Today on The Slanted Lens we are taking a brief look at breakaway glass! We’ll be throwing a stuntman through a window and showing you how to safely and effectively use this glass to get some amazing shots.
Preparing the Set
One of the most important aspects of using breakaway glass is the setup. You have to make sure that you don’t damage your set when you use the glass! This is especially important when you are using this glass for windows.
When I work with these windows, I like to construct my own window flats that the glass can be installed into on set. This allows us to ensure that no damage is done to the set and ensures that the glass will actually fit the space. When you install the slat into the space, leave some extra room so that you can add some molding to match the rest of the room! Once the flat in installed, all you need to do is slide the breakaway glass into place.
Installing the Breakaway Glass
There isn’t anything too fancy about installing this glass. We just use a pressure fit, which means it slides into place and then sits there snugly. Whenever I use breakaway glass, whether it be bottles, vases, or even windows, I always go to Alfonso’s Breakaway Glass. He makes the best stuff out there and I just love their products!
After installing the window, you can anchor it down with some lightweight pieces of wood. Remember, the window only needs to hold up long enough for the actor to go through it!
Throwing Someone Through a Window
This is probably the most important part of the process- actually getting someone through the window! It is really imperative that this is done safely, and there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that happens. First, don’t go around throwing actors through these breakaway windows! I always use professional stuntmen who know what they are doing. In the shoot we did for this video, the stuntman had a brace on his back, he had a hat protecting his head, and he had a mat to land on after he jumped.
Second, if you need to create the illusion of dividers on your window, use balsa wood. This wood is practically paper and will break easily under pressure. You definitely don’t want to use a material that will hurt the stuntman as he goes through.
So there you have it! Hopefully these tips will help you the next time you want to throw someone through a window!
Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!