October 6, 2017

Watch: 6 Ways to Make Realistic Fake Blood

Need a good recipe for fake blood? Well, here's six.

It's that glorious time of year again when we inundate you with non-stop Halloween and horror-related content to the point where you are literally sick to death of all of the blood, gore, and grossness. Joy!

To kick things off this year, let's start with something that all horror filmmakers need to have plenty of when working on set: fake blood. I'm sure you've come across many different recipes, including legendary special effects artist Dick Smith's famous recipe, but if I know anything about fake blood it's that you 1.) you can't have too much of it, and 2.) you can't have too many different kinds of it. This video from Film Riot shares six recipes that give you a little of everything, from runny to goopy to creamy red peanut butter.

The two problems you will face when working with fake blood are consistency and color. (There are other ones, but we'll get to those later.) Before you decide on a recipe for your horror scene, ask yourself what kind of blood you need. Do you need it to be running down and dripping off of your subject? You might need a mixture that is a little thinner than usual. Are you shooting the blood in a close-up? Then you'll really need to get the color spot on. Do you want the blood to look dry? Is the blood contained within a wound? Do you need the blood to stay in place? Is the blood going to interact with water? All of these questions are important to ask yourself before you go with a recipe.

Last but not least, you should probably address a couple of other problems that come up with fake blood: staining clothes and poisoning your actors. First, if you don't care about ruining your subject's clothes, sweet, but if you do, try to find a recipe that goes easy on your fabrics. Second, most fake blood recipes are totally edible and oftentimes delicious, but if yours calls for toxic ingredients like Kodak Photo-Flo, keep it away from your subject's mouth and eyes...or avoid using it altogether if it makes you nervous. Also, remember that some ingredients, like creamer (an alternative to Kodak Photo-Flo), do expire and will not be pleasant if ingested.      

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