Author Topic: PROPS: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??  (Read 14388 times)

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ScooterSM

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PROPS: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« on: Oct 19, 2010, 07:08 pm »
Has anyone had any brilliant solutions for the razor that is used in Sweeney Todd to slit throats?  The issue that we are running into is how to deliver the fake blood onto the neck of the victim and still have it look like their throat was slit.  Our props master has the razors, but we are stuck on how to make it work.  Ideas that have been discussed are having a squeezable bulb on the handle w/ blood, having a syringe loaded w/ blood attached, having something rigged on the victim's neck, or just killing the actors every night and then getting new ones.  Unfortunately these ideas aren't working, so any other help would be greatly appreciated!

A few relevant details:
-The theatre is a 375 seat proscenium with an orchestra pit, so the audience is not right on top of the stage.
-There are 3 groups of three actors each who have to be killed.  The razor goes offstage between each of the groups, so it could be refilled.
-The director would like the show to be pretty bloody, so the volume of blood would need to be decent.
-A cheaper solution is always the best, but we do have some budget room to solve this.

Our props master did scour the local theatres and the internet to see if there was anything available for rental, but strangely there wasn't anything.

Thank you all in advance for any ideas you might have!! :-)

Edit to add tag to subject line-Rebbe
« Last Edit: Dec 21, 2010, 04:43 pm by Rebbe »
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

MatthewShiner

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19, 2010, 07:54 pm »
When I have done it the show, we have done the version of the bulb on the handle, with a tube running on the side of the razor - so as the actor push the bulb, and pull the razor across the neck, left a line of blood.

with a back up plan, with a small squeeze bottle in the victim's hand.

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maximillionx

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #2 on: Oct 20, 2010, 12:04 am »
This solution will not get you an excessive amount of blood, which may not make it appropriate for Sweeney, but here goes:

This was a production of Don Carlos a friend of mine was in, where she had to slit her own throat with a dagger.  She had exited the stage with the knife moments before, only to pick up a duplicate soaking in a cup of blood.  When she entered the stage, she wiped the blood across her neck, appearing to commit suicide. This was also in a fairly small (75 seat) thrust space so I'm not sure if it will translate and fit your needs. It was very convincing from where I was sitting though!

JMagill

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2010, 12:10 am »
There are a lot of different blood products out there.
 for one show I worked on an actor had to accidentally cut her arm with a sword. for this effect we use a gel type blood that was placed on the sword prior to her entrance and for a scene that was at least 10 minutes before she had to cut her self with out her exiting aging before the effect then when the sword was swiped across the skin it transfered the blood.

the other idea would be to use a 2 part blood effect part one is a powder and can be directly applied to the skin. part two is a liquid and once the liquid comes in contact with the powder blood appears.  so as Sweeney is shaving he could have a container that he "rinses" off his blade in which contains the liquid part and swipe there's some blood

If the director wants more blood the actor getting his throat cut could also have a blood capsule and bite on it just as Sweeney slices him and gargle out more blood.  if the actor is just coming on to get his throat slit and then is dead (meaning enters, doesn't speak, sits in chair, gets throat slit and thats it)  you could do the throat slit and the actor could load up a mouth full of editable blood,(which the best is simply thawed frozen juice concentrate enhanced to a blood color with food dye) Slit throat and spew blood.


pmooney

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Re: Sweeney Todd\'s bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20, 2010, 01:00 am »
how about use the squeeze bulb in the razor with gel blood, but also have the victim fitted with a bladder of blood with a tube or two running up to the throat that when the victim squeezes the bladder, blood spurts or sprays out from the throat and the razor has left a nice red line across the throat simulating the cut

EDIT: cleaned up double post - PSMK
« Last Edit: Oct 20, 2010, 01:06 am by pmooney »

PSMKay

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Re: Sweeney Todd bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #5 on: Oct 20, 2010, 01:25 am »
I was privileged in a college Sweeney production to work with original Bway set designer Eugene Lee, who provided us with the original then-20 year old razors from the 1979 Broadway production.  The handles were about 7 inches long, made of wood with an oval opening on the underside.  The opening was about five inches long - enough to get all of your fingers inside to push down on the squeezy bladder inside.

The bladder was cylindrical and reusable, the same sort of material used in the bulbs of blood pressure cuffs.  They were filled by syringes with Rosco blood diluted with water - not sure of the dilution we used as it was over a decade ago now, but I do remember trying several different densities.  Too thin and you saw a stream of blood fly out towards the rail if Sweeney was feeling particularly energetic!  Too thick and you couldn't get it out of the Judge's white ruffled collar.

The blade mechanism screwed on once the bladder was filled.  It was a simple hollow metal tube about 3/8" diameter with a threaded end, then a wider metal flange, then about a 15 degree bend to make it look realistic and also help keep the blood from sloshing all over until it was needed.  The tube served as the spine of the razor.  It was punctured with small squirt holes about an inch apart all the way down the length. 

The tube was then wrapped both sides in sheet metal (I'm guessing it was aluminum, possibly steel) bent into a U shape like a taco and secured onto the unpunctured side of the tube.  The metal stuck out about an inch on both sides from the tube, folded parallel but not quite touching so that from the house it looked just like a very thick razor blade.  The sheet metal was blunted, of course.  It served as a pane to help smear the blood coming out of the tiny holes and make it look more uniform. 

We used three razors - two from the original show, and then we built a one for the contest which stayed empty so that there was no chance of it ever "bleeding" during that scene if someone forgot to dry it off after washing.  Having the smaller one made it easier for our Sweeney to make the dainty motions necessary for the contest music.  He would also use the empty one if he had to do any stropping or heavy motion with a razor - swapping out razors can certainly be made into believable business.  The other two were filled, as we didn't have time in our particular staging to refill them between the Beadle's and Judge's deaths.

With the tiny pinholes in the tubing it was definitely crucial to wash the things thoroughly after every performance, or they'd clog with the fake blood.  The sheet metal "blades" were quite fragile, as I recall, as was the threading that secured the blade to the handle.  Given that you're dealing with goop inside, you definitely do not want to strip that particular thread!

Hope this helps.

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loebtmc

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #6 on: Oct 20, 2010, 01:35 am »
Quote
a college Sweeney production to work with original Bway set designer Eugene Lee, who provided us with the original then-20 year old razors from the 1979 Broadway production.

OK. Wow.

and mega-cool

PSMKay

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #7 on: Oct 20, 2010, 04:01 am »
OK. Wow.

and mega-cool

He also provided us gratis with enough seamless muslin from Rose Brand to fill a 25' wide x 30' tall proscenium arch.  It's really fun and REALLY nerve-racking to SM for a guy with that kind of clout when you're not quite old enough to drink legally.

... and now back to your regularly scheduled topic.

nick_tochelli

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #8 on: Oct 20, 2010, 10:47 am »
I worked with one of Lee's design assistants (Gary Eckhart) in college on Sweeney! He designed our set to be a scaled down version of the original production. Very cool and probably not nearly as terrifying as working with Eugene Lee himself. I was also protected by being the ASM.

I've worked on Sweeney twice, once we used the bulb on the end as others have described.

The other time was more theatrical and we had the cast wearing false fronts to their shirts so when they got the barber's bib put on they could remove their shirt front to reveal a bloody mess of a shirt underneath. They kept the shirt front removed for the rest of the show, so randomly you would see a bloody actor on the stage and no one would seem to notice.

A lot of the director's inspiration came from the Broadway remounting I never saw, so if this is pulled directly from that and I'm not crediting it correctly, my apologies.

ScooterSM

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #9 on: Oct 20, 2010, 11:02 am »
Thank you so much!!  You guys are awesome!!

JMagill - do you have any product name suggestions for the two part blood effect (powder and liquid)?

I will pass all of these on to our props master, and let you know what we come up with.   ;D
“I've never been paid a lot, but the theatre has kept me, and for that I shall be eternally grateful.” Tony Church

JMagill

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Re: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #10 on: Nov 10, 2010, 10:21 am »
Sorry ScooterSM I haven't been on in a while (and this might be too late for you) because I have been in Annie HELL!
 But I am not sure if there is a major company that makes it. I have alway seen it called 2 part magic blood.

czrust

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Re: PROPS: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #11 on: Jan 10, 2011, 03:30 pm »
We just staged Sweeney and built a dramatic razor set with a bulb set handle.  It was well received and looked great.  We rent props, costumes and scenery.  To see what we might have for this show or to get a look at the razors, go to MrazCenterPhotos.com.  You will need to find the photo set for Sweeney, but from there, you should be good.

jenk

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Re: PROPS: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #12 on: Aug 03, 2016, 06:54 pm »
I've got great blood, and great razors, and great bladders/pipettes. The problem I'm facing is that the blood is detergent based as per the costume department, so no matter what we try to attach the bladders/pipettes to the razor's with (epoxy, hot glue, superglue, Goop, JB Weld) as it is soaked in the soap-based blood it softens and detaches. What can stand up to the soap, OR what other washable blood options do we have? PS, we are out of money.

PSMKay

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Re: PROPS: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #13 on: Aug 03, 2016, 07:27 pm »
How about a silicone-based adhesive designed for use in kitchens and bathrooms? Something like this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/DAP-Kwik-Seal-Ultra-5-5-oz-White-Premium-Kitchen-and-Bath-Sealant-18901/206046677

KMC

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Re: PROPS: Sweeney Todd's bloody razor.. Ideas on How??
« Reply #14 on: Aug 04, 2016, 01:00 am »
How about plastic welding?  Can you fuse the parts/pieces together?
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

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