Practical Glass stunts
In every Hollywood movie you at least have one scene where some glass shatters. Now what if the main talent smashes that glass or goes through a entire window? Couldn’t that be dangerous and cause injuries? Well yes, if they would use real glass.
But every stunt with glass is done in complete safety. The glass that they use in movies is especially designed to minimize the risk towards the actors.
For smaller glass stunts like hitting a bottle on somebodies head, they use breakaway glass. A brittle variant of real glass, but made with resin or sugar.
By using resin or sugar they can determine the strength of the fake glass. Also it will be less sharp, however it can still cause cuts. Something we experienced ourselves.
The procedure of making Breakaway glass is actually quite simple if you are using the resin variant. As it’s a two component mixture which you just have to mix and wait till it’s hard.
The sugar variant is a little bit more work, which we explain completely in this video.
For the bigger stunts, where the talent flies through a window or another big piece of glass, they use tempered glass. This is actually real glass, but 4 times stronger. And if tempered glass shatters, it will do so into small relatively harmless pieces.
And also the stunt coordinators will use a small detonation inside the glass to fracture it a fraction before the talents hits the glass. Making sure that the talent doesn’t hurt himself.
Big thanks to Storyblocks for the support on this video. Their community driven library always help us to find something perfect for that particular VFX shot. They really help us to bring our Visual effects to life, without compromising on anything.