Fake blood is no laughing matter.
In another highly-entertaining and informative video lesson from Filmmaker IQ, John Hess dives into the history of fake blood, ranging from the gory theatrics of the Grand Guignol to the recipe that is commonly used in Hollywood to this day. In addition, he provides us with four recipes that we can make on our own, all of which use easy-to-find ingredients and are safe for human consumption. Check it out:
Now let's get to the recipes that Hess shows us in the video. Two of them are pretty easy, so I'll just explain them real quick. First up, the Grand Guignol recipe that started the fake blood revolution is a simple mix of glycerin, food coloring, and corn starch to thicken the concoction. The food coloring combination that you use is important. While the bulk of the color comes from standard red, Hess is also using a small portion of yellow coloring in order to give it a very slight orange tint, and just a few drops of blue in order to darken the mix. Too much blue, however, and you risk turning everything purple, so be careful.
The other simple recipe that Hess shows off isn't really a recipe at all. It's simply chocolate syrup, which in the context of black and white filmmaking, makes for a highly dramatic and effective blood effect. And it's important to note that you wouldn't really want to use traditional fake blood recipes in a black and white shoot because the color won't register properly, and the blood will end up looking quite a bit lighter than you want.
Now here are the two other recipes that Hess shares, both of which are easy to make, and customizable depending on how thick and colorful you need the blood to be.
Dick Smith's (Modified) Recipe
So there you have it, four fake blood recipes that you can use on any filmmaking occasion. Now go forth, No Film Schoolers, and make a mess!