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exploding a light bulb (safely)


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#1 Andre LeBlanc

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 03:36 AM

Hello all,

I've seen numerous slow-motion videos on youtube of light bulbs exploding. Sometimes it's obvious how they're doing it, and other times it isn't. Is there a way to explode a light bulb safely, when it's still on? This is for a specific effect I'm trying to do of a typical lamp shade light bulb exploding-- say 60 watts. Anyone ever seen this done, or done it themselves? Any info greatly appreciated!
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:57 AM

Is there a way to explode a light bulb safely, when it's still on? This is for a specific effect I'm trying to do of a typical lamp shade light bulb exploding-- say 60 watts. Anyone ever seen this done, or done it themselves? Any info greatly appreciated!

Haven't done it but I'll bet a BB gun would do the job without endangering crew. I can hit a tin can from 125' with a kid's Daisy Red Rider BB gun. I doubt if a BB gun would break a proper halogen bulb from any distance but household style bulb is pretty flimsy. Anyone within 15 feet or so of the bulb should probably wear eye protection gear just in case. If the camera's in close it probably wouldn't hurt to put it behind protective shielding with a window for the lens with an piece of good quality glass protecting the lens itself. Best quality glass would be a UV filter or optical flat but a good piece of flat water glass would probably work.

Have a look at Ron Dexter's website, http://www.rondexter.com . It wouldn't surprise if he's got some good ideas there. If not, Ron's pretty good at answering emails with clear questions. Don't email him and ask "How do I make a movie?", he'd probably answer that one with: "Have a 100 million dollars in the bank".
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#3 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:26 PM

Haven't done it but I'll bet a BB gun would do the job without endangering crew.


A squirt gun with ice water might do.

Probably shooting from behind and below so that the bulb masks the stream.

& give the bulb a chance to heat up.
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#4 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:39 PM

We've always done it with a pellet gun or a 'sweeny' gun depending on the look we want. The sweeny gun uses a marble to shoot it. You really need to be extra careful with eye protection because the tiny glass shards can go EVERYWHERE and far.

Also, experimenting with the different angles to shoot the bulb with have an effect on how it looks.

Kevin Zanit
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Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

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Opal

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Visual Products

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks