Stage Haze


Active Member
I assume stage fog and haze that are produced by dedicated machines are not against the pyro rules?

Here's the situation: We want to use haze in one of our one act plays, it's 15-20 minutes long (not sure yet lol).
It's not a big enough production to warrent the expense and complications of getting a real haze machine. So afaik there are two alternatives:

-Use our existing fog machine (it's one of those stupid consumer party foggers) to somehow create haze.... we are mainly looking to have one main beam of light visible, so fogging the entire stage up is not necessary I suppose, but it would be nice. A rep from a company near where I live called airmagic fx suggested using a fan and short bursts from our fog machine to create a haze substitute. I think the fog will rise quickly and be too distracting, and dissipate to fast, nevermind that that fog machine hisses VERY audibly each time it gives off a burst. (You can hear the damn thing very well from the booth).

-Use "Diffusion", which is apparently haze in an aerosol can. It is claimed to be basically the same thing as haze machine haze, safe, same effect, etc. My question would be does anyone have experiance with this stuff? IE-Does it work, and will it fill a stage that is slightly larger than most school stages, or at least part of it? There are two dealers that I know of in my area that carry it. One sells them for $28 CAD ($23 USD) per can and has them in stock, one sells them for $10.30 CAD ($8.48 USD). The problem is, the cheaper place has none in stock, and will order only if I place a large enough order (ie-a case). I am not willing to commit to a purchase of an entire case without first testing it. So, I will probably by a can from the expensive place and try it out, and order it from the cheap place if I like it. But, I won't bother if anyone here can tell me if it doesn't work :)

what about using a chiller w/ your fog machine so it stays low longer

im not the best im just throwing an idea out there
No matter whar fluid is used in your machine, regardless of temperature, it will dissipate at the same rate. I have tried (and used with success) haze fluid inside of a cheap fog machine. I have even swapped fluids back and forth and gotten results. So if you can get your hands on some haze fluid, give it a shot in your fog machine.
I have built a custom chiller (not too hard to do.... ask or look arround the internet for ideas) and that combined with wtih dumping lots of smoke into an off stage corner stage seems to work best. The air circulation currents work in our favor in this one area (althugh they work against us everywhere else). We usualy have to fill the flyspace with smoke first to get it to lower down to be visible on stage, but I think the most important thing would be to test if you have any air currents on your stage. Another possibility would be shooting the fog down a tube (with fans arround the fog machine blowing into the tube) to allow the fogmachine to be placed farther away, and possibly dissipate the fog before being released.

Thats just my $.02
If you're using a conventional fogger, watch out for those smoke detectors. They are more sensative in some buildings than others. Especially the ones with optical sensors in the HVAC ducts. If you are using Haze, you should have no problem with this, because it is less dense than fog. A chiller would not fill the air with fog if operating properly. Plus, you would most likely have to bring ice along unless you are using some type of expensive cooling unit. Chillers are designed to create a creepy fog that lies near the ground. Is this UIL One-Act? Make sure you are even allowed to use a fog machine. Some states are more strict than others. The Haze-In-A-Can would most likely be the easiest to deal with given your situation because it requires minimal storage, no power, and is always ready to go. It sucks when your fogger goes into 'stand-by' when you need it most. By the way, there should be other suppliers for this type of product. One that I know of is prosound and stage lighting ( I believe it sells for around $20.00 per can.
I live in Canada, so it is preferable to get the cans from a Toronto area dealer.
I'll try some things with or fog machine though, see if I can make it work.
Thanks for the tips!

PS-We own a cheap fog machine and have used it before, fire alarm has never been an issue afaik.
I have used propellent based haze fluid before. Depending upon the product, - The CITC Fantasy FX or "Poof" for instance should have a 30 sec. burst out of it that will linger about 30 min.

This figure is based upon spaces much smaller and less drafty than a stage. In spraying you would need to walk around with the spray to disperse it otherwise for most of that 30 min it lasts it's going to be dense in one area and not much in others. While it does disperse some, it does not much as I remember it.

There are some oil based haze fluids on the market which are dual purpose between haze and fog machines. Such fluids are designed around specific fog machines however. Use of another type of machine with the fluid can very possibly destroy the machine. This use of other brands at very least should be verified with the fog fluid's manufacturer that it will work with your machine.
Hmm... what I was looking at is called "Diffusion", and it *claims* to spray for five minutes... I only need it to hang for about 20 minutes, I just hope the ventillation in our backstage area won't screw it up :)

I really want to stay away from oil based fog/haze, for obvious reasons. I'll experiment with the machine, and if it doesn't work I'll invest in one of the $30 cans and see if they work... if so I'll order a case from the cheaper place :)
you have two choices you can take a regular humidifer and use haz fluid or use 1 part glycerin to 9 parts water. this will creat a haze effect.

or you can suck it up and call christie lites or Westbury national show systems and rent a hazer for like $200 a week. You dont need an MDG hazer you just need like a Nutron xs they are cheep and they work so just rent it.

Dont use the canned haze its un predictable.

i use air magic and all of these companys they are all great but i find airmagic is great for consumables but expensive for rentals so try and go with a rental house like christie they have large amounts of stock on hand

if you need an contact at any of these shops

email me [email protected]

Jon Hirsh
sory and one other thing do not put haze fluid in your smoke machine it will damage your machine. follow your the manufacturers instructions do not do it. the good thing about proper haze units is they are instant no heat times and they run continuious and have huge hang times.
then what did you mean by: "you have two choices you can take a regular humidifer and use haz fluid or use 1 part glycerin to 9 parts water. "

Is that just another term for a haze maker? I am not sure I am following what you are trying to say :-(
I am saying do not use the humidifier as a regular humidifier (in your bedroom) affter you have put haze fluid. i am saing this for no reasson other then i really dont like to breath in mineral oils if i dont have to. and i dont think but am not certian that it would be hard to clean it out

lol I'm not going to be screwing around with glycerin :)

I talked to a guy at airmagic, he said since the show is so short, we could probably get a good enough effect just using our fogger... I think he's right. If I pipe it far enough, it'll come out at the end very subtly, and I really only need it under one direct light, so I'll probably get away with only using the fog machine. Plus, I was overruled on the hazer due to safety concerns... why haze is any worse than fog is beyond me, I guess they are concerned it will flow into the auditorium.

I didn't try Westbury, but I did try Christie, they were very expensive, and only had oil based foggers :(

Thanks for your help, and I'll be sure to detail how it turned out, along with photos :)
Hey haze is not worse then fog there are no safty concerns with haze there are more concerns with fog like smoke alarms and heat sensors

fog will go into the crowd as well. All haze is oil based even the stuff in the can (if i am not mistaken)

the fog will not have a long hang time you will need to keep fogging if this is ok with you then you will have the desierd effect

Well I know there are some non-oil based fluids... or at least they have low oil content. I know there is less safety concerns with haze but some of these people are morons. *sigh*
It's still to much of a pain to get a hazer though, we'll use the fogger, and just keep fogging every so often.
Westbury should have them at a fairly competitive price ($40 /day) or so. If not, try Concord Production Services in Cambridge. ( Both should have non oild-based hazers. They've got some nice stuff, I recently rented a LeMaitre Stage Fogger Pro from them and I think it came out to $36 with tax, I don't think a hazer would cost too much more.
i just talked to our td about this today, the house in the show is suppoed to burn down n have haze/smoke but they want to use fog, but last time they used for "if would shoot out then need to heat up again n it goes out into the house n stays there" so i said if its a filled stage thing, use a hazer, he said whats that....ugh why are ppl like that allowed to be td's (esp when they break thier leg by walking "tripping" on unbraced ramp legs

ne advice on what to do for the haze that i can give them somehting
if you would still recomend a hazer, ne ideas as to where in cleveland/olmsted falls one can be rented

Users who are viewing this thread