Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

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Roster
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Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by Roster » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:17 pm

Looks like I will not have real snow on the ground for an upcoming shoot (the scene calls for snow)

I will be using Super 8 Tri-X and shooting both during the daytime and at night, same location.

You can buy artificial snow, stuff you mix with some water and it expands to about 100 times its original size. But that would cost me about $300 to $400 to cover the area I need (circa 20' by 40'). I bought a smaller batch to test out and will do so when it arrives.

But I was wondering if anybody had any other, less costly suggestions. Or perhaps encountered a similar shooting scenario.

The scene does not have to look like lots of packed snow. A suggestion of snow, like a dusting, will be sufficient, especially as most shots will be tighter on the actors, background out of focus.

I was thinking of maybe dusting the ground with something like Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. But if anyone has any better ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks!
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by BAC » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:50 pm

Detergents can pollute surface water, don't do that. You could try a field marking chalk like they use to mark lines on sport fields. I think you can get a 50 lb bag for around $10. It may be difficult to clean up if it gets wet but it's not going to harm anything. You could use a shop vac to pick it up if it's still dry.

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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by Roster » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:25 am

Field marking chalk. That sounds like a great idea. Thank you!
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by marc » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:14 am

If you were shooting a miniature set, you could use head dandruf, It falls just like real snow! :wink:
WHY DO YOU HAVE TO JUMP THROUGH HOOPS GOING THROUGH TSA SECURITY IN THE AIRPORT BUT ANYONE CAN CROSS THE BOARDER BETWEEN THE U.S. AND MEXICO WITH NO CHALLENGES WHATSOEVER? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by Roster » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:42 pm

Alas, no miniatures in this shoot and dandruff has never been one of my issues (those would be other things!)

Will be using a combination of field marking chalk per BAC's suggestion and the instant snow product.

And living in New England, real snow is always a possibility. But right now the forecast isn't trending that way.
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by Actor » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:38 pm

Kubrick used salt when shooting The Shining.

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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by doug » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:01 pm

One winter here in England, I needed a fairly static scene of a snowy landscape with a man about 5 yards from camera. But no snow :(
So I used the distant trees and sky, and put 2 large sheets of white painted hardboard behind him, cut to resemble the hillside below the trees. The joins are hidden by the man and other objects. The day was overcast so no shadow-problem. In the lower foreground I placed smaller (nearly vertical) boards with sheets of white fleecy material, not sure of its name but I think they use it for lining jackets etc. I have yet to find anyone who thinks it's not a real snowy scene :D


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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by Roster » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:30 am

Nice job Doug. Very creative solution.

As it turned it out, I did not need either the field marking chalk nor the fake snow. Mother Nature provided an abundance of the real deal just in the nick of time.

More than I wanted. Over a foot.

Made the two days of shooting a bit more difficult than had there been just the few inches I had hoped for. Oh well, it was still better than faking it.

It was windy and bitter cold too. My 1014 XLS was a trooper. But on the 10th roll of film, the footage counter froze and did not return to zero. But all else continued to work fine as we raced to complete the final shots before losing daylight.
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by doug » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:43 pm

That's great :) Send some this way will you. I wish down in southern UK we had some more of the real stuff, quite a rarity now. Come to think of it I was hoping to get one or two close-ups for a film I'm making that needs snowflakes blowing about actors' faces. I wonder what the most realistic faking method is for this effect.

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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by Roster » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:05 pm

Doug,

You may want to try a small can (e.g. makes 2 gallons) of that instant snow powder product.

It's easy to make, it's quick and really does look like snow.
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by doug » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:20 pm

"You may want to try a small can (e.g. makes 2 gallons) of that instant snow powder product."

Thanks for that, but I am looking for bits of fluffy snow that drift around people's faces (close-ups) as in 'Gladiator'. http://www.snowbusiness.com do Snowsticks which is a sort of white ash that was they say used in that film. I may try this, but they are not keen to sell to folks not trained in pyrotechnics, and also it can't be used in the studio.
So I wonder if anyone knows a DIY alternative ?

Doug
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by MovieStuff » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:42 pm

Buy the white florists styrofoam, not the type used for insulation. The florists styrofoam is very brittle and lightweight and, when you break off a piece and crunch it up in your hand, it turns into something that looks like floating ice crystals when you let it go in the air.

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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by doug » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:41 pm

Thanks for this idea. Sounds promising, though I just saw on Wikipedia that it contains formaldehyde, which is dangerous to inhale (cancer).
Or maybe if it's not broken down to small it may be not too risky ?
Doug
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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by john59 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:16 pm

This sounds interesting.

http://www.raindance.org/blog/how-to-ma ... or-movies/


Hope the link works guys.

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Re: Fake Snow Needed for Scene, Ideas?

Post by doug » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:12 pm

Thanks John for this interesting link. Ironically there is real snow outside now :)
But i won't be ready for it. Will try the flakes idea.
Doug
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