Fake snow for snow bag

Jon Majors

Member
Joined
May 24, 2018
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I want to use fake snow in a snow bag over our stage. I am making the bag about 30' long and suspending it between 2 battens. Does anyone have recommendations on what the snow should be made from? It needs to flow for about 3 minutes. I'm looking for inexpensive options and need it within the next couple of days. I've read cutting plastic grocery bags is a good method but that sounds very time consuming considering my time frame. Any suggestions are helpful.

Thank you,
Jon
 

techieman33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2004
Location
topeka, ks
http://www.limelightproductions.com/supplies/snow-cradles.html#samplepricing I've used this company for several of their effects. Good advice on not reusing the snow as well.
I've never seen dirt/dust be that big of an issue with reuse, at least not for the 5-10 times it'll get used in a run. The big issue is anything big that gets swept up with. Usually it's things like bobby pins, buttons, or all the other little bits that fall off of dancers costumes. So if you are going to reuse it then go through it with magnets, and dig through it with you hands and eyes to make sure there isn't anything but snow loaded into the bag.
 

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Location
Sarasota, FL
Limelight's a good option, but you'll have to get someone on the phone and see how quickly they can ship. It's a big heavy box and it's the busiest time of year for fake snow and UPS. If you're desperate, call around and see if anyone else your area has some hiding in a corner of their scene shop from years past.

Probably wouldn't try to DIY the snow. You need at least 10 lbs of material to fill a 30' wide bag -- probably more, and it's a pain to get the sizing of the flakes to be consistent. That's more than a few grocery bags, and grocery bags will also be a heavier mil thickness than what most of the effects shops sell. Not sure how dramatically that impacts the look but something to consider.

+1 for not reusing material once it hits the floor. The PVC of the Limelight stuff has a static cling effect that attracts every bit of dust and glitter. Even if you mop the stage before the show, the snow will look noticeably dirty when you sweep it up. Plus you usually end up with a bunch of perfectly good extra snow left over in the cradle at the end of the run. If you refill the hopper with dirty snow, you might have to throw the surplus out at strike instead of saving it for next year.
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I've never seen dirt/dust be that big of an issue with reuse, at least not for the 5-10 times it'll get used in a run. The big issue is anything big that gets swept up with. Usually it's things like bobby pins, buttons, or all the other little bits that fall off of dancers costumes. So if you are going to reuse it then go through it with magnets, and dig through it with you hands and eyes to make sure there isn't anything but snow loaded into the bag.
@techieman33 Worked on a production with three cars on stage, two used and one new. The show was to take place in the sales office of a car lot. The author intended it to be done with the sales staff looking out to the audience and purportedly seeing the snow landing on the vehicles out on their lot with the snow only existing in the minds of patrons.

It was the groups first season in their new theatre; the group's founder / Artistic Director elected to do the show with the cars on stage seen through the plate glass windows of the dealership. Two of the vehicles were the pride and joy of a couple of board members and the brand new vehicle was on loan from a local dealer in return for program credits.

The snow fell, at various intensities, for most of the production with the bag being reloaded at interval and show's end.
Several of us went through the snow very carefully each time the bag was refilled.
The nastiest item we spotted while sweeping up and reloading was a 3/8" x 2 or 2.5" nickle-plated hex bolt.
The production was Canadian Norm Foster's "Motor Trade."
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard