Odd little question about '66 BATMAN show...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Christopher, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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?
     
  2. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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  3. Robert D. Robot

    Robert D. Robot Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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: Jul 23, 2011
  4. od0_ital

    od0_ital Admiral Admiral

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    ^

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

    ;) :D
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  7. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    Aha, good point.
     
  8. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Did they ever breathe it in? Is it toxic? The stuff I read makes it sound like it could be.
     
  9. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, it knocked people out. That can't be good. :rommie:
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    They used the former effects to make the characters on-camera appear to be doing the latter.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Maybe. But I'm not sure. So I'm wondering if, at least hypothetically, there's another possibility.
     
  13. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I'd chalk it up to good editing and I'm sure they failed more than once.
     
  14. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I guess that's why I asked. If dust doesn't behave enough like smoke, then it's not that simple after all. But I was also envisioning the possibility of lighter substances, which is why I said chalk or dust. I've recently finished a frustrating project of drywalling my house. :brickwall: Believe me, the dust from cut wallboard or sanded mud tends to billow just great, especially when you're using power tools. :sigh: