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Semele - Fire table

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Charly Ann Brookman, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Charly Ann Brookman

    Charly Ann Brookman New Member

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    I'm currently working on a production of Semele by Handel at college (RWCMD) and am trying to figure out how to get two lines of fire to stay alight for at least 10 minutes. Any ideas appreciated but must be real flames!
     
  2. Charly Ann Brookman

    Charly Ann Brookman New Member

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    Location:
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    I'm currently working on a production of Semele by Handel at college (RWCMD) and am trying to figure out how to get two lines of fire to stay alight for at least 10 minutes. Any ideas appreciated but must be real flames!
     
  3. Charly Ann Brookman

    Charly Ann Brookman New Member

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    Location:
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    I'm currently working on a production of Semele by Handel at college (RWCMD) and am trying to figure out how to get two lines of fire to stay alight for at least 10 minutes. Any ideas appreciated but must be real flames!
     
  4. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure the only answer here is: hire a licensed pyrotechnician.
     
  5. AudJ

    AudJ Active Member

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    Welcome! Not knowing anything regarding your qualifications, I would suggest not attempting this yourself. Please hire a liscensed professional.

    Around here I would need a licensed pyrotechnician, several code variations, a firewatch, and probably some things I'm not even thinking about. For me at least, that would be cost prohibitive. I would be more likely to use some LED ground rows, some fans, and fabric. Done that before and I can't imagine an open flame would have produced any better of an effect.

    I would imagine things would be different but the same in your neck of the woods. I would start by calling your local fire marshal. They will be able to give you information to start (or stop) with.
     
  6. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Is this indoors or out?

    Probably burners that are used in a linear gas fire pit, which seem to be plentiful on google here.

    BUT you have to have expertise for both with the mechanism and with assembly occupancies. While the probability of an incident in an assembly occupancy is very low, it is not zero, and the potential for large loss of life is extremely high. It is odd that we don't pay much attention to many thousands of residential fires with a few deaths each, but one fire with 100 deaths is big, earth shattering, news. You simply can't be too careful.

    Hope you can do it outdoors - much simpler.
     
  7. Tom Andrews

    Tom Andrews Member

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    Occupation:
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    Hi there! Besides qualifications, there are other reasons to not do this. Firstly, 10 minutes is a long time to have a fire burning! A lot can happen, and it tends to be uncontrollable unless you're working with a fixed fuel source such as propane (which you'll also need additional licensing and permits for). If you're working with low tech materials like sterno cans in a line, bad things can happen like the combined heat build up and transference from one can to another liquifies the fuel source too rapidly, flame burn higher, sputter, go down, etc. And you'd need to have some type of non-flammable and heat absorbing containment system. And keep flammable items far enough away. And then if you do pull this off, there's a lot of smoke from real fires, which also create an observable odor in the entire theater.

    We worked on the stage musical version of "Women on the Verge", with a scene where sheets and a bed burn up. Between the pyro firm, the prop company, us, and the set designer, there were a couple months of design of the burn system, testing, finding the right size fuel source, the right fabric for the sheets, proper amount of flame retardant to keep the sheets from burning too quickly. In the end it worked great, but in the actual show the audience stopped paying attention to the actors on stage and watched the fire instead, and then started wondering about the smoke, the bad smell permeating the theater, and also started wondering about their own safety. And this was with lots of R&D and executed by specialists, and while it was great visually for about 10 seconds it created lots of other problems.

    So, I'd say not only is the safety factor insurmountable in nearly every instance unless you have a large budget, from the aesthetic view point it's not that great in actuality.

    However, I'd suggest you learn for yourself to see what's required. Go talk with both your local fire house and also the Fire Prevention Bureau of your state or county. Tell them what you'd like to do and ask them how you can achieve it, and yes it'll probably be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming. You'll possibly also need to go to the Building Dept to ask about temporary gas line permits, and permit to store and use propane indoors if that's the route you go.
     
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I will echo others cautions and say, " hey, get a licensed, qualified Pyrotechnician." At the same time I'd say, like Bill said, I immediately envisioned a fireplace gas pipe with slits or holes if this must be real flames. Obviously there are ways that the area of the trenches can be made "fire proof" and heat resistant and a LOT of coordination is going to be required with Costumes and Props. Everything on that stage is going to need to be not only flameproof but fire retardant/resistant.

    I'd seriously look at getting the school to hire a consultant pyrotechnician for the process. It's such an incredible opportunity for a teachable/learning experience!


    If it doesn't HAVE to be real fire I'd certainly go full bore with silk, lights, fans and maybe smoke.
     
  9. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    It can't be near scenery or curtains, and costumes and hair scare me most. And the idea of someone jumping over it - oh - bad. And you may have to consider CO2 - but probably unless it's an itty bitty space, not a problem. There are so many variables that change what I'd suggest or do myself, it's really hard to help much except get an expert who knows this stuff. That could be a fireplace/stove person in this case, someone who does fire pits for a living.
     

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