Dust hits in darkness

Want to simulate a bullet hit in an actor under low-light conditions? Then, here is a secret tip for you: Rig the squib with talcum powder instead of stage blood, and backlight the actor. This way, you will see a puff of “smoke” appear from the actor. This looks like a real bullet hit when timed with a suitable motion from the actor. Also, talcum powder has a long hang-time in the air.  The resulting cloud gives a visual effect for several seconds.

The hit shown here was beautifully rigged just this way by FX supervisor Johan Harnesk from “Panorama SFX”.  The footage is from the production “Nobels Testamente” and supplied courtesy of “Yellow Bird Films AB”. By the way, this idea works for any squib. Exploding squibs, air squibs or even CGI-generated with animated particles! Just avoid inhaling the talcum IRL.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *