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recreate electrical short circuit flash

#1 User is offline   Jeremy Smith 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:54 PM

The Attfield Theatre in Oswestry is staging The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in May and we need something to recreate a small electrical short circuit spark in a plug socket. This happens several times in each performance.
I am thinking of a small electric blue flash and a small bang or buzz, maybe a little smoke but not essential.
Can anyone help? Or point me in the direction of a firm that could?

Most of the pyro stuff I have seen on line seems too big and powerful. Also, being a small theatre company, our funds are inevitably limited.
thanks

Jeremy Smith
Attfield Theatre

#2 User is offline   andy_s 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 02:06 PM

Le Maitre make "Robotics" which are designed to simulate electrical short-circuiting. There's a demo video on the Le Maitre website which will give you an idea of whether the effect is too big for your puposes, but that aside, perhaps too expensive for your budget - I think they are about 4 a pop, and they are one-time effects, you spend that money every time you do it....

perhaps the budget version might be an "arcing" sound effect, for a repeatable visual effect, maybe cut a small discrete hole in the flat below the electrical socket and fire off a strobe behind it simultaneously with the sound effect, or perhaps a camera flashgun. Don't know how well this would read, but wouldn't take too much to mock up a trial version. And of course actors' reactions will all contribute...
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#3 User is offline   Brian 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:33 PM

I suspect even the small robotic from Le Maitre would be too big. The small ones from TPL would be a better bet. PM me for supplier info if your local stockist can't help.
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#4 User is offline   roryfm 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:28 PM

Back in the day when I used to dabble as a magician I had a prop called a 'spark ejector' which was basically a clockwork spring loaded cigarette lighter. It used a standard flint from a cigarette lighter, and you wound it up with a key. On triggering it spun a wheel against the flint at high speed and shot sparks up to a foot. It was a handheld effect but I reckon it could be built into a set.
Might be worth a look...

#5 User is offline   dbuckley 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:00 PM

Could fake it with a light behind the socket and a sound effect?
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#6 User is offline   the kid 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:00 PM

View Postroryfm, on 04 April 2012 - 04:28 PM, said:

Back in the day when I used to dabble as a magician I had a prop called a 'spark ejector' which was basically a clockwork spring loaded cigarette lighter. It used a standard flint from a cigarette lighter, and you wound it up with a key. On triggering it spun a wheel against the flint at high speed and shot sparks up to a foot. It was a handheld effect but I reckon it could be built into a set.
Might be worth a look...

"magic ring" I think is the term to use... though that might be ambiguous

or funken ring.

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#7 User is offline   dmoorcroft 

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:26 PM

You could consider using the igniters used with many pyrotechnics - they give a small flash and "pop" and are used in the firing process of many Le Maitre pyrotechnics.

#8 User is offline   andy_s 

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 05:04 AM

View Postdbuckley, on 04 April 2012 - 09:00 PM, said:

Could fake it with a light behind the socket and a sound effect?


erm, see post 2...
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#9 User is offline   ladyjayne 

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:00 AM

View Postroryfm, on 04 April 2012 - 04:28 PM, said:

Back in the day when I used to dabble as a magician I had a prop called a 'spark ejector' which was basically a clockwork spring loaded cigarette lighter. It used a standard flint from a cigarette lighter, and you wound it up with a key. On triggering it spun a wheel against the flint at high speed and shot sparks up to a foot. It was a handheld effect but I reckon it could be built into a set.
Might be worth a look...

LeMaitre make something similar flash gun

with the right amount of flash cotton and maybe the addition of what is called sparkle powder it might be what the OP is looking for
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#10 User is offline   NeilVP 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

I've seen robotics used very effectively for this effect in this same show. The opening night, the fall out from the robotic set the bedspread alight on the bed underneath causing an evacuation of the theatre. oops.
Turns out the effect was not tried during rehearsal and that "someone unknown" had swapped the original cotton bedspread for a more 'period looking' one which was viscose. oops again.


and

View PostJeremy Smith, on 04 April 2012 - 01:54 PM, said:

The Attfield Theatre in Oswestry is staging The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in May and we need something to recreate a small electrical short circuit spark in a plug socket. This happens several times in each performance.
I am thinking of a small electric blue flash and a small bang or buzz, maybe a little smoke but not essential.
Can anyone help? Or point me in the direction of a firm that could?

Most of the pyro stuff I have seen on line seems too big and powerful. Also, being a small theatre company, our funds are inevitably limited.
thanks

Jeremy Smith
Attfield Theatre


#11 User is offline   ferretwrangler 

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:42 PM

I'd agree with dmoorcroft an ignitor/electric match from Lemaitre or TPL would be ideal.

They are relatively inexpensive, very small and deliver an effect similar to a robotic but much smaller. Nice spark small amount of smoke.

TPL website here LINKY
Works at Indivisual AV in Blackpool

http://www.indivisual.co.uk

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