Friday, July 30, 2010

Magic Wand

For Pinocchio I was given the task of creating a slimmer, more dainty, magic wand. In past production the blue fairy had used this wand. It was well made, had a series of lights wired in between the layers of the star and had space to fit a 9V battery in the handle. It was just too big.
My initial idea was to shrink everything by using an LED light and a flat watch battery.
To create the wand itself I bought a long silly straw at the party store and cut the "silly" off of each end, leaving the long hard-plastic tube I needed. I was able to pass two lengths of wire through the straw and sodder them to the LED at each end. I then wrapped each joint in electrical tape so they couldn't touch and pulled them into the straw, leaving just the blue LED at the end.
 The first idea was to wire the switch and the battery into a bracelet where it would be disguised.
I created this prototype. Once she saw it though, the director realized how much the blue fairy would be restricted and tethered to keeping the wand in that one hand.

I ended up cutting some of the wire out of the circuit and re-soddering it. I then balled up the circuit and embedded it in a ball of epoxy putty at the end of the wand with the switch sticking out on one side and the battery accessible from the other. The ball was almost entirely hidden in the actor's hand and she was given much more freedom of movement.

And then I added sequins because...they're pretty and when the lights hit the blue sequins it made the wand even more magical.

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