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This tape will self destruct


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:07 AM

I've been asked to help a friend with no budget family video which he wants to start off with a beginning as in the "Mission Impossible" tv series in which after Jim Phelps heard his assignment the tape self destructed with a smoke effect.

I'd like to do this as a practical gag and think that I could run a small tube from my smoke machine and put a couple of puffs in at the right moment but I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions.

I haven't seen that tv show in years but I think that the self destructing tape shot might have been after a cutaway from the tape recorder and then when cut back it's smoking but can't remember.

Where do spies buy self destructing tape anyway? Is there a volume discount?

Thanks.
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#2 James Erd

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 01:24 AM

I've been asked to help a friend with no budget family video which he wants to start off with a beginning as in the "Mission Impossible" tv series in which after Jim Phelps heard his assignment the tape self destructed with a smoke effect.

I'd like to do this as a practical gag and think that I could run a small tube from my smoke machine and put a couple of puffs in at the right moment but I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions.

I haven't seen that tv show in years but I think that the self destructing tape shot might have been after a cutaway from the tape recorder and then when cut back it's smoking but can't remember.

Where do spies buy self destructing tape anyway? Is there a volume discount?

Thanks.


Well you could soak a small bit of cotton in machine oil and wrap a few winds of thin copper wire around it. Then at the appropriate moment connect the leads to 12V DC battery. leads should to the battery should be thicker than the wire going around the cotton. A good higher amperage switch not near the battery is also a great idea. :blink:
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 02:40 AM

I'd try canned smoke ( http://www.studiodep...i...nt=&id=6935 ) with an extension tube from just out of frame or from a hole drilled through the table and tape machine right through the machine's face just under the tape reels. You might be able to do this more easily with 2 identical machines, one rigged for the gag while keeping the other totally functional. A quick cut in between the end of the message and the tape "self-destructing" and whola Mr Phelps, your mission is accomplished. :ph34r:

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 12 February 2009 - 02:42 AM.

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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 08:37 PM

Thanks guys, the shoot was postponed when the one who asked me to do it had to bail for something else. Still going to do it at some point and those are both
good suggestions. I'd like to test both methods, with the exception of drilling just because we have a limited supply of tape recorders and we can use them but not alter them. Still, there ought to be plenty ways to cheat that.

Since you guys answered and you didn't say where spies do buy self destructing tape; it's clear to me that you are indeed spies. If you weren't you would have speculated about self destructing tape but your transparent attempts to steer me away from the real espionage equipment have shown that you are indeed some kind of spies.

Still, thanks.
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#5 James Erd

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 03:01 AM

It's funny but I found this post doing a google search on my name. I guess these days anyone can be a spy :ph34r: Any way while I am here I had another idea on how to set up the gag. Since real tape decks are limited you could limit the modification to only the cassette.

Here's how I would do it. First take apart a standard cassette and being careful not to disturb the contents drill a small hole through the backside for the main leads to go through. These should be of a heavier gauge copper stranded wire. The part that wraps around the oil soaked cotton would be just one strand. That will keep the heat localized. Use a six or twelve volt lantern to heat the wire. Also you could substitute a small chip of dry ice for the oil soaked cotton. Here's my functional diagram Posted Image

The two main lead should be easy to hide if you pick the right kind of deck. One like this wouldn't even need to be modified. Posted Image This way you are wrecking cassettes which are practically free. But I think this gag always looked best with the old R2R decks because you can see the reels moving.... Posted Image

Edited by James Erd, 12 March 2009 - 03:04 AM.

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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:21 AM

Hi James,

Thanks, just saw this. That's hilarious. I appreciate your posting the pictures.

I also like the idea of minimizing the destructiveness of a gag involving items people may want to collect.
It makes me think that it would be great if more filmmakers would find ways to apply the cassettes not decks
approach to movies that blow up classic cars.
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#7 Jim Carlile

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:48 AM

How about a lit strip of magnesium? That's what the show's effect looks like. Attach a string fuse to it first, then shoot away.
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#8 John Baustian

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 08:47 AM


I'd be *really* careful with magnesium. It burns extremely hot and it could set your whole gag on fire.
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#9 James Erd

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:08 AM

Hi James,

Thanks, just saw this. That's hilarious. I appreciate your posting the pictures.

I also like the idea of minimizing the destructiveness of a gag involving items people may want to collect.
It makes me think that it would be great if more filmmakers would find ways to apply the cassettes not decks
approach to movies that blow up classic cars.


Thanks Tim,

I had fun putting that together. One of these days I'd like to put together a small book of gags, but every time I start creating I just want to go out and rig something for real... or for my reel.
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