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Squibs

Contributed by Glen Berry

Hi, I'm a begining film maker and planning out my first 16mm short story project, and I've run into a snare. In my script it calls for the use of squibs (several charactors get shot at at close range), and I can't afford the REAL "deals". Is there anyone out there that can give me guidance on making my own with fairly easy to find (and fairly inexpensive) materials?? If you have any ideas or suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated.

We personally don't recommend using squibs unless you have some professional experience with them. We've seen zealous (but misguided) filmmakers attempt to make their own with black powder or other home-grown explosives in a highly unsafe manner.

The following answer, provided by Jeffrey A. Brewer, President of Skyline Entertainment in Hartford CT, is a great tip for you squib builders out there.

"I made a film last summer and the script called for squibs. We as well could'nt afford to buy them so we used duct tape, baggies, molasses blood mix, and a high powered air compressor. Cut the Baggies in the shape of your squib, tape them over with the duct tape leaving a "window" of baggie exposed, hot glue a piece of tubing in the squib, (make sure thier are no leaks) tape the squib under the clothing of your actor and attach the hose. With a razor or exacto knife, score a slight slit in the clothing. When you turn on the compressor the baggie fills with air and makes the squib burst sending the blood mix out like a wound. It worked wonderfully and looked great!"

Berry started his career as an editor and post production supervisor, having worked on documentaries for PBS and The Discovery Channel. Berry’s award-winning short fiction, documentary and experimental films have screened at festivals around the world. His first feature film secured a rare worldwide distribution deal and received a limited theatrical release.

The publisher of Film Underground and founder of Northwest Film School, Berry has taught production at Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College. Berry was awarded a Master of Arts in Production and Direction from the National University of Ireland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Theatre Arts from Montana State University.

Berry’s academic work has been published in scholarly journals as well as trade publications such as MovieMaker Magazine, CyberFilmSchool.com and FilmFestivals.com as well as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Filmmaking. He is the publisher of Film Underground and has served as an expert source for international newspaper and radio media outlets. Berry twice served as the Director of the Northwest Projections Film Festival and as a panel judge on numerous festivals and competitions.

Glen Berry is the Director of the Northwest Film School where he teaches directing, producing and editing. He has specialized in creative editing and post production techniques with independent film. His interests include the cognitive functions of the mind as it applies to motion picture editing as well as new forms of communications in the visual arts.

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