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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Cutting with a laser illuson need help with pyrotechnics (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

allusions
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Hi, I'm trying to do the Alan Wakeling sawing illusion. Instead of just using two big blades I want to sugest that I am cutting the female with a laser first. I want sparks or fire to follow the line of the laser as I drag it across the box simulating a laser cutting. I like magnesium ribbon but I worry it will be hard to ignite quickly and discreetly. Also, I'm worried it may burn to hot and burn my illusion. I also thought of flash string. Any ideas?
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Fire is not permitted in theater any longer. You may have a real problem, as it would have to be outside, with no one around to see it.

I suggest you consult a pyrotechnic expert and don't try to do anything yourself. You don't want to spend your life in prison. David Copperfield and others have done this before all the new regulation concerning fire in enclosed building.

They may not even allow you to use a Laser Pointer today. Check with your local Fire Marshall where you plan to perform, then get some expert references and advice.
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George Ledo
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I'll agree with that. Rules and regs on this have become very stringent, and far more so in some municipalities than in others. Check with an expert.
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aheads
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Stockholm, Sweden
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I would say that it depends which country you live in.

You can still have fire and smoke effects on the stage in the UK and in Sweden. Not sure about the rest of Europe.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream
htmagic
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Tennessee
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Sorry for necro'ing this thread.
Magnesium WILL burn too hot. And it's not easy to light.
Go with flash string. Add a little sparkle additive and it will slow down the burn and make it throw small sparks.
It will look good with a laser.
Best to check with a fire marshall.
Good luck!
May the FORCE be with you and have a magical day!

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Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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I always say that people fear what they don't understand. I've been doing pyro for about 30 years, was the pyro/fire director for Ceasers Magical Empire in Las Vegas as well as my own touring shows for many decades. It's really a very simple effect. Copperfields's Laser Cutting simply used some aluminum "U" channel and an elongated spring that fit inside of it. Some rolled up flash paper sheets were inside the springs and were ignited by a pyrotechnic squib at one end. Flash string can be used but is pretty small and might not create enough of a look to do what you need. Yes, you need to check with your local Fire Marshall to see if you'll need a fire permit to ignite flash string or paper in your area. California tends to be the toughest state for fire regulations. Others are much more lax, but you need to know the laws in your area or you could be fined if caught. That's all.
Ray Pierce
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aheads
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I was thinking along the lines of those birthday sparklers which we used when I was a kid. One of those laid horizontally would look the business.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream
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