The hero jumps through a glass window and comes out unscathed. A man smashes a beer bottle on the head of his enemy. A woman throws a glass jar at her lover.
From the wizard of Oz the Wolf of Wall Street, smashing the glass is a fixture of most of the Hollywood movies and television shows.
And entrepreneurs with their secret recipes that create the “escape” prop glass bottles and windows, which are fragile enough to shatter, but secure enough to prevent lacerations of the actors and stunt people.
In the past, the film of glass, the objects of the scene have been prohibitively expensive for low budget projects.
But entrepreneur Ryan Johnson has created a line of affordable props to smash for the theatre, film and television, and increasingly, for YouTubers.
“We have opened a new market for us, especially in small regional theaters and school theaters,” says Mr. Johnson, who is chairman of the props and special effects company, NewRuleFX.
“Now are props at a price they can afford.”
Mr Johnson says the “workhorse” of the escape field is the standard brown bottle of beer. Then allowed me to check off a bucket list item and break the bottle over his head. It shattered, just like the real thing.
He flinched a little, but he said that did not hurt.
His company makes the bottles seven days a week. Behind his showroom on a Sunday afternoon, one of his employees worked in the “secret room”, the blending of plastic resins and remoulding in beer bottles.
NewRuleFX.com also does the foam pans, hammers, and weapons, and sells replicas of weapons and costumes for the fans of Game of Thrones. It also makes the electronic cigarettes without nicotine, that are increasingly popular with the actors.
But the $13 (Â£10) bottle of beer is the best seller.
“It is very easy to use prop because it’s kind of universal in style, and also period of time. Not much has changed over the years. So you can buy our brown beer bottle and use even for an old Western show”.
Mr. Johnson comes from a production background, and still works occasionally on the set. He started his props and special effects business in 2010, after the recession in the UNITED states and the writers strike in Hollywood has devastated the entertainment industry.
“My main activity was to make a TV commercial and infomercials,” Mr. Johnson says.
“When the recession hit a lot of people that advertise on TV just said ‘we’re pulling back this year – we’re not going to advertise on TV more. And very quickly I realized that I have to do something different.”
That something was something that he had been tinkering with in his garage. During the writers ‘ strike has learned the recipe for his glass and has created a website to market her creations.
Since then, his small company has grown “10 to 15% a year and that now employs seven people.
Despite the loss of some film and television productions to other states of the united states and the countries with the best tax breaks, Hollywood remains at the heart of the global entertainment industry.
California’s entertainment industry is the largest in the UNITED states. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the industry employed more than 198,000 people in the state in 2016.
The entertainment industry, which pays $43bn a year, more than 300,000 businesses across the UNITED states – 85% of which are small businesses that employ fewer than 10 people, the association adds.
California improved tax credits have also attracted a number of productions to the state.
Leron Gubler, the president and ceo of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, says the majority of its members, small businesses profit in some way by the entertainment industry.
Mr. Gubler says the industry has changed in the last 25 years, why studios make fewer of them in the house then – that creates more opportunities for small businesses to work on productions in the studio.
“A lot has changed,” Mr. Gubler said, noting how companies such as Netflix, Google and Amazon have created more new outlets for the movies through their streaming services.
“All these new platforms and the tax cuts; there are so many opportunities for our members,” he says.
The secret of the success of its business scene has been catering to each customer, ” he says.
Many of its competitors, he adds, don’t want to bother to sell some props for the kids making YouTube videos.
“I can spend 30 minutes on the phone to talk them through the process and sort them from us, and say ‘this is really cool,” he says.
“And then who knows, it might come, and their career continues to grow, and eventually become an art director on the Netflix show, and remain a loyal customer.”
Sticking to this strategy has been fundamental to its success, ” he says.
“Treat every customer as if they were the biggest Hollywood show – we try very hard to do.”