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for our spring show, we are doing once upon a mattress, along with the typical stage stuff our crew has to do lobby design, i was thinkling half joking half serious that we should build a moat and do a medeval times type castle thing in the lobby but people really seem to like it . conveniently we already have flats that are painted like castle walls that we arent using and that are left over from a past show. anyway, to get to the moat, i was originally tihnking we should build a real moat with water and all and a drawbridge over it, but now i think the school might not appreciate that. another idea i had is to get a fogger that keeps the fog close to the ground and fill the moat with that, then put a regular household incandessant light gelled blue inside it to give the effect of water. i have never done this and dont know how it would work.

any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
i should also mention, the place where i want to put the moat is in an area that is not heated and the show will be in march, i read in a past post that foggers with coolants stay near the ground, so this potential problem might actually be good.
We're going to have to do something like this for one of our shows but I think we are just going to use a wooden sea and fly it in. MAybe you could make some boxes / a long box out of plexi or something and then point the fogger into it and make the outside blue. It might look cool to have this like box with blue looking fog rolling around in it ... then you can just make a bridge to go over it and hault it off / fly it out when your done with it.
It would seem to me that you would want the venue as hot as possible to keep the chilled smoke low. (if the whole place is cold, the smoke will not be any colder then the surrounding air and will not want to stay below the warmer air above (b/c there is no warmer air)).

If the plexyglass option seems feasable, Maybe consider pumping smoke through it! That way you dont have to worry about smoke going anywhere. Otherwise, clear, or blue tintend ceran wrap on top of a blue painted bottom can make a neat shiney wet type look.

My one worry with anti-freeze would be the poisonious aspects of it. Especially if you are using alot, you want to be careful about where it is going and what possible small animals might be able to drink it (and then walk off and die somewhere in the walls and create an awful stench).

Your orignal idea sounds really neat, the only thing i would worry about is the smoke not acutally staying down.

Another not so messy option would be to just make a moat out of the white decrative stones that can be used in gardens (dont know if you know what i am talking about, it's like gravel, except white)

anyway, those are just a few ideas.
well this is not for a set, its for our lobby which we have to design to look like the theatre. anyway, the issues this brings about are that it has to look real from close up, has to not poison kids who decide to go for a swim, but it can be more permanent as it wont need to be moved in the middle of the show, but the whole flying thing is obviously not an option either. if anyone has any other ideas, ide really like to hear them!
if you do use fog and you dont want to heat the place up just get some dryice or a fog chiller to keep it low to the ground.
the problem with dry ice is that the show will be going on for three nights and i dont know of a place where we can keep dry ice that is cold enough for it to last.
how low? i dont know if a regular freezer will go lowe enough, if one will i can see if anyone on the crew has one.... but i didnt think it was possible.
Well we used try ice durring my camp a few years ago and what we did was get a freezer from the school that goes down to like -4 and then we wrapped it in paper and put it in there. One thing you can do though is that alot of icecream places and the like use dry ice to keep their stuff cold. So call or e-mail them and see just how cold it has to be to keep dry ice from melting / evaperating and then see if you can match that temperature.
i hate to be the person who posts just to keep their topic on the new topics page, but i really need ideas on this, other ways to make moat itself, other substances to fill it with.... any suggestions so i have a few things to tell my SM and the parent organization that funds this would really help alot, they will be concerned about asthma and allergies with fog and wont like filling a section of our lobby with water.
this is at a school correct? imk sure the science dept has a freezer or somethign you cna keep it in. or the homec as an industrial freezer you could maybe use.
good point... the science dept also probably has a million chemicals that could be used to make fog!
usually science teachers have expirments with dry ice, I know I had a teacher and still does a holloween project that includes dry ice. Problem is according to her dry ice is very expensive so you might need to shell out some money.
At our theatre, we use dry ice quite a bit. We've actually rigged large 55 gallon barrels with heaters and blowers... filled with water, the heaters get the water hot. Add some dry ice (in a milk crate) and you've got fog. (The milk crates go only as far down as a metal bracket we've added will allow, thus emabling us to pull out the crate when the effect is done)

Although that's not quite what you need, and it was a bit off-topic, what I meant to say was that we simply keep the dry ice in thermal coolers provided by our supplying ice company. We get the delivery about twice a week, so three days worth of shows should be no problem - as long as you keep the coolers closed as much as possible.

Be careful, though - if you do use dry ice, be sure to folow all the necessary safety precautions - the stuff burns something fierce!
Thats a really cool idea for fog though. Do you think (besides the water being up high with all the instruments around and everything. That there is any type of problem with the fog from the dry ice shorting something out? I know its not water but I wasn't sure. And that should stay relativly close to the ground right cause its so cold?

P.S. Yes if you are doing anything with dry ice remember to do everything possible to avoid touching it with bare hands or even thin layers of cloth. You should probably have something like one or two pairs of thick gloves on when you handle it.
Well, the barrels are in the basement below the stage - an area we fondly call the 'pit' (it used to be the orchestra pit, but it's been overtaken by our hydraulic automation equipment now). The fog is piped to the stage via PVC piping. The footlights and other deck-level equipment have never been affected by the fog, and neither have the dimmer racks - also located in the 'pit'. Occasionally, we'll see some condensation around the fog ports on the stage, and that leaves a slick situation for the actors - but the shows are usually staged to avoid problems.

In the case of a moat, I wouldn't heat the water much above room temperature. You will need to heat the water a bit, though. The dry ice will chill the water to a point where it starts to freeze, creating a shell around the blocks and cancelling the effect. LeMantra sells a device called a 'Pea Souper', I believe, which is in effect the same principal, but on a MUCH smaller scale. Portable one-piece operation. I used it up in a catwalk above the stage for an effect when we did 'Cats', and we needed the fog to flow down a ladder from kitty-heaven.

I'll have to take some pictures of the setup when I get back to work - it's easiest to explain that way.

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