He also encountered some difficulties when shooting the prom sequence, such as on the dance floor between Carrie and her date on this fateful night, Tommy Ross. It was achieved by putting the actors Sissy Spacek and William Katt on a platform that spun in one direction while the camera sat on a dolly that spun in another . A technique that achieved one of the most unique shots for the film, and one of the few times the character of Carrie White was shown to be happy in her life.
While the pig’s blood in the climactic prom scene was a mixture of Karo syrup and food coloring, Spacek was more than willing to have real blood dumped on her during filming of the scene. Yet one unfortunate downside to having the altered Karo syrup dumped on her was how it kept getting sticky and adhering to her skin under the hot lights. The only solution was to hose her down whenever the substance got gluey. In a move that might have been unsanitary, she maintained her bloody look for three days for the duration of the shoot to avoid having to re-apply the fake blood again and again.
After the blood was dumped on her, DePalma initially used a split screen technique in editing where the screen would be divided between the avenging Carrie and the kids she was terrorizing. Yet he was so disappointed with the shots, he re-edited most of them back into full frame. He did keep a few of the shots that did work, and it is often remembered as a mesmerizing and terrifying scene where Carrie gets revenge on her tormentors for all the terror she was put through in high school.
During this scene, P.J. Soles’ character is hit and killed by a water hose, and her eardrum was damaged during the actual shoot because of the water pressure. While she is not actually unconscious, she is in terrible pain and cannot even maintain equilibrium. A function of the inner ear that maintains orientation and balance of one’s head. P.J. Soles would not be able to hear out of that particular ear for a six month period, even though the eardrum eventually did heal.