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Stab Scene

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Jennifer AdamsStab Scene
by on Jan 6, 2014 at 7:48:06 pm
Last Edited By Jennifer Adams on Jan 6, 2014 at 7:49:03 pm


I'm looking for suggestions on how to film a stabbing scene realistically.
The shot I want to achieve is a medium shot of two people standing one behind the other, the camera standing next to them (so they are seen in profile view). The guy on the back stabs a knife into the front guy's neck, throwing him forward and then causing him to collapse. This really means showing the stabbing motion in its entirety, without cutting to another view in order to "paste" the motion together into a believable stabbing.

Does anyone know how this type of thing is achieved in real feature films? Or have some kind of idea how it could be done?

Thanks a lot!

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Chris EvansRe: Stab Scene
by on Jan 6, 2014 at 8:50:23 pm

If you can get a fake knife with a retractable blade, that would probably be easy. Then you could just add a little blood splatter in post (depending on how gory you want it). Maybe rig something to the other side of his neck to explode some fake blood if you want to do it in camera. Or you could just have the guy stab next to the guy's neck and use a longer lens. Keep it as simple as possible.

In big feature films, they probably don't have a real knife, just a knife handle and they CG the blade and the neck and the blood.

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George GoodmanRe: Stab Scene
by on Jan 6, 2014 at 8:52:24 pm

I know it's not quite the answer you're looking for, but one thing that really sells this stuff is sound design. I'll buy it without seeing it if you get that right. I always think of the leg amputation scene in Gone With The Wind as a great example of this. I was viscerally disturbed without seeing a thing.

Aside from that, you'll need a retractable prop knife and probably some sort of packet of red corn syrup. That's pretty much a standard for blood in movies. Just find a clever way to make it pop when the person is stabbed. There are probably kits you can buy online for this.

I don't really recommend doing a long shot if you want to sell it. Without really good gore fx people, it's difficult to keep it from looking cheap. I would do it in a couple of shots with a fast frame rate and some camera shake. It gives it a good action vibe and by breaking the shots up you could avoid the tough stuff (for example show the persons eyes when the knife is "entering them").

Just my two cents.

"|_ (°_0) _|"



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Jennifer AdamsRe: Stab Scene
by on Jan 7, 2014 at 8:33:53 pm

Thanks so much for your responses!

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