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Fire

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by desantiscott, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. desantiscott

    desantiscott Member

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    I am working on a school production of "Pippin". I have to simulate him "catching on fire", and the school I am working with (no surprise) will not let me actually put real fire on stage. I am trying to figure out what I could possibly use to create this type of effect...

    The end of the show has Pippin being set on fire and "going out in a blaze of glory". So essentially I have to recreate that somehow or some way...

    I thought of using rotating gobos or something of the sort with a back light shadow... clearly I have to go abstract with it since I cant use real fire.

    Also I am on a limited budget so a moving fixture or anything of that sort unfortunately is out of the question.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. LightingPenguin

    LightingPenguin Active Member

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  3. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried building your own LED fire effect? You could use it as a top and overlay a gobo. It would be time consuming but cheap and a great experience for you. Use red/amber/yellow LEDs with flourescent starters and a DC transformer.

    Mike
     
  4. desantiscott

    desantiscott Member

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    Can you go into a little more detail about the LED fire effect? Time consuming is not an issue with me, I am always looking for an excuse for over night work!
     
  5. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Fire Fox Projector might work for your purposes.

    [​IMG]

    It's under a hundred bucks.
     
  6. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I did this show in high school. Looking back the way that we did it was stupid and very dangerous.

    If I had to do it again I'd get out our smoke machiene, a few of our strobes, and play with some gobos (haha Iphone keeps wanting to change gobos to hobos) in our source4s. Fire the strobes fill the box with smoke, black out the area and/or fly in the midstage drop.
     
  7. chrispo86

    chrispo86 Active Member

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    I did Pippin while I was actually still in the high school I now help out at, but that was a while ago, and now I don't remember how we did it. I know we had the lead player light some flash paper (available at any magic shop) when he was explaining to Pippin to give the audience the idea of what was supposed to take place. I don't think we did any effects other than that.

    We did do Princess Bride last year and when we needed to create the effect of someone on fire we used this:

    GAM : FILM/FX

    Worked great. Just throw it in an appropriately colored S4 (I think we actually taped different scraps of gel together to give a multi-colored flame) and let it go. We've used that little animator for a couple of things and it always pulls through.
     
  8. desantiscott

    desantiscott Member

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    that flame scroller is interesting I just got off the Phone with Rosco and and was looking into getting a few different glass gobos with some regualr steel gobos to see if I can get something working that way but I have a feeling it may come out to be the same look at the scroller you just showed me... Hmmm....
     
  9. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we used a few hundred LEDs and ours was for a bowl, so we mounted them inside the bowl, wired them up (make sure you know which is the + and which is the -) with a transformer and flourecent starters (you will have to wire them in a box). They will fire off at different, seemingly random times.

    We did this before LED fixtures were any good at all. It made a nice fire effect with some silk. I am not sure if you could get enough juice for your purpose, but it is something to think about.

    Mike
     
  10. PeterWatsonScenic

    PeterWatsonScenic Member

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    Think a black painted box - about the size of a small closet with a door in the side. The front is made of 2 sheets of plexiglass about 3 inches apart. It is important that they are airtight on the sides. At the bottom of the plexi-cavity is a fan - or a duct leading to a fan and a lighting instrument pointing up the cavity. Running from one sheet of plex to the other are several randomly spaced randomly spaced lengths of thin wire each having a light weight trangle of orange-red-yellow silk attached.
    Leading player throws player in box - "locks door" fan and lights start, actor appears to burn inside the box.
    The concept is proven - and shown (in the distance) at 69 Compromiser.JPG on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Good luck with your show
    PW
     
  11. tcahall

    tcahall Member

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    Not really a lighting effect, but...

    What about re-creating the flame effect that you see around Halloween with a flame colored piece of fabric being blown from below. Throw in some lights and a breakup gobo and you have a fire that an actor can "disappear" behind.

    Tim.
     
  12. ajstubby

    ajstubby Member

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    I was doing a show where we did a really cool fire effect. It was to show homeless people around esentially trash can fires. We had these trap doors on stage where there was about a foot drop under the set and we put 4 par 16s (yes, they were really small) on a flicker box, and we had some random amber, red, and light blue gels that we cut to size and then cut pieces out of the gel and layered a couple of gels for each par. The effect was really cool becuase the light was directly under the person and the gels covered the full range of color that you would see in a fire. Hope this helps.
     
  13. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Various scene machines were designed for such purposes if still out there, Got some R&V that with work would work as designed in the 50's I think if I had time to service them. There is also a S-4 Hybread that escapes my mind at the moment that's also out there on the rental market. It uses something like a 18" color wheel at the focus of that cut away S-4 fixture, normally made for clouds but can do fire also. Most fixtures that do clouds can do fire. There is also "the ripple machine" long ago made by Moonlight as a company which does good fire effects. Love twin spin gobo rotators also for doing such things. Many moving lights no doubt can also do this effect.

    That's all rental gear and with budget for such things. Lots of other ways to do so, wonder how well some form of color scroller if a flame gel string was desined and made for the scroll would also do for such a thing? Otherwise look into "random flicker effect" as past postings for random strobes and combine the series fluorescent starter with wattage for fast strobing at random as backup effect to say what looks one can do with gobos and the light board. Perhaps even have that random flicker if a few of them in use effect the control of the gobo fixtures. Bring a series of them up at once and have that random flicker effect with gobo and gel take over, otherwise a chase or custom link effect by way of light board could also work. Each individual channel timed and controlled with base light help so as to reproduce fire.

    Think of it as first you have your key and fill light, than you have say your timed special effect light running during that cue. Any good light board with memory should allow for say a base of light cue while a sub timed chase or timed sub cue is playing, otherwise with bump buttons or chase while such channels are in indipendant mode one can do it oneself.

    In other words, lots of ways to do fire by way of gear designed to project it or cues in control of making it. Primary questions than are budget and time as determining quality.
     
  14. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    I'm reminded of a story about a really, really low budget high school version of The Ten Commandments... for the burning bush, they had a small fake christmas tree in a washtub, with a window fan under it. When it came time for the bush to burn, they turned on the fan, and it blew red streamers up around the tree.

    I'm also thinking of a production of 'Great Expectations' where a character burned in a fogger cloud and some low angle bright lights, with a smidgeon of imagination from the audience.
     

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