Author Topic: Breakaway Bottles  (Read 7528 times)

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boolabella

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Breakaway Bottles
« on: Mar 20, 2008, 06:57 pm »
Does anyone know of a pre-scored breakaway bottle that shatters into only a few big pieces as opposed to many little pieces and is still safe for the actor getting hit?
Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.”

sievep

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #1 on: Mar 21, 2008, 01:10 am »
I'm sure someone will find a fabulous resource and prove me wrong, but I've found breakaway bottles, glasses, etc. to be the most unpredictable gag in the business.  You could pre score your own sugar glass bottles, but they'll still shatter into a million pieces, and whatever you do don't let the person doing the hitting continue the downward motion after the bottle is broken (Imagine that broken bottle cutting into your actor's face).  It's a tap on the head with a lot of reaction. 

Maybe you could wrap the bottle in contact paper with a prescored breakaway point . . . .that way even if the bottle does shatter, the pieces will hopefully adhere to the contact paper, and only break at your desired location.

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shorty

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #2 on: Mar 21, 2008, 10:16 pm »
we used a breakaway champagne bottle recently for die fledermaus at my school. our props master made some and also ordered some.  however, the ones that they ordered were thicker than the ones that she made.  the guy whose breakaway bottle was hit on got hit on the head (we did go through a fight call of the actions). however we had one night that the thickness of the bottle was so thick that it didn't break.  the guy had a bump on his head, we did use an ice pack and took correct measures about filling out papers.  the overall lesson: make sure the thickness is the same throughout the run of the show so that it doesn't through anyone off. (the actor who hit him felt horrible and kept asking how he was everytime he came offstage and apologized profusely to the actor) the champagne bottles that we used did break into several large pieces and a lot of small bits of sugar glass. 
*o*
Sarah

sevon

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #3 on: Mar 22, 2008, 12:55 am »
I've heard that bottles can be pre-broken into large pieces then hot glued back together. That way the next time they shatter it's usually where it was broken before. Never tried it, but may be worth attempting.

loebtmc

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #4 on: Mar 22, 2008, 02:35 am »
While it's true that w anything glass or ceramic, there are no absolutes, I have had a couple of shows where we had to break plates, glasses and other stuff on stage every nite, including a bottle that had to shatter from a gunshot and all within 10 feet of the front row of house. As these were mostly in small-ish houses, we were concerned as much about the audience's safety as the actors'. Our best solution was pre-breaking and gluing back together all the pieces we needed - and we would prep a week's worth at a time. Amusingly, there were a couple of nites when a plate didn't break at all, and a couple when they broke NOT along the pre-scored lines, but most of the time it worked beautifully, and best of all, minimal shatter and almost never did anything leap out into the house.

Glass items had to be thick enough, and ceramic cheap/thin enough to work, and we had to plan on losing a little over 1 each nite (since the pre-scoring sometimes broke a piece beyong repair) , but generally speaking, it was a great solution.

Good luck, and do your geometry to make sure the angle it's being broken from doesn't send flying pieces into the house, nor in the direction of the actors. (Wow, math in daily life...!)

elliebelle

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #5 on: Apr 23, 2008, 02:14 am »
Loebtmc, did you use hot-glue, as the poster above you mentioned?

Something else to take into consideration might be whether or not you will have liquid in the bottle. Apparently sugar glass bottles can't contain liquids because the glass will melt...

ewharton

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #6 on: Apr 23, 2008, 02:20 pm »
I did a show recently that had a breakaway vase in it. We used packing tape to wrap the large base of the vase so that when it broke it was mostly contained.
The little bit that broke was rather small pieces but the majority of the vase stayed in one chunk due to the packing tape around it.
We had a fight between two actors directly on top of the broken glass and no one got hurt. It was obviously choreographed very carefully but one actor did fall directly on top of the glass and "cut" his hand.
The tape worked very well and the actors were never injured.
And elliebelle is right - you can't put liquid in sugar glass because it will melt. However, there are types of breakaways that are made differently (I think they're some kind of plastic but I'm not sure) that you can put water in. That's what we used because the vase had flowers put in it by an actor directly before the fight and there was a line about putting the flowers in water.

boolabella

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Re: Breakaway Bottles
« Reply #7 on: Apr 23, 2008, 11:32 pm »
Thanks for all of your suggestions.  Our props master tried making his own bottle,  cutting it into 4 large pieces and then hot glueing it back together.  Unfortunately it was too thick and inconsistent so we opted for a plastic bottle that was painted to look like a glass wine bottle that did not actually break.  It looks great and some people even think its worse to have the bottle not break because it looks like it hurts more!
Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want.”

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