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Fake blood effects – Tips and tricks

Fake blood are beeing used in everything from Shakespeare tragedies, Halloween makeup to zombie thrillers, theatrical blood can be an exciting addition to a show or movie – It gives a scary realism to dramatic moments, and really makes the audience and others gasp in surprise when they do not expect to see the. However, the use of theatrical blood can be challenging, no matter how experienced the cast, make-up artist and technicians are. Here are some tips and tricks for you who are thinking of using theater blood in a show or in a film production.

Blood will steal a lot of focus focus. Be absolutely sure that the effect is necessary to develop and convey the story, otherwise the moment may be “lost”.

You can either use blood bags or blood capsules to create different effects:

  • Blood bags are small bags filled with blood that can be hidden by actors and that can make holes in them when the blood is to come.
  • Blood capsules are small capsules filled with blood that can be used in the mouth. You put the blood capsule in your mouth and make a hole in it with your teeth when the effect is to be seen. Several blood capsules can be used at the same time if desired. Blood capsules are perfect for fight scenes but also characters like zombies, vampires, dracula and other monsters.

When filling blood capsules, it is a good idea to use a pipette or a bottle with a spout. A tip is to also stand over a sink if you should spill.

Ben Nye make-up’s Dark Blood and Stage Blood have a peppermint taste that is often more pleasant for those who use the blood in their mouths.

Lighting and costumes will change the way the blood looks on stage or in the movie. Be sure to take a look at your effects under the lighting and with the costumes to be used to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Think about the color of the costumes that your actors wear. If an actor is wearing black, is there any point for them to become bloody when the redness in the blood will not be visible? Could it possibly be possible with a costume change?

Wash costumes and garments as soon as possible after performance / filming. The longer the blood is on the garments, the greater the chance that it will be more difficult to remove.

In such cases, it can be smart to have two pairs of costumes as it is a costume you can use while the other set are been cleaned.

Put the costume to be washed in a bucket filled with a mixture of soap and water as soon as possible if there is a while until the costume is to be washed.

Exercises using water are great and quick to clean up, but remember that water behaves very differently than thicker blood.

Lightred blood will cause a faster and deeper psychological shock to the audience if used quickly, unexpectedly and / or in small amounts.

Dark red blood is best for larger effects and / or effects that are on stage / film longer.

The blood effect does not have to come immediately after the injury. The fact that bleeding begins a little later, especially if there are lines, often has a better effect and result.

When using blood bags, use the cheapest sandwich bags possible. Tie a simple knot to create pressure on the blood (tape usually falls off and does not create enough pressure) Aim the blood by facing the bag’s seam in the direction you want the blood to go when you make a hole in the bag.

Keep it simple. If the effect becomes too complex, the probability of an error increases. Actors have plenty to think about without having to add a bulky or difficult solution to deliver the perfect splash of blood.

Remove theatrical blood from the skin with soap and water, unless otherwise stated on the product or website description. Do not remove blood with make-up wipes / baby wipes. Some make-up wipes contain minerals that cause staining on the skin.

After applying blood to a wound, you can spray some water on the spot. And use your fingers to pull the blood around a bit as it looks like there has been blood around the wound before it has just been wiped away.

You can use Blood Gel, Thick Blood or Blood Paste to use in wounds and on the skin if you want the blood to stay and not run. It is important to think about the continuity of the film.

You can use a stipplesponge to apply blood to create the effect of scratches.

You can use eye shadow / blush to adjust the color of Blood Pasta and theater blood. Is just to experiment!

Theater blood can also be a danger on stage if it lands on the stage floor, then in some cases it can get a little slippery.

Do not swallow fake blood! Although the type of blood is intended for use in the mouth, large amounts of swallowed fake blood can in some cases cause stomach problems.

Even if it is false, the use of theatrical blood can evoke a deep fear and stress from actors or other people. Some people can react when they see blood, and it can evoke emotions that are not expected.

Do you have questions about fake blood? Get in tuch 🙂

Want to learn more about fake blood and blood effects for stage and screen? Check out this book by Jennifer McClure;

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