Author Topic: SCENERY: Guillotine  (Read 7402 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

philimbesi

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 117
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
SCENERY: Guillotine
« on: May 21, 2008, 10:08 am »
So, I'm SM'ing a production of Scarlet Pimpernel, and during the production meeting the Director looked at me and said I don't know where to get a Guillotine... like I do.  Anyone?  
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:17 am by PSMKay »

sievep

  • Permanent Resident
  • *****
  • Posts: 204
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AGMA
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2008, 10:17 am »
Oh Geez  . . .

Phil, I don't know the show, so I'm not sure if it's just there or if it has to be practical, but I think you are going to have to build this one.  It should be super easy, just do a bit of research beforehand to get the details right and then have at it.

I should start a Props Depot . . . you can do it, we can help.
"This lovely light, it lights not me" - Orson Welles

philimbesi

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 117
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2008, 10:21 am »
Hey Steve,

Yea it's got to be practical, they behead someone in the first scene.   I'm researching as we speak, just hoping to nip it in the bud... sorry had to. 

MatthewShiner

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 2477
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: PSM THE LION KING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR; Assc Director and Production Supervisor HUNCHBACK International
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2008, 10:50 am »
I remember the Broadway one was a big old special effect designed by a magician I believe.  (It was oddly simple I remember watching it from the wings, but I believe expensive).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

spikesgirl

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2008, 06:14 pm »
Where fo you hail from?  I know that Sacramento Muscial Theater had one - they did the show a couple of years ago.  You might want to check with them - www.CaliforniaMusical/Theatre.com  Hope this helps a little!

Charlie
Charlie

check us out at sctlivetheatre.org

sevon

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2008, 03:07 am »
Yes, Music Circus, the summer stock of California Musical Theatre used one a few years ago. It was a great effect. Email their production manger Scott, he can probably lead you somewhere.

zayit shachor

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 175
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://thankyouten.blogspot.com
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2008, 03:15 am »
Now I'm curious.  How do these work?  Is it the same idea as a prop knife (part of the "blade" collapses into the top)?  And, how do you stage a beheading onstage?

(Sorry to be off-topic, but I'm intrigued!)

chops

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
  • Gender: Male
  • My tie got caught in an arbor today
    • View Profile
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2008, 05:46 pm »
I've seen a couple of similar devices used for magic shows.  From what I have seen there are two options.  A fake blade or a fake head.  I would strongly recommend the fake blade as it is never a good idea to have a working guillotine around.  Unless you are planning a revolution that is.  How I have seen these work is that there is a fake bottom on the stockade which holds the neck.  As the blade comes down the bottom opens and the person inside simply moves downward and the blade covers the hole where the recently severed neck would be.  You can even place some fake blood behind the blade so that when it impacts it shoots blood everywhere.  The actors downward movement is masked by a basket or other head receptical which is sitting in front of the stockade.  Then a fake head is produced out of the basket or better yet the box with the head in it is placed on a table where the box is then removed and the severed head sitting on the table starts singing. 
A few important things to take into account; The blade and mounting bracket should be of minimal weight. If the blade weighs 20lb then there is a chance that it could do some damage.  If the blade is foam with some tin foil over it then the chances of it taking a hand off are very minimal.  Also make sure that the blade is not sharp. 
Whatever you do make sure that there is no possible way that the guillotine can actually behead someone.  Your head carpenter really doesn't want to clean that up.   
Peace,

Chops

SummerShakespeare

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 45
  • Gender: Female
  • Good Googly Moogly!
    • View Profile
  • Experience: College/Graduate
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2008, 01:35 pm »
I just did Pimpenel last summe and what we did was build a guillotine that was not a fancy magicians one but it just went to just above the actors head and when it started to fall in the opening number it went into a blackout becasuse we had that huge scene change right after that to the garden. And at the end when Percy died we used a fake head and it looked very decent....except for the time when it rolled off the guillotine platform and into the orchestra pit.....that was a good day....HA
All on the same G.O.

spikesgirl

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Guillotine
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2008, 04:50 pm »
I just did Pimpenel last summe and what we did was build a guillotine that was not a fancy magicians one but it just went to just above the actors head and when it started to fall in the opening number it went into a blackout becasuse we had that huge scene change right after that to the garden. And at the end when Percy died we used a fake head and it looked very decent....except for the time when it rolled off the guillotine platform and into the orchestra pit.....that was a good day....HA

Percy died?  He didn't in our version - neither time.

When we did it on the main stage, we had a very intricate device that worked much as the magician's one did, but when it was done in the tent, it was with a fake head.  It rolled out into one of the aisles, it did it's job and wheeled back away.  The hardest part was keeping audience members from trying to touch it.

Charlie

Charlie
Charlie

check us out at sctlivetheatre.org

mkristinect

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: TPS
  • Current Gig: Freelance
  • Experience: Professional
Re: SCENERY: Guillotine
« Reply #10 on: Jun 05, 2015, 02:33 am »
This is mere curiosity, but did anyone in London see the National's production of Danton's Death a few years back with Toby Stephens in the title role?  (2010, maybe?)  That guillotine execution scene at the end was one of the coolest effects I've ever encountered.  It seems like they were keeping their methods under pretty tight wraps (understandably), but I would be sooo interested to know how they did it.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
22 Replies
12359 Views
Last post Feb 01, 2008, 06:19 pm
by squarewheelbike
5 Replies
2080 Views
Last post Jul 17, 2012, 12:16 am
by ericjames
14 Replies
2808 Views
Last post Jan 12, 2013, 11:09 pm
by dallas10086

riotous