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special lighting effect

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by legacy, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. legacy

    legacy Member

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    south carolina
    looking for the best way to show sparking wires etc........ BUT SAFE... we are doing a disaster and would like to give the apperance of arching wires
  2. Timmyp

    Timmyp Member

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    Lincolnshire, U.K
    If you placed them well, and experimented a bit you could probably do something with lasers...

    Are you going to have an explosion which you could let some smoke off on? The lasers through the smoke might work.
  3. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

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    I'd think i'd also be possible with a combination of very small spark pyros, fog machine carfully placed, and some funky lighting and projection work.

    Projecting on fog, haze, scrims, and set combined with practical fog and mini-pyro effects can do some awsome things... you just gotta know what you're doing.
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    The easiest way is to suggest it without actually seeing it. To do that have your disaster with a bunch of wires clearly visible. A light that you strobe by hand hidden behind the wires and a sound effect. Cheap, easy, safe and it get's the idea across.
    DarSax likes this.
  5. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Sydney, Australia
    I'm sure you could get the effect you wanted using something like a Jacob's ladder, but whether that falls into the category of being safe is another question, so best avoid it. As gaff said, implying an effect can be just as effective or sometimes more so than attempting to create the effect, especially if it ends up with a poor quality result.
  6. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Kilmarnock, VA
    The spark effect is normally done using squibs - electric matches.
  7. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

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    Bill is right, this is normally done with squibs. However, having put gun powder in open air fuses many times, I'd have to say that I think it is actually the sound effect that really makes or breaks such a scene.

    I recently saw a high school production that needed an electrical shock sequence. Pyro is strictly prohibited at the facility, so they just dimmed the lights, lit up a halogen bulb from a household lamp (shield and recepticle only), and had a good arcing electricity sound. For a comedy, it was more than enough, the audience was howling and it actually did look pretty good.

    Later, for a lab explosion, they used a small air cannon and foil confetti. Again, it looked very good (it appeared to come out of containers on the lab table), but it is messy. The stage crew raced around with big floor brooms between seens, but there was still foil visible on the floor for the rest of the show.

    Good Luck,
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    sparking wires, how about fiber optics? String together a bunch of fiber optic cables into a bundle or to each place you effect and terminate or break strands where you wish to show a spark.

    Bright enough lamp at the cable bundle or circuit...

    Perhaps as a safe concept.
  9. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Eastcoast USA
    GLO PLUGS (or 3v igniters or 12v electric matches) flash cotton with extra 'electric sparkle powder' mixed in, comes to mind for a quick cheap and relatively safe effect...

    Nice thing with using glo-plugs or 3v igniters (or 12v electric matches) is its low DC voltage triggered off batteries.... However if you wish to do this with lighting--try LIVE WIRE or "EL-wire" and small egg strobes and sound FX.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Portland, Or.
    We're almost venturing into that verboten topic of Pyro here.

    Let's explore more non-volitile solutions. Personally I kind of like ships idea. If you ran some fiber optic strand down alongside regular wires you'd never see the fiber optics. Bending the plastic style fiber optics will result in stress fractures which will catch the light while the fiber still conducts more light down the fiber. As ship stated a few key bends and perhaps melting the end a bit with a soldering iron, run your bundle up to a strobe with an adapter on it the Strobe will give a really good "arc" effect. With the addition of more strobes you could create more than one Zone so different areas can be arcing at different rates.

    While I agree there are a lot of different Pyro options, there are a ton of safety considerations when dealing with even simple pyro that you mat not be equipped to deal with, which is why Dave has a moritorium on the subject. Fire and Flying Two things best left to pros when there is any doubt whatsoever.
  11. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Bethesda MD
    You couldn't use those "nitro snappers" could you? I don't know anything about the wire or its placement, but you couldn't toss a couple of those things on the floor near it, could you? They have a little flash (maybe not enough?), and they can't even light dry sawdust on fire o.o

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