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Trick Scissors

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by SpaZuM, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    We are currently in production of Dial "M" for Murder, which requires a person to be stabbed on-stage. I am looking for realistic retractable scissors that would work for this effect; however, I haven't been able to find any thus far. Obviously, we could fake it behind the actors back, but we really want this effect to be visible to the audience. Any ideas?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    When I did the show we were looking at the mechanical route, but instead went with latex. If I remember correctly, they were attached to a rig on the actors back, and when he released a tie, they sprang out. It worked rather well from what I cal recall.


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  3. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    Sounds interesting. Do you have any plans or specs for the rig that was built that you can share?
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I did not build it, but I sat in plenty of production meetings about it. Here is what I remember....

    They made a mold of a "old" pair of scissors. They then filled the mold with painted in latex and painted the piece to resemble scissors. The costumers built a slit into the trench coat that the handles could "pop" out of. The actor wore a small pack on his back (3/4" ply with straps if I remember right). On this we mounted the latex scissors. I believe they attached a line onto the scissors that would pull it over on its side and when that line was released they "sprang" out. I remember it took a bit of blocking to get the piece to look right. Thats about all I can remember, it was 3 years ago and I was the M.E. so I had very little to do with it.
     
  5. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    Sounds interesting. Thanks for the input - we'll definitely give that some consideration.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    There was also some talk of using a spring loaded hinge, from what I recall it just got too bulky. Also, I remember the director wanting the murderer to fall on his back driving the scissors in further (it always got a good gasp from the audience). Using the hinge method would not work because we could not figure out how to retract them for the fall. I do remember we had 3 spares for a 2 weeks run, and used them all.
     

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