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Old July 23 2011, 04:13 AM   #1
Christopher
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Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

I've been watching the '66 Batman series on the Hub cable network, and I've started to wonder something. A recurring trope on the show was for villains to use knockout gas that was represented as brightly colored smoke. It would spray out of the Penguin's umbrella or the Joker's lapel flower or whatever. And I'm wondering: how did they create the "smoke" effect? What was it made of? What gave it color? Was it really smoke or some sort of fine dust? Does anyone have any ideas about this?
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Old July 23 2011, 04:23 AM   #2
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

LMGTFY: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colored_smoke
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Old July 23 2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

One of the things that I like about BBS is that topics come up that I would never have thought about before, but I learn a little something in reading the discussion. And I will usually then go to Google to find out more.

But it (the question) most often becomes the start of an interactive process - a discussion- where people are talking about the topic. You never know when someone here may have personal experience with a subject or an interesting anecdote. And you never know where the conversation may go. A question about McCoy's sickbay could end up as a discussion of Michelle Bachmann's migraines....

Google May Be Your Friend (and a bright one at that), but it is not a friend that can actually come out and play and toss a ball around.

Last edited by Robert D. Robot; July 23 2011 at 07:01 PM. Reason: reworded a couple things
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Old July 23 2011, 02:03 PM   #4
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

^

Or threads can just die with two or three posts - question asked, answered & done.

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Old July 23 2011, 02:49 PM   #5
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Okay, see, I'm still unsure of something. The Wikipedia article says that kind of smoke is, in fact, produced by burning something. But I'm not sure that could work for the Batman props I'm talking about, which seemed to be self-contained, hand-held items, so it's hard to see how anything could be burning within them. Now, maybe when we saw, say, the Penguin's umbrella spew colored smoke, there was a hidden tube running to a smoke machine off-camera. But I'm not sure that's so. So I'm wondering if there might be some other way of producing something that looks like colored smoke, maybe something that's stored in a compressed-gas cartridge like the CO2 cylinders used in model rockets.
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Old July 23 2011, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

od0_ital wrote: View Post
^

Or threads can just die with two or three posts - question asked, answered & done.

Sometimes, I honestly do like it when a simple question thread turns into a completely insane, elaborate conversation that's only thinly related to the original question. There's such a thing, of course, as going too far off the rails, but sometimes those simple questions threads can get some great conversations going (like this one). I dig that.
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Old July 23 2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Christopher wrote: View Post
it's hard to see how anything could be burning within them. Now, maybe when we saw, say, the Penguin's umbrella spew colored smoke, there was a hidden tube running to a smoke machine off-camera. But I'm not sure that's so. So I'm wondering if there might be some other way of producing something that looks like colored smoke, maybe something that's stored in a compressed-gas cartridge like the CO2 cylinders used in model rockets.
Aha, good point.
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Old July 23 2011, 05:52 PM   #8
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Did they ever breathe it in? Is it toxic? The stuff I read makes it sound like it could be.
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Old July 23 2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Well, it knocked people out. That can't be good.
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Old July 23 2011, 07:55 PM   #10
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Filmmakers have been using smoke machines to generate mist, fog, and smoke effects for generations. It's not particularly good for the respiratory system, but then, neither were the pipes, cigars, and cigarettes that were in ubiquitous use in Hollywood for most of that time, so they really didn't care much about that until recent years.
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Old July 24 2011, 01:17 AM   #11
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Christopher wrote: View Post
it's hard to see how anything could be burning within them. Now, maybe when we saw, say, the Penguin's umbrella spew colored smoke, there was a hidden tube running to a smoke machine off-camera. But I'm not sure that's so. So I'm wondering if there might be some other way of producing something that looks like colored smoke, maybe something that's stored in a compressed-gas cartridge like the CO2 cylinders used in model rockets.
They used the former effects to make the characters on-camera appear to be doing the latter.
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Old July 24 2011, 02:33 AM   #12
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

^Maybe. But I'm not sure. So I'm wondering if, at least hypothetically, there's another possibility.
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Old July 24 2011, 02:41 AM   #13
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

I'd chalk it up to good editing and I'm sure they failed more than once.
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Old July 24 2011, 04:17 AM   #14
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

It doesn't sound that hard to have a packet of, say, powdered chalk or dust (in the appropriate color) and propel it with CO2. Is there any reason it couldn't have been that simple?
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Old July 24 2011, 01:53 PM   #15
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Re: Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
It doesn't sound that hard to have a packet of, say, powdered chalk or dust (in the appropriate color) and propel it with CO2. Is there any reason it couldn't have been that simple?
Well, that's my question. It seems possible, but would that actually look like smoke? It would have to be a very fine particulate to rise and billow like smoke does. Chalk dust tends to behave differently. This stuff actually did look like smoke (albeit colored) rather than dust.

What I need to do is pay more attention when I watch the episodes -- keep an eye out for whether there could be a tube hidden under the actor's clothing and leading off-camera.
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