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Detonation Films presents:

How To Make An Explosion Effect

(For Very Little Money And Without Using Any Explosives)


DISCLAIMER: The following information is provided for educational purposes to amateur filmmakers only.  We are not responsible for any actions taken by anyone reading this page, nor do we recommend using this information.  We already provide free stock footage which can be used to get a similar effect without any risk at all.  Although we believe this effect to be as safe as any such effect can possibly be, it still involves fire and therefore, danger.  Anyone undertaking to carry out this effect does so at their own risk.

The Detonation Films Effects Blowpipe



Powdered coffee creamer may be the best thing to happen to amateur film production since the miniDV tape.  It can be used to mellow out the three-day-old java you're using to stay focused during an all-night editing session... and when you're done, you can use it to create smoke and explosion effects for the next day's shoot.

Powdered coffee creamer has a number of advantages over any other method of making similar effects.  It is cheap and non-toxic, easy to obtain and -- most importantly -- will only burn when floating in the air.  A pile of the stuff on the ground will NOT burn.   If it lands on anything -- it goes out.  These are huge advantages over toxic, volatile, hot-burning chemicals which might otherwise be used to achieve such effects.

Not that coffee creamer is perfect.  The fireball effect does not last long and there is always a certain amount of residual creamer dust all over everything.  This gets sticky very quickly from the moisture in the air and must be cleaned up quickly or it makes a huge mess.  However, it is water-soluble and can be hosed off quite easily. 

(Please note that Coffeemate does not work as well as other brands.  The generic coffee creamers from the 99 cent store are not bad, though.  Flavored ones work slightly better than unflavored, and smell nice, too.)

The standard method for making a coffee-creamer fireball is to use black powder to loft the creamer into the air, igniting it at the same time.  But this requires the use of black powder, which is difficult to obtain and can be dangerous to use.  We have instead developed the following alternative method.  The Effects Blowpipe eliminates the need for any explosives by dividing the process into two rapidly-occurring but separate steps -- 1) lofting the creamer into the air, and 2) igniting it.



The Effects Blowpipe gives a spectacular look, but generates very little heat and makes almost no noise.  This is ideal for amateur filmmakers, since it usually will not frighten dogs or neighbors and loud sound effects can always be added in post.  Please observe all safety precautions and always have a responsible adult present.


STEVE from the U.K. writes:

Hi - my names Steve and i loved your tutorial for the fireball - can i make a suggestion?  Instead of blowing down the pipe attatch a rubber beach pump (for blowing up boats, rings etc) This gives quite a short sharp puff and is a bit easier than blowing! Also try the pump with a piece of tubing and a small amount of talcum powder funneled into the end for quick,safe smoke explosions. I have also taken the paper ribbons out of party poppers and replaced it with talcum powder for good bullet hits - but of course party poppers contain small explosives so watch the fingers!!! i take no responsibility for anyone who tries this! oh, and good earth explosions can be made by using a foot pump, tube and a funnel filled with compost and buried under suitable dirt. Ps i love the site!!!!



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