What’s your Superpower?
Every Superhero needs a Superpower.
Spiderman (also known as Peter Parker) can climb walls, is really fast and has his special ‘Spider-sense’, which is a sort of early warning system.
Thor is super strong, immune to most illnesses and, of course, can control his extraordinary hammer Mjolnir. For all you girls out there don’t forget about Captain Marvel (also known as Carol Danvers) who can fly, is indestructible and can shoot energy from her hands.
So, if YOU could choose any power what would it be? Telepathy? Telekinesis? Invisibility? We would choose to fly. Make sure you’ve picked your Superpower in time for your first day at Zamelot Superhero Academy!
Now for some Industry Notes!
Last week you heard all about what has to be done before the Director of the film calls ‘Action!’ – but how much do you know about the people who help the Director achieve his ultimate goal?
First of all there’s the Assistant Director who is one of the busiest people on the film set. The Assistant Director makes sure that the film is staying on schedule and not going over budget, as well as preparing the daily call sheet (you’re going to find out all about call sheets!) and maintaining order on the set. Not easy when there’s so many temperamental actors working in one place!
Next we have the Cinematographer, also known as the Director of Photography. The Cinematographer is in charge of all the camera crews involved in making the movie. He, or she, has the ultimate responsibility for how the film will look, which means choosing cameras, film, lenses and many other technical things.
The Script Supervisor is the on-set aide for both the Director and the Cinematographer, as well as being the writer’s representative on set. They are responsible for ‘continuity’ in the film-making process. What is continuity? Try to find out yourself, but don’t worry if you don’t – we’ll be talking about continuity at our Summer Camp.
These three roles make up a very small part of the ENORMOUS crew involved in making a film, which includes Camera Operator, Focus Puller, Clapper Loader, Gaffer, Boom Operator, Key Grip, Rigger…we told you it was big!
Another key part of most film crews is the Props department. Props are objects used by actors in a film or a play, such as books, plates, glasses. Sometimes these Props need to be used in a way that in the real world could be very dangerous. Check out this video of a bottle being broken over someone’s head.
This is VERY dangerous and should NEVER be done in real life. EVER. But the people who made that video were able to achieve this by making a bottle out of ‘Sugar Glass’, which is an easily breakable kind of sugar that is used as a kind of pretend glass for films and plays. And the best part is, you can eat it too!
Do It Yourself!
You know, you can make Sugar Glass at home, but you HAVE to do it with an adult helping you because it involves heating up sugar, which can hurt you if you’re not careful. Here’s how you do it:
3½ cups (790 grams) white, granulated sugar
2 cups (475 milliliters) water
1 cup (240 milliliters) light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. The baking sheet needs to have raised sides, or the melted sugar will slide off. If you don’t have cooking spray, wrap the inside of the sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.
2. Pour the sugar, water, light corn syrup, and cream of tartar into a pot. Place the pot on the stove. You must use light corn syrup, or the glass will turn out too dark.
3. Slowly bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat while stirring them. Don’t use high heat. The sugar will boil too quickly if you do, and start to caramelize. Stir the ingredients often so that you don’t scorch the bottom of the pot. As the mixture heats up, it’ll go from a cloudy color to clear. When it boils, it will start to form foamy bubbles at top.
A silicone spatula will make clean up a lot easier than a wooden, plastic, or metal one.
4. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside wall of the pot. You can find one in a baking and cooking supply shop, an arts and crafts shop, or in the baking section of a super market. You will need this to get the temperature of your candy.
If your candy thermometer does not have a clip, tie it loosely to the handle of the pot with a piece of string.
5. Heat the candy to 300°F (148.89°C), then remove it from heat. The candy must reach 300°F (148.89°C). This is known as the “hard crack” phase. If you do not get the candy hot enough, it will not set properly. Your candy will end up sticky no matter how long you let it sit or cool. It will take about an hour for the candy to reach the right temperature.
The temperature will stop rising for a moment somewhere between 210 and 240°F (98.89 and 115.56°C). This is because the water is evaporating. Once the water has evaporated, the temperature will begin rising again.
Keep the temperature between 300 and 310°F (148.89 and 154.45°C). Do not allow it to reach 320°F (160°C) or your sugar glass will caramelize and turn brown.
If you do not have a candy thermometer, test the candy by dropping a tiny amount into a glass of cold water. The candy has reached the “hard crack” phase if it hardens into threads.
6. Slowly pour the hot candy into the baking sheet. This will minimize any bubbles. The candy will be thick, and spread slowly across the baking sheet.
7. Place the baking sheet onto an even surface and let the candy harden. This will help the candy spread out evenly so that the finished glass is smooth and not lumpy. Leave the candy to dry for about an hour.
Don’t move the candy until the full hour has passed. It will be cool to the touch after 45 minutes, but it won’t be hardened.
8. Remove the hardened candy from the baking sheet. If you used a cooking spray, flip the baking sheet upside down over a table. The candy should simply fall out. If you used tin foil or parchment paper, pop the candy out of the baking sheet. Then, peel the foil or paper off of the candy. If your candy does not come away easily, do this:
Take a knife and heat it up under hot water.
Cut along the edge where the glass meets the edge of the pan.
Use the knife to carefully loosen the candy from the baking sheet.
Flip the baking sheet over, then slowly lift the sheet away from the sugar glass that is resting on your hand.
Recommended Reading and Films
Remember! Superheroes don’t have to be human. Super Guinea Pig to the Rescue is about a little guinea pig who dresses up as his favourite Superhero ‘Super Guinea Pig’ and gets into trouble.
Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero is about Eliot, a quiet boy who likes to read and play with his toys. But when the clock strikes midnight, Eliot is transformed into a hero! When he’s not showing off his super swimming skills or wowing the crowds with his expert-lion taming, you can find him assisting the Queen. But one day Eliot receives an urgent message from the world’s Most Important Scientists: a giant meteor is hurtling towards Earth. Will Eliot be able to rise to the challenge and save the world from destruction in the nick of time?
The original Superhero movie Superman: The Movie came out way back in 1978. It tells the story of Clark Kent (Superman’s everyday name) from his birth on the planet Krypton to his growing up in Smallville with Jonathan and Martha Kent. He ends up moving to Metropolis, to work as a reporter for The Daily Planet, where he meets, and falls in love with, Lois Lane, all whilst fighting back against his nemesis Lex Luthor. The movie made over $300 million and was the most popular film of 1978!
Christopher Reeve, who played Superman, wanted to look right for the part and so trained with David Prowse, who was a bodybuilder and most famous for playing Darth Vader in Star Wars!
Stay safe till next week!