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Stage Fire

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by juanboquin, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. juanboquin

    juanboquin Member

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    Hey guys i need help. For a traveling acting competition my school does we need to have a "camp fire" The only thing is i have no way to make one that will work. If you guys have ideas that have worked before could you please help. The competition is in less than a month and if i'm not ready then that makes em a hypocrite cause I'm always telling my actors they'd better have all their stuff. Thanks Guys
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    There are a couple of threads on this subject that are worth checking out. Unfortunately, I could only find one of them.

    Fire, but more complicated... =)

    Hope this helps.:mrgreen:
     
  3. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You could search online for one of those party effects with the silk and mr-11 lamps. I've gotten them pretty cheap and they look realistic enough. Do you need the visual effect of fire, or the just the flashing effect on actor's faces?
     
  4. juanboquin

    juanboquin Member

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    I need the effect of a live campfire on the stage not the lights on the actors faces. we wouldnt have time to set up the gels. We were just gonna use a real fire but this will be preformed in a high school auditorium. That would be a big no no
     
  5. coldnorth57

    coldnorth57 Active Member

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    asa Les said ..some silk of the right color and 3 04 differnt lights and a fan and slome logs you have camp fire
     
  6. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    K, so it sounds like you need one of those party lights with the silk like what I found here via Google Images.

    HauntedProps: Lighting / Sound / Effects / Illusions - Blacklights / Strobe Lights / Haunted Flames / Lighting Effects

    They make them in different sizes and configurations. I had my old high school buy one that was in a box approximately 8x12 and it looked really good in a fireplace unit. I'm sure it would also look really good if you surrounded one by faux rocks. Seems like we paid about $40 for ours (the prices seem high at hauntedprops.com). We got ours at cheaplights:DJ Equipment | DJ Lights | Fog Fluid |Stage Lighting | Chauvet lighting | DJ Gear, but they no longer offer the model we got. Looks like they only have the large format effect. You might give them a call, or search other DJ lighting retailers. The keywords I would use would be along the lines of flame effect light, fire effect light, flamer light (be careful with that one lol), etc.

    Here's some clean results I found by Googling "flamer effect". First result. The prices seem more reasonable.

    Party Lights Online: Flame lights have the illusion of real flames and are safe for indoor use.

    They're still not ideal, but it says you can use the first one as a standing cauldron, which would fit your use if properly masked. It takes batteries though. The second one operates off 110v., but mentions no self-standing abilities, I'm sure you could make it work.

    I bought some of the mini-flame wall mount lights once for a production of Peter Pan and though cheap, they look realistic. They got great responses from the audience every night. Though not recommended because of the fan motor and possible transformer inside,I've dimmed these many times with no problems (in my younger, more foolish days).

    This is how they work:

    A fan blows upward on a piece of white silk (usually about 8" wide and 8" tall cut in the shape of a flame. Three MR-11 lamps with colored lenses aim up at the blowing silk. The one in the middle is usually colored blue, and the sides are orange.

    We have a member here on CB known as [user]BillESC[/user]. He is an Authorized Dealer and usually able to get a hold of these more obscure lighting effects. You might send him a PM.

    Here's one more google hit. http://www.littlebrightlights.com/site/1435548/page/610933. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see some replacement lamps and silk.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  7. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    In my opinion, anything other than the Le Flame by Le Maitre looks cheesy. Then again, if you don't have $285 for their unit ($329 for the DC module), I would go for one of the other Halloween type props. If you do that, I would recommend building up the logs of the campfire to mask the actual effect and just allow the colored light to filter through. On that note, I have even used scrap gel cut into strips with a fan blowing on it and lit from below to provide the effect of a fire. Again, I avoided having the gel being seen as that can look terrible. Nice thing about the gel was always having a scrap pile to choose from. You may or may not want to mask the sound of the gel flicking around, but you'll definitely want to mask the sound of the fan (which was another nice feature of the Le Maitre brand, silent fan).
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    It is amazingly simple to build your own silk flame device that looks just as good as any you can buy and costs way less (thanks to suppliers like Grainger). Unfortunately I don't have photos, but I have done many fire effects with silk flame units. I did campfire pits for Paint Your Wagon, fireplaces for many shows, and a stove for My Fair Lady. For the campfire pit look we actually had the silk flame device in a shallow trap in the stage with some logs around it but not blocking the silks. It looked great, just make sure that you leave room for the fans to "breathe."
     
  9. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Oh, I almost forgot Magic Gadgets. I saw them at LDI a few years back. Again, it's more of an indirect method of lighting, but it looked quite good.

    When I was looking for their site, I also came up with this that you can build yourself. I might have to try this one, though it might not be as bright as you need.
     
  10. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'd just buy the cheap one and be done with it. I've had good luck with these sub-$100 effects. I think what really ruins it for us technicians is that we know it's silk and a fan with a couple of MR lamps. The audience won't care. I'm sure there are a lot of things we do in theatre (like having a free-standing door unit, or "star gobos") that some may consider cheesy.


    Disclaimer: I've never seen the Le Flame in action, so my interpretation of the cheap flame lights may be skewed. I just think that for your application, the party stuff will be fine.
     
  11. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I understand that we ask the audience to suspend their disbelief in what we do and some of us have a harder time when we are part of the audience. Thus a freestanding door frame can be acceptable as long as we don't focus on it and it doesn't detract from the point of the scene. What I was suggesting is just that. IMHO, when I have seen the party style effects, they can be distracting and personally would only use them if the actual effect was mostly obscured by the rest of the prop. With the Le Flame, it looks much more convincing and I wouldn't hesitate having the audience view it fully. However, it is priced out of many people's budget (you get what you pay for), which is why I fully recommend a properly disguised DJ/party style unit.
     
  12. hsaunier

    hsaunier Active Member

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    I say build your own silk fire and put one small LED fixture under it. create an effect running through all the colors you want and woola. a fire
     
  13. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Since I'm impressed with the cheap units, I'd be really impressed by the Le Flame! I've always wanted to do a Medieval type show with lots of flame effects. In that case I'd probably want to go with Le Maitre :)
     
  14. juanboquin

    juanboquin Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys. I ended up paying the 40 something bucks for the little hanging fire effect that Les suggested....thanks for all the advice
     

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