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How too...book explode

I need to figure out the safest way to explode the back out of a book like its been shot with a gun while someone holds it. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Hi Athena,

    The safest, and one of the cheapest, ways to do something like this is with compressed air.  You can pre-score the book so it breaks up as desired, and embed an air hose with a 90-degree adapter at the end to direct the force out the back of the book where it is scored.

    The larger the hose diameter, the more air it will let through at once, resulting in a larger simulated explosion. 

    One challenge you would have is releasing a short burst of air, as you don't want the paper flapping around after the main burst and giving away the gag.  Solonoid-activated air valves are great for this, as you want to dump as much air as fast as possible. 

    The type of device you would want is a special effects air mortar, or something small like one of the products from Air Squib https://airsquib.com/

    For a very low-budget approach, you could try tying a small washer to a monofilament line and embedding it into a pre-scored area of the book, with the line coming out the back.  Pulling it out quickly could give you the desired effect.  The book would have to be anchored for the first part of this gag to allow the line to pull through the back.  This may also require more aggressive scoring (and plenty of books for multiple takes).  The resulting shot would likely be best cut to a few frames into the "explosion" so as not to reveal the scoring.  Some post effects may be needed to hide the monofilament or washer depending on the shot/lighting.

    /Chris


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