ideas for FX for "Stephanie Hero"

mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
:?:hi im the master carpinter and basically head of coming up with FX for my HS shows...this year for the fall play we are putting on Stephanie hero...it all mystical and midevil blah blah blah..ok point being my tech advisor gave me some mission impossible stuff...i (with a limited budget) have to make ppl dressed up as swans fly ...i think ive got that one figured out...but in the show there is a scene in which there is a witch trial in which two actors are strapped to a pike and have a fire set around them which is them quickly put out by some hero or somthing...i dont have a pyro certification so im thinking lights fans and fabric?......the fire needs to be smallish becuase it has just been lit but big enough to be visable and it has to kinda go around the pile of fake/real logs

essentially this sketch..
the whole thing would be mounted on a flat with casters.....im thinking using a bunch of cheepo pc case DC fans connected to an old pc powersupply......i dunno

just if anyone has anyideas for me...hit me up k
 

soundlight

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Fans and colored silk with lights is probably your best bet. Real pyro isn't an option here.

Also, be very careful with the flying. If you're actually planning on flying people, you NEED to bring in a company like Flying by Foy. Even professional theatres use people like Foy to do their flying, because there is simply no other way to do it safe. The folks at Foy are completely certified and trained in what they do, and pull of great flying effects.

Just for reference, you'll usually get much more of a response if you properly structure your questions and use full sentences. Then more folks will take the time to read it.
 

mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
lol..ok sorry bout the shotty grammer and such. oh the flying part. If we had the 10 grand needed for flying them we would bring in the boys from foy...but we dont have cash like that.. The most likely alternative is to use what the japanese use..strong people dressed in all black, or have the swans on roller skates lol! or possibles on rolling elevated platforms...sadley we dont have a fly system :-(......thanks for the ideas....if anyone has done artificial fire like this in a show and has pics of it, the pictures would be greatly appreciated..

thanks
tom
 

SHARYNF

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Sep 3, 2006
I would NEVER recommend using a real fire on a stage especially simulating burning at the stake. I have seen it done in movies outside with fire crews standing by with hoses etc and using the camera effect to compress the distance between the people and the fire, or green screen.

silk and fans and lights would work fine, you could look at bringing up a projection image of the swans scene.
Another thought is to use large stick puppets that serve as the swans with the right lighting effect you could get the transition from people to swans (I'm guessing is the effect) and then use the puppets for the flying

Sharyn
 

soundlight

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Not strobes, no. Strobes are too quick to simulate fire. It was probably either birdies (PAR16's) or Inkies (3" fresnels). Birdies are cheap, and it's always good to have some around, so if you don't have some yet and you have a few extra bux in your budget, go ahead and get some. They're cheap and totally worth it for these kinds of special effects jobs. Many of them take MR-16 lamps.
 

soundlight

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It's most likely a chase sequence programmed in to the board, and then that chase effect was written in to a cue. What kind of board do you have?
 

mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
hmm got to remember havent been on lighting crew for two years (not every one got along up in that booth......) its an ETC Express series...weve done a chase....ill see if i can do that...one of the probs will be getting all the cabeling on stage
 

soundlight

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Chases are easy to do on the Express. Should be able to pull it off no problem.
 

mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
if cables or cash end up a problem i guess im stuck with salvaging pc fans and a pc Power supply and some random DC lights and stuff lol
 

Van

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I really liked the look of that vid you posted. The nice thing is that you definately have the impression that the wood has caught on fire, whilst never seeing actual flame.
Definately a fog macine, a red, yellow and orange, mr-16, or other fixture that can fit in there. There are a few battery powered chase units you could employ in a setup like that, if getting it cabled is really a problem.
 

mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
cheayea if i could replicate that effect it would be amazing !.....specially for a hs theatre...yea cabling is a prob because well most of our tech crew isnt experienced in lighting stuff and nor do i trust many of them with anything really important
 

gafftaper

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First off to echo the previous posts don't for a second think you can figure out a way to make people actually leave the ground by some sort of wire flying device on your own. And Second... NO real fire.

As far as the light, fans, silk, flames they work great. Take a serious look at the devices Bill just posted the link to they look really good. I bet you can find the big ones for rent too. As long as the show isn't in October check with the local haunted house people in your town. They may have a few they could rent/loan you.

Another option is just a gobo rotator or other sort of scenic projector. You can do some really nice flame effects on a larger scale. It won't be as localized as the silk and fan approach, but you can get some really nice looks without a lot of money.
 

mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
firest of all i never was saying i would have them actually fly....and second i would neve actually use reall fire...if i make my own light/fans system...do u guys suggest DC or ac...i would probably use old dc pc case fans a a hacked pc powersupply for that..bu tfor the light i could do AC or DC
 

Van

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I'd say that if you can get a cable to it to run the PC PSU then you should just go for running a multi cable into it to power three lights and a fogg machine. I just got inspired maybe I'l draw a layout tonight to give you a hand. .... Autocad here I come....:mrgreen:

1 hr later......

Ok I threw something together real quick. there are some notes on the drawing and I'll explain a few things here as well. I was working of the idea of that vid you posted, ie. no flames, just smoke and lights.
the little box in the center of everything was supposed to be labelled "fog machine".
This is really just a rough outline, obviously your dimensions will vary.
The wiring diagram shows three, four light ACL circuits. ACL's are 28v each so for US curent you need four of them in a row to make the 112v mark.
The basic Idea would be to run the power for the lights and the fog machine on a four circuit piece of SOCA cable. Now way around it you'd have to run a seperate wire if you want to use DMX to control the fog machine. If you were using something like a Rosco 1500 you could canabilised the remote and use the wires from a 8 circuit Soca cable, but why bother the size difference would be the kicker.
I realised 1/2" plexi is expensive but you might find a dealer in your area willing to sell you some left over pieces from another cut job. If you can't do the plexi for the top of the platform you could always just put some 2x4's across the top, the light is going to get broken up a lot by the dressing, anyway.
< twigs, and stuff, bundles of twigs actually, technically/ literally the real definition of the word faggot. Look it up in Websters>

Hope this helps as a guideline. Sorry if I jumped to hard on this, it's just this sort of thing is my favorite kind of project. Heck if you lived here, I'd build it for you, in my copious spare time, < as my PM would say>. I love theatrricl SPFX.

Good luck.
 
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mastercarp56

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Sep 2, 2007
cool cool, ill take a good look at all that..i dont understand everything u said but ill run it by some people i know that know stuff about all this stuff.....btw do u have a larger version of the pic...i cant read the text?..sorry if not its cool...ill keep ya posted on it all thanks again