How to Make a Fake Window

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Making breakaway glass to use in a film can be a long process for an independent filmmaker. In this free video, learn to use purchased silicone, Piccolastic, and Piccotex to make the mold and fake glass window for that perfect shot. Most importantly, be careful and communicate with the actors or stunt persons.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Shaun O'Rourke, with Eleven Bravo Productions, and I'm here at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina, and I'm going to show you today how to make a glass window. Okay, so what you're going to do is you're going to first start off by getting heat sensitive silicone, okay? You're going to buy this stuff and you're going to mix it together, and you're going to lay it on out on a tray, and you're going to want to make it flat. What you're actually doing is building a reservoir for a two- part system you're going to use to pour into that to make your fake glass. Now, you're going to have a nice square, thirty-six inches. That's about the width and length that you need, because anything more than that, it's going to be too brittle and it's going to fall apart. You're going to need to get yourself a hold of piccolastic and piccotex, okay? That's a two-part solution that you're going to mix together and you're going to pour into your reservoir, which is a nice square pane that you've poured, so that you could pull your glass out of that silicone mold. Now, you're going to want to make sure that you pour this at a real steady and smooth rate after you mix it together so that bubbles don't form in the window, okay? Once that stuff sets up, you're going to pull your silicone mold apart and you will have your thirty-six inch pane of breakaway glass. Now, that's one technique to use, okay? Another one is you could take tempered glass, which shatters very easily, and get yourself some sort of explosive mechanism. Now, in a real production you'd use real pyro guys that know how to blow this stuff up, so I don't recommend you doing this on your own, okay, and what they're going to do is they're going to take a wire with a small explosive squib, and they're going to put it in the small corner of your window, okay? So, if somebody's going to get their head smashed through one of these windows, right at the point of impact that that stunt guy is going to hit that glass, they're going to hit that charge and shatter that window as he's going through. Now, that's the second technique, but again, I don't recommend it. So, if you're an independent filmmaker and you're trying to make breakaway glass, make a fake window, you're going to have to use the first part of this. Get yourself some silicone. Get yourself some piccolastic and piccotex, and you're going to have a painstaking process, but you can only do about thirty-six inches in a square all around because anything more than that's just too brittle and too much to pull out of the mold. It's going to shatter. It's going to break. It's not going to be any good for you, okay? Now, those are my two suggestions for you. Hire professionals that know what they're doing, or try to do it on your own but be safe. Remember, always talk to your actors and stunt people to make sure that they're safe and comfortable with putting their head through a pane of glass, whether it be fake or whether it be tempered, okay? Those are my tips for you. I'm Shaun O'Rourke, with Eleven Bravo Productions, and I just showed you how to make breakaway glass and a fake window.


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