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dust floating, hit by a shaft of light


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#1 Ian Coad

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:45 AM

in a week or so i will be shooting a scene where a character is surrounded by hazy light coming in through a window. A 4K HMI PAR will be parked outside the window. The shot will be performed in a near profile, the background behind the shaft of light will of course be in the shadow, with little detail. However, I am wondering what material i could use to generate the best 'dust,' meaning what will appear floaty and pick up the light? I had thought about using scissors to turn a white terrycloth towel into mulch, however i think it may be too heavy and settle too quickly. The problem is that the dust needs to float, which means something very light and fiberous, but the sort of fiberous material that can seperate....

ideas?

thanks,

ian.

ps. i wasn't sure which forum was best suited for this quesiton. move it if you please.
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#2 Aaron Moorhead

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:54 AM

Consider asking your art department to make up some pounds bags. They're small sacs made of really thin cloth and filled with flour, and before the shot you pound them together to make the dust float around.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:45 AM

Try Fuller's Earth.
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:48 PM

DO NOT USE FLOUR it can explode!

Pounce bags can be filled with a variety of materials, be wary of flambility and flash fires.

Use a fullers earth substitute as fullers earth has been shown to cause health problems.
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#5 Guy Holt

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:54 AM

in a week or so i will be shooting a scene where a character is surrounded by hazy light coming in through a window. A 4K HMI PAR will be parked outside the window. The shot will be performed in a near profile, the background behind the shaft of light will of course be in the shadow, with little detail.


Do you have any visual references you can post to give us an idea of the look you are going for. If it is what I think it is, there are easier ways to accomplish it.

- Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Boston
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 11:59 PM

DO NOT USE FLOUR it can explode!


Most non-flammable materials, like stone dusts of various kinds, are also bad for your lungs. Chemically inert ain't good enough, any tiny particulates are bad if you breathe them. Get good dust/gas masks, and a HEPA filter shop vac to clean up afterwards.



-- J.S.
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