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Breakable Glass Window Effect

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  • Breakable Glass Window Effect

    Hey everyone.

    In a scene in one of my screenplays, one of the characters breaks through the window to the basement of a house and climbs in head first. Basically they break in by smashing their head into the glass and then climbing in.

    If I were to film this, how would I acquire fake breakable window glass? Where could I get it? How much might it cost? And any tips on how to perform the glass break properly would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Pep

  • #2
    Sorry I don't know the answers to your questions, but I once witnessed someone punching their fist through a thin glass window by accident and it was a bit of a mess.
    Last edited by Peter Eisfelder; 08-17-2015, 12:17 AM.
    My cartoon blog www.EisfelderCartoon.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Peppermint Eyes View Post
      Hey everyone.

      In a scene in one of my screenplays, one of the characters breaks through the window to the basement of a house and climbs in head first. Basically they break in by smashing their head into the glass and then climbing in.

      If I were to film this, how would I acquire fake breakable window glass? Where could I get it? How much might it cost? And any tips on how to perform the glass break properly would be helpful.

      Thanks,

      Pep
      The easiest way way would probably be with sugar glass. You can make it at home. Its a lot more breakable but looks like glass. Still, you have to be careful because even though it is far far safer than glass it could still cut one of your actors.
      -AF

      sigpic

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Peter Eisfelder View Post
        Sorry I don't know the answers to your questions, but one thing I've noticed is Hollywood and it's love affair with shattering glass (ignore me if I start rambling).

        One of the problems with Hollywood is that they continually perpetuate myths and one of those myths is for someone to fall through glass and come out unhurt. I've got to admit that the effect does look cool and if that's what you're after then it's a great idea (although it may be becoming a cliche nowadays).

        However, if you want the film to be realistic then be aware that for someone to really smash their head through a window in real life would leave them in a very bad state where they would require medical treatment immediately. I once witnessed someone punching their fist through a thin glass window by accident and in an instant there was blood everywhere and the chap almost passed out. Glass can slice through arteries in an instant.

        Another myth is knocking someone unconscious by hitting them on the back of the head with a gun. In real life the difference between being unconscious or dead after being hit on the back of the head is a very fine line and yet in Hollywood they always seem to wake up.

        Anyway just my 2 cents worth.
        Yes, I am aware that it is not a realistic thing to go through glass without real damage to the person. I didn't mention that the person going through the glass is already dead. So obviously I do not want my film to be ultra realistic if I have a dead guy climbing though a basement window. Semi-camp is what I'm going for.

        And yes, I dislike many of the Hollywood movies recycling clichés and tropes that only exist to advance the plot forward, which is actually something I was looking to challenge with this film anyway, but it should also be noted that most films, even the ones that are trying to be "gritty" and "realistic" are also fallacious in their attempts because nothing about making a film is realistic or naturalistic. The stories in films follow the rules of their own worlds, not the one we live in. We don't just cut-to the important moments in our lives, which apparently is only worth between 70 and 180 minutes on average according to filmmaking standards. Life for most people is majorly comprised of sitting around and waiting. And while films made by big production companies often do unrealistic things and then go on to promote their film as "realistic", I also think contemporary movie goers have been somewhat spoiled by this craze of wanting everything to be "realistic."

        And sorry if it sounds like I'm chewing you out. That's not my intention. I have my own grievances with the current state of popular media. Some that go along with the ones you noted. Particularly the one about knocking someone unconscious so easily. I'm not a big fan of gratuitous violence in general, but to purport that violence like that is a simple solution to a problem is the thing that irks me the most, because more often than not violence fuels conflict rather than deters it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Anonymous Filmmaker View Post
          The easiest way way would probably be with sugar glass. You can make it at home. Its a lot more breakable but looks like glass. Still, you have to be careful because even though it is far far safer than glass it could still cut one of your actors.
          Thanks. I figured the sugar glass was the way to go, I was just wondering if there was a place to get it in sheet form besides trying to make it myself. I'll have to read up on making it I guess.

          And yes, I understand the dangers of working with something that shatters into shards. Thanks for the warning though. Any tips on dealing with it? Like safety gear or procedure?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Peppermint Eyes View Post
            Thanks. I figured the sugar glass was the way to go, I was just wondering if there was a place to get it in sheet form besides trying to make it myself. I'll have to read up on making it I guess.

            And yes, I understand the dangers of working with something that shatters into shards. Thanks for the warning though. Any tips on dealing with it? Like safety gear or procedure?
            I'm sure there are places that you could buy it, a google search will tell you that. Unfortunately I haven't been able to try sugar glass myself so I can't really say as far as safety, but I have heard of problems arising, that's why I mentioned it. Make sure to post afterwards how it went because I'd be curious to hear what did and didn't work with it.
            -AF

            sigpic

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            • #7
              http://breakawayfx.com/

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              • #8
                if you want to do it yourselft, here is a good reference http://www.newrulefx.com/pages/diy-b...ay-sugar-glass
                Francis

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                • #9
                  Out here in Hollywood, I'm sure there are places that sell sugar glass bottles and such. They may have small sheets or panes for sale as well. Don't know any offhand, but a google search should yield results. They may even be considered props, I'm not real sure.

                  You'd need to install the pane into the window frame before you put anyone thru it.



                  Kurt Hathaway
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                  VikingDream7 Productions
                  Video Production & Editing

                  khathawayart[at]gmail.com

                  www.cartoon-balloons.com

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