Lesson 1: Buckets of Blood!

The most important thing in any kind of bloody movie is of course, the blood. If you’re planning on using blood, you have to go all the way. Don’t be a pussy and make one little bottle of karo syrup blood, I’m talking gallons baby! If you don’t use it for a particular shoot you will always have stock blood…I can never have enough!

I’ve made blood all kinds of ways over the years and I’ve developed my own simple recipe to make gallons of blood that tastes great! I always buy it in bulk so it’s cheap too!

All you need is Pancake Syrup and plenty of Red Food Coloring. It’s that simple. You can mix the two to find the perfect blood mixture…if you want to make it thicker you can include flour or tapioca starch, (more on that in upcoming lessons) and if you’re not going to be eating it you can add a little soap into it so it comes out easier (it always ends up on my mouth so I rarely use the soap).

You can also add a little bit of blue or green coloring to darken the blood correctly if you don’t have enough red, but when you buy in bulk you should always have enough to make it the right shade!

In extreme close-up shots, I’ve found that using concentrated red food coloring alone looks awesome for blood, (for shots like a bloody tooth hitting the ground after getting pummeled out of someone’s head) but almost 95% of the time that will stain whatever you are splashing.

By the end of a bloody shoot, blood is usually everywhere. However, with this mixture, you should be able to leave the place spotless. It may take awhile depending on how much blood you use, but you should be able to get it off of everything (Except Silk). Make sure you have plenty of cleaning supplies (paper towels, mops, towels for actors, soap) and water! In most extreme cases, you can get blood (real or fake) out of almost anything if you use Oxyclean or a similar spot remover.

A lot of people I talk to have been using the clear karo syrup, but with that you get much smaller portions and it’s more expensive…also you need more food coloring to make it darker, the dark syrup needs much less coloring to look like real blood. You can buy darker karo syrup but generic pancake syrup is really cheap (especially by the gallon).

You can buy crates of two gallon pancake syrup and crates of liters of red food coloring at almost any bulk store. On the West coast I recommend Smart and Final, and on the East coast I recommend Jetro (although you need a membership for some of the stores). Other stores that sometimes have them include BJ’s and Sam’s Club.

If you know of any other places that you can buy these supplies in bulk, please share with us! Also, if you have any thoughts on variant blood recipes or blood related topics, I’d love to talk about it!

Yours in blood-

~ by dougsakmann on January 4, 2008.

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