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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Mounting Pyro into Illusion (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of MagicByRy
I am designing an illusion that requires mounting pyro and I need a little advice as to what to use. The basic effect is a few small explosions (mainly sparks) going off around the corners and edges of a tall box and then a shade flying up to reveil it is empty. I want it to look very similar to David Copperfield's Fan Illusion but on a smaller level (don't worry the ilusion is TOTALLY different but the ending is similar). What do I use to achieve this effect? I was assuming that I should just use cotton, paper, and sparkle additive. There would also be several so it would be ideal if I didn't have to replace anything between shots. A glow plug is the only thing that I know of that will achieve this (however, I don't know much about pyro). Also, is there an easy (cheap) way to have them all triggered by one switch but delayed a little so they do not all go off at the same time without buying expensive timers? Thanks in advance!
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Profile of Midnight333
Okay. For the effect a simple way is to use a small amount of flash cotton, with some sparkle additive on it. If you want a larger shower of sparks, that is something called a "fountain". Those are available from LeMaitre or Theatre Effects. What I would do is get four glow plugs and build them into the end of a little tube. Then you can load the cotton in one end with the sparkle. All you need to do, to make the devices fire at once, is to make a series circuit. Then add whatever remote you like. Hope this helps.
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Thanks midnight333,
I think the glow plugs and cotton with sparkle additive would be the best way to go about it. However, I was wondering if it was possible to NOT get them to fire all at once. I wanted a slight delay with each one so it has more of a random effect. Thanks again!
Miracle Man Show
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Please don't take this as some kind of scolding, but, for the love of God, DON'T DO IT!!!
It is clear from your original post, that you're not sure what you're doing; pyro is no place to "learn as you go". There are a lot of fundamental questions that you never even addressed in your original post, I don't believe that you have the knowledge to tackle this project. For your sake and the sake of your audience, get a licensed pyrotechnician to do this work for you.
I really don’t want to sound mean, but Midnight333, you don’t even know what state this guy lives in, and whether or not the advice you’ve offered him is legal in his state.
Some people are going to read this and think that I’m a real horse’s rear end…so be it, If getting in your face this way will save a life, (maybe yours, MagicByRy) then call me a horse’s rear end.
I’m not saying don’t do the pyro, just get somebody who knows “how” to do the pyro.

Remember the fire at the club in Rhode Island?

Pyro will never be the same again.
Tom McCormick
"The Miracle Man Show"
There's only one Miracle Man, that's Jesus Christ; I just get to do a show about HIM.
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Yes, never EVER use "homemade" pyro like Tom said. They are explosives after all, and all explosives are dangerous. The use of pyro puts certain requirements on the prop it is used with as well, it needs to be fireproof. Besides, I believe in the US you need a hefty insurance if you´re gonna use pyro.

Do get a professional pyrotechnician to do the stuff for you and use only professionally made products, like LeMaitre.

A real professional that could assist you is Steve Zigmont, who frequently posts at the Café. He´s got amazing knowledge and is a real gentleman.
Sent from my Typewriter
The Drake
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I'm also with Tom on this one. PYRO is just a bad idea any way you look at it.

Venue owners don't like it, insurance companies don't like it and in many communities its now considered banned. A friend of mine is a licenced pyro man and had done absolutely ZERO business since that famous fire. Nobody wants to touch the stuff. There is a reason for this.

Here in Ontario you must have a pyro licence to rent/buy any pryo device. I'm sure its the same in many states. If you use pryo without this licence your insurance and your clients insurance is not valid in the case of a disaster.

If you are a pro performer you can expect to be visited by the local fire inspector from time to time. All my drapery and backdrops are flame retardant. I've been asked to prove that several times and was glad I could as the show would have been brought to stop if I couldn't. Be advised that these inspectors show up shortly before the show and have the power to close you down.

Sorry to rain on your parade but this is advice you should seriously consider.
Paul Arthur
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A real professional that could assist you is Steve Zigmont, who frequently posts at the Café. He´s got amazing knowledge and is a real gentleman.

I agree that Steve is the person to talk to, though I'm not sure he posts here much anymore. Probably best to email him
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