equator terms or is it because I haven't built a set in nearly a decade?:confused::think:

    Is it what I think of as a wagon?
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah CB... another one of those regional dialect things. I think it's a wagon.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hughesie translated:
    A "truck" is Aussie for "wagon".
    A "trolley" is Aussie for a "wagon" with a handle on one end for pushing and pulling.
     
  10. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Not just Aussie, but most non-US English-speaking countries.
     
  11. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Hydrochloric acid may work.......
     
  12. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    **** you Nick that was my joke.

    Grr....

    How bout just throwing some water on her? It worked in the movie!
     
  13. ScottT

    ScottT Lighting Programmer

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    No no no no no, not even close to being strong enough. Go with a <deleted>. And if you add it to <deleted> you get an exothermic reaction (BIG, BIG Boom!)

    Disclaimer: Don't try that at home kids

    :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

    EDIT: Dangerous chemicals are dangerous. Good point Derek.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  14. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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  15. Rockey

    Rockey Member

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    Thank you everyone for your help. I love the acid idea, but I have no qualms with this actress, and I'd hate to ruin a perfectly good costume. ;)
    Anyway, I'd been planning on the wagon with a trap door idea, but making it appear smooth enough was a concern. I guess the main thing here is to rehearse it like crazy.
    Thanks again all! :grin:
     
  16. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    This is a similar effect to one used in "The Foreigner." YOu need to "melt" a person as opposed to just drop them through a trap. So, what we did for "The Foreigner" should work for your witch. We had a costume double that was built bigger and with a weighted hem. Once the actor stepped on the trap we lowered it just enough to be able to start to blow air up with fans and balloon the costume. Then we lowered the trap and actor and the costume sat there and as we moved the fans away it collapsed. Worked really well.
     
  17. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    So is it just me, or does the thread title sound like some sort of sexual reference?

    Also, are we allowed to say sexual? Or is that considered explicit?
     
  18. theatretechguy

    theatretechguy Member

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    Yeah, I totally thought that after I replied to this thread.

    "Oh... and he totally melted my witch last night!!!"
     
  19. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    Ahh yes. Easy-peasy.

    Quite similar to many of the others allready posted.

    We had a trapdoor that opens down (held closed by a coffin lock (rotolock)), with 4 people under the stage to help lower the witch as her dress collapsed down to the deck (larger than the trap or course). Fog was shot though a tube up infront and around of the trap at the moment of the witch getting wet.
    The space was very short under the stage so the 4 people had some difficulty making sure that the witch did not bump her head.

    It was very effective seeing the witch slowly 'melt down'. By the time she reached the deck, the fog was thick enough for her to 'dislodge' herself from her overdress.
     
  20. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    AWWWWWWW
    NO FUN!
    Im gunna have to go back to the Anarchist's Cookbook for dangerous things made from household products....
    Nick
     

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