View Full Version : The Dry Ice Effect


jeremyhung
01-26-2008, 09:21 AM
Hi everybody,
I would love to include a scene where some heroric person bumps the door with a gun and hacks into the small house, then the place is all smokey, with a kidnapped victim is tied to the chair. My problem is that I have a super low budget (I'm a kid) and wouldn't consider smoke machines. And I would like to try this without effects to give the actors a real mood. Does anyone have any recommendations to how to work this out?

I like Dry Ice but it's hard to get... unless you buy icecream cakes. :P

Jeremy

Joe999
01-26-2008, 12:07 PM
I just purchased a fog machine (Chauvet 1000W, $80) and a gallon of fog juice ($15) and tried it out-- it actually looks more like smoke than fog, but then again I tried it out outdoors at -10F so I am sure that affected the size of the particles.

Hi everybody, I would love to include a scene where some heroric person bumps the door with a gun and hacks into the small house, then the place is all smokey, with a kidnapped victim is tied to the chair. My problem is that I have a super low budget (I'm a kid) and wouldn't consider smoke machines. And I would like to try this without effects to give the actors a real mood. Does anyone have any recommendations to how to work this out? I like Dry Ice but it's hard to get... unless you buy icecream cakes. :P Jeremy

directorik
01-26-2008, 12:32 PM
Hi everybody,
I would love to include a scene where some heroric person bumps the door with a gun and hacks into the small house, then the place is all smokey, with a kidnapped victim is tied to the chair. My problem is that I have a super low budget (I'm a kid) and wouldn't consider smoke machines. And I would like to try this without effects to give the actors a real mood. Does anyone have any recommendations to how to work this out?

I like Dry Ice but it's hard to get... unless you buy icecream cakes. :P

Jeremy
Dry ice is easy to get. All ice companies sell it. Those sellers of ice cream buy it
from someone local to you - so can you. Many grocery stores carry it, too.

The issue with dry ice is it's heavy - it wants to lay low on the ground - so not
so good for a smokey effect. However, with a little ingenuity you can figure a
way to get the smoke off the ground.

The key to a smokey room with a super low budget is to get the light right.
Narrow beams show up better than wade "washes" of light - lights pointing
towards the camera (not directly at the lens) bring out the smoke better than
lights behind the camera.

knightly
01-26-2008, 02:50 PM
Is there a specific reason you don't want to consider fog machines? You can pick up cheap ones at target and stores like it during halloween for $25. And Spencer's always carries them as well.

They come with a water based fog, not the oil based that all the health concerns are attached to...whereas the dry ice is always carbon dioxide when it turns to a gas.

jeremyhung
01-26-2008, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the answers :)
I don't want to consider fog machines because after filming this, I wouldn't use it because I wouldn't want to make too many shows of the same genre and besides I haven't seen any fog machine in HK for the past 13 years of my life.

Haha, thanks. I'll try figure something out :)

knightly
01-26-2008, 09:48 PM
you can probably buy one online. The fog machine can be used in lots of genres...not just horror. They add atmosphere to a room and give the scene more of a feeling of depth as the particulates in the air make the background seem harder to get to by interfering with the light the father you get from the lens of the camera. The particles obscure more and more the farther from the lens.

Mysteries, dark dramas, thrillers...even comedies can use them. I've used them as special effect smoke in the past as well (although you can barely make it out in the shot as we lit it wrong - or not at all as we were outdoors in the sunlight).

fog is used alot in tons of hollywood movies to create this thicker atmosphere. The Goonies (1980's) had tons of fog in the rooms to create an older musty look to the sets...the X-Files used tons of fog on set to get those distinctive beams of light showing out of the ends of the flashlights...Any time a pipe breaks in a fight scene, the "steam" that sprays out to hit our fighters is from this type of system (just larger).

You can even shoot it going upwards against a black background and use it to composite into scenes to make geysers spraying out of the ground!