Remember when... (bubble machine)

RonHebbard

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Premium Member
"Bubbles" emanated from a "bubble machine" and were a popular effect for childrens' productions and / or comedic party scenes where the Champagne bubbles filled the stage and drifted over the patrons?

"Bubbles"; talk about an overused word in our current times:
Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere BUBBLES. We live in them. Sports teams play in them, yada, yada.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

DaveySimps

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I have a local special effects vendor who still will rent 12 bubble machines. They are a wonderful effect. We last used them for Willie Wonka.

Least we forget Don Ho and his Tiny Bubbles (one of the first concerts I mixed monitors for), and the late great Lawrence Welk's "Champaign Music".

~Dave
 

Catherder

Well-Known Member
Hate bubbles. Last time we used them - also for Wonka - I had most of my stagehands furiously toweling the stage during a scene change blackout to clean up all the goo. Never again.

I’ve heard rumor of a residue free bubble solution (a backstage tour of Wicked talked about some proprietary formulation they came up with) but haven’t personally seen any.
 

gafftapegreenia

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How about foam parties?
 

TimMc

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How about foam parties?
I'd rather clean up after a foam party than a "color run" with the dyed cornstarch. BTW, lens/camera/video rent shops will not rent gear to anyone who mentions doing a "color run" or party, etc. The cornstarch can get between lens elements and stick to image sensors. A nice cinema lens can require $xxxx disassembly, cleaning and reassembly.
 
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Crisp image

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I used bubble machines for Seussical and the scene where JoJo was in the bath. Worked a treat and then the Cat moped the stage to "clean up" after the bath. The only came out of the bath so not a lot to clean up.
 

TimMc

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I used bubble machines for Seussical and the scene where JoJo was in the bath. Worked a treat and then the Cat moped the stage to "clean up" after the bath. The only came out of the bath so not a lot to clean up.

All the thinks you can think! I love doing that show.

It's a great show to introduce students to sound design with, too.
 

Crisp image

Well-Known Member
All the thinks you can think! I love doing that show.

It's a great show to introduce students to sound design with, too.
Please enlighten me about sound design. I understand lighting design- a light needing to hit a spot in this colour or that but sound design to me is designing a system to be installed in a venue and then attach microphones to that system tune it and off you go. I really don't understand it at all. I need help.
 

DaveySimps

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Please enlighten me about sound design. I understand lighting design- a light needing to hit a spot in this colour or that but sound design to me is designing a system to be installed in a venue and then attach microphones to that system tune it and off you go. I really don't understand it at all. I need help.
You must also consider the creation and cuing of sound effects that help create and support the reality of the production. Location of effect speakers and direction of sound. Also, the effects the designer might choose to use on vocals to support characters or a feeling in a particular scene or song (or parts there of). In a play sound designers also select, edit, or compose underscore or transition music.

~Dave
 

StradivariusBone

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We used bubble machines in Lil Mermaid Jr, but instead of renting or buying a big one we found a few $5 ones at Walmart and put them together to make our own that worked about as good as the fancy ones. Bubbles are bubbles.

Also I have fond memories of my grandparents watching Lawrence Welk and his bubble gum rock. Or was that something different... :think:
 

Crisp image

Well-Known Member
You must also consider the creation and cuing of sound effects that help create and support the reality of the production. Location of effect speakers and direction of sound. Also, the effects the designer might choose to use on vocals to support characters or a feeling in a particular scene or song (or parts there of). In a play sound designers also select, edit, or compose underscore or transition music.

~Dave
Thanks Dave. It makes it clearer for me now.
 

TimMc

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Premium Member
Sound design is both artistic and technical. Like in LX, you can never put the lights/speakers/microphones where they need to be for the desired results...

But for the artistic side think "radio play". The soundscape helps establish time & place, whether sounds, music, or combinations. Like the craft departments, sound helps tell the story the director has envisioned. The music provides transitions, too... but stop for a second and listen to what's going on around you, right now, that give you aural clues as to where you are. Think about other places and spaces... the sounds made by equipment and machinery or vehicles; nature sounds; people sounds. All of them together create a soundscape that accompanies you everywhere. A designer may find it useful to use some of those sounds to create subtle (or not so subtle) sonic signatures of various places or situations depicted in a script. Kind of like a 'motif' in music or visual art.

The tech side involves putting mics on actors for musicals and maybe hiding mics on actors or in set pieces or props for straight plays as well as soundscaping and SFX. Editing FX until the director likes them...

When I was designing for something like Seussical, my question about the artistic side was first "how does this help tell the story? Does it add something to a character or frame the action?" Can you hear the kids? Can you understand the actors? Is the orchestra too damn loud? (trick question, of course they are!)
 
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ship

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Premium Member
Bubble Machines I never had to service, but assure were other than seeing rusting.. easier to maintain than snow machines like 10 years ago when I was last servicing them. (Luckily the electronics repair dpt. does them now/last year.) Snow machines were always a turd after a show or tour, especially if not flushed, but even after. Hoses clogged in needing replacement almost always, breather and bubble sock had to be immediately soaked, than that water changed in soaking again. Than change the water, blow out and re-soak until the next use. Snow machines got sticky, and in general the surfaces became like tar in hard to clean off short of also removing the paint. I suspect bubble machines are similar if not maintained.

Katie Perrie tour was using Beeboo Bubble by Extreme Bubbles a few years ago, but I have no idea of what bubble machines they were used in.
 

ship

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Premium Member
Funny also, the above Katie Perrie tour bubble machines, I had nothing to do with suddenly came up.

My department is now actively restoring for resale to a venue the apparatuses = polishing a turd we do so well. Machines closed up and stored for years... the mold etc. One was even stored with fluid in it for years. The green mold type of semi-liquid thing was seriously something of science fiction level in attempting to get it out. Road cases have black mold etc. and serious corrosion to all metal parts.

But the restoration is going well... In learning about the contraptions... A FQ-100 style smoke machine was used in line with the air take to the unknown brand industrial bubble machines. Thus smoke filled bubbles of the above high density bubble mix. What the abondance of moldy confetti was about... I have no idea, only that the machines had an abundance of it also within them. Confetti also within the bubbles?

Also found three bucks in Katie Perry money within the Machines.... Drying.
 
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