I’ve been doing this a long time and the rigs have come along way since I first began trying to build some kind of rig that could fire blood. My first rig I built I called The Braingun. It was basically a huge syringe with a piece of latex over the barrel to allow some pressure build and quick release. It was for a contemporary adaptation of Macbeth. Crude but effective, as my friend Doug Fairall would say!
The next chapter in the story of my learning this craft was experimenting with the old latex glove finger and monofillament trick, taught to me by my mentor Mr. Doug Henderson. This is a really great way to create a simple bullet hit either on open skin or under clothing. In fact- I think I shall make a tutorial on this effect for those of you getting your feet wet with some blood effects but are not quite ready for a full blown squib fx rig. Anyway, this was my method for awhile before returning to the foundations of my brain gun to see if I could modify it to fire a bullet hit. The first time I attempted this was for a film called Playhouse shot in Pittsburgh by some former Point Park University students. I used the brain gun to create exit wound blasts in tandem with the latex monofillament technique for the entrance wound. The hits worked great and the actor really sold them.
I also created my first exploding head effect for Playhouse by paper mache-ing around a water balloon filled with fake blood and putting a wig on it. An actor wore this on her head and took a step toward another actor who smacked the balloon with a foam sledge hammer. The effect was pretty incredible and totally hilarious.
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