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Shooting water vapour

Žarko Sušac
 

Hello to all  CML members! 

I have a shoot coming up involving pots and pans with food cooking inside. My concern is the wapour effect and how to achieve it without heating the pans to boiling temperature. 

I am thinking to use dry ice or stage smoke but I think it would look too heavy in the pan.

If you have some suggestions or links it would help a lot.


Žarko Sušac
DP,
Zagreb, Croatia
www.konektvideo.com

emily.stadulis@...
 

Hi, Zarko, dry ice will give you a "low-lying" fog effect - similar to a mad scientist experiment/bubbling witches cauldron effect.  It is a fairly opaque effect and requires the water to be kept VERY hot for the best effect.  Of course, the longer you have the dry ice in there - the more cool the water gets, so it will require having a constant supply of hot water on hand to replenish.  In my experience, 1 lb of dry ice will get you about 15 minutes of the effect.  Keep in mind too that you are creating CO2 when using dry ice, which will suffocate folks if you are in a tiny enclosed space.  Not a problem for quick effects but if this is something you plan on running over and over and over again - keep this mind if you're on location or a small shooting location w/o ventilation.  You'll need to allow time to air out the space, or space out shooting/effect times.  

You might be better off for both the look of the effect and the ease of creating the effect with a fog/smoke machine hidden in such a way that the smoke is aimed in the right direction/placement for camera to appear it's coming from the pot.  You'll be best off if you can use a machine that is able to put out a steady stream of fog at very low output, very consistently, w/o sputtering.  Some machines are better at this than others.  Our Vapour line was specifically developed to be able to accomplish this, for example:  https://us.rosco.com/en/product/vapour-fog-machine.  Our other lines are made more for max fog in at as little time however, so not great at being able to reproduce the effect you're looking for. 

A few other helpful notes - most fog machines do NOT like being tilted, so you might need to duct the fog to get it where you want it and in a smaller area (like just above the 'boiling' pot) by the time it gets there, especially if you're shooting on location and can't just cut a hole in the set wall to get the machine/fog where you need it.  In this case, remember to always give yourself a gap between the fog machine output and the ducting hose.  It's a common mistake to just put the ducting hose right over the output.  90 degree angles are also not ideal, though sometimes necessary.  There's a nice how-to w/ video here:  https://www.rosco.com/spectrum/index.php/2011/03/special-effects-technique-ducting-fog/ if it helps.  

We're by no means the only manufacturer that makes fog machines that are cable of that subtle 'steam' effect but you'll want to test if you don't know for sure.  Give yourself time - most machines have a duty cycle so can only run for a few minutes before they need to cycle down to avoid overheating the fluid to a dangerous point (some fluids will turn into formaldehyde past a certain temperature...).  The Vapour line also doesn't have a duty cycle if you can get your hands on one over in Croatia. 

One last note - not sure what the rules and regs are in Croatia but in the US only certain brands and fluids are approved by SAF/AFTRA and under Film Safety Bulletin 10.  Rosco's machines/fluids adhere to this but many of the old standards like mineral oil-based hazers are no longer ok.  If this is a concern for you, check with your local unions to ensure your machines/fluids are approved for use with talent/crew.  

If you'd like to be connected with someone locally to try out our machines, please feel free to e-mail me and I can connect you with a Rosco rep in your area.  Hope this helped! 

Emily Stadulis
Western Rep
Rosco Laboratories
323-241-2615
emily.stadulis@...

Mako Koiwai
 

For table top we typically use very hot water in a very cold stage. Microwaving Wet tampons is a favorite for putting behind food. There are cold smokes with helium mixed in for loft. There are some now illegal chemical compounds ... “A,” “B” smoke. There is Fog in a Can. Generally unimpressive. Typically one hires a top food prop master and his bag of tricks and rigs.


A lot of steam is laid in in Post these days. Sometimes we will shoot steam elements against black for post.


Makofoto, s. pas, ca

Žarko Sušac
 

Thanks for your suggestions!

In the end I used something like e-cigarette smoke and it was a nice effect but it dissolved into air rapidly so timing for action was very important. 

Tnx again to all. 

Žarko Sušac
DP
Zagreb, Croatia


sri, 3. lis 2018. u 06:57 Mako Koiwai <mako1foto@...> napisao je:

For table top we typically use very hot water in a very cold stage. Microwaving Wet tampons is a favorite for putting behind food. There are cold smokes with helium mixed in for loft. There are some now illegal chemical compounds ... “A,” “B” smoke. There is Fog in a Can. Generally unimpressive. Typically one hires a top food prop master and his bag of tricks and rigs.


A lot of steam is laid in in Post these days. Sometimes we will shoot steam elements against black for post.


Makofoto, s. pas, ca