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Fanning technique for fog?


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#1 Chien Huey

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:57 AM

I just finished a day on set where I used a Rosco 1700 Fog Machine to do the "shafts of light" effect. Prior to this, I did a search here and found some useful tips - sealing the room, fog the entire room, fan/waff the fog around, etc.

Of course, we were in an old Brooklyn loft so the walls seemed permeated and there was a draft even though we closed every window and door. Plus the producer kept saying I was fogging too much when I filled the room completely - though those shots were the best.

Those challenges aside, I was wondering if there was any technique to fanning the fog. My two swings and I were fanning every which way - fast, slow, vigorously, softly with foam core and bead board. It just seemed to make the fog swirl more. Ultimately it appeared that if we let the fog alone it "settled" more quickly than when we tried to facilitate it.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!
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#2 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:49 AM

A warm room helps slow dissipation and aids dispersion, and diluting the fluid (if it's glycol-based) 50/50 with demineralised water gives a less puffy and easier spreading fog. Push it around with a bit of foamcore. That does it for me. A hazer is easier but a lot more expensive and temperamental than a party fogger.
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#3 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 10:54 PM

I was about to post the same question a few weeks ago. I just bought a smoke machine and used it for the same purpose. It was a ten day shoot in a variety of locations. Some small and some rather large. Each location seemed to treat the fog differently. In some locations the smoke hung around a while and in other larger ones such as inside a movie theater, I had to constantly keep adding it. After 10 days of experimenting with this thing, what seemed to work best was to hit the switch and hold a 2x3 solid about a foot from the opening and just let the fog build up behind this flag for about 10 seconds and then slowly and gently pull the flag away from the front of the machine, gently wafting the smoke in the direction intended. That created a much more dense and even type of haze effect. We'd do that and wait a minute for it to dissapate a little and then shoot. Simply filling the room with the smoke directly from the machine and then trying to fan it never worked for me.
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 10:46 AM

Foggers aren't very well suited for filling rooms with an even smoke that photographs well. They're basically made for stage shows and effect where the smoke is supposed to be concentrated and visible. Try a cracked oil machine or a Hazemaker next time - the effect is so much better.
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