The Spin - September 2018
Often we meet with a potential client to discuss the what, when, where, and how of their event in order to give an accurate estimate for services. During these discussions we learn they have a very high level idea of what it should look like; loaded dance floor, lights, action, etc. When we start talking specifics they are generally unaware, and that's when we drill down into the details. Room size, dance floor size, audio system(s), microphone requirements, uplighting, motion lighting, static lighting, fog/haze, monogram projection, photo booth configuration and customization and much more is discussed at length. For nearly any effect, be it auditory or visual, there are multiple options to explore. Over the next several issues, we'll be presenting those options, starting with special effects.
PART 1 - Fog Effects
Few effects are as dramatic as a puffy cloud, or a misty presence reminiscent to Scotland yard in a Sherlock Holmes feature. Fog has been around for a long time, and it's one of the few effects that can completely change the mood when combined with lighting effects.
Note: Always check with your venue before purchasing any type of fogger service as many do not allow it.
Dry Ice Fog
You may have seen pictures of an event where it appeared to have a couple dancing in a cloud. This is a special effect known as dry ice fog. It occurs when you submerge solid carbon dioxide into near boiling water. Since both dry ice and boiling water are dangerous separately, it takes special equipment to put them together. We use Chauvet Nimbus foggers, considered to be of the best and safest available. Unlike traditional glycerine/glycol based liquid foggers, the output is very dense and short lived. 10 lbs. of dry ice and 5 gallons of hot water will give you approximately six minutes of photogenic fog. The low-rise fog deck generally stays below knee level, and will not cause interference with smoke detectors. It's use is mostly for weddings when a newlywed couple wants their first dance to be captured as an unforgettable moment in time, but Silver and Golden Anniversaries or any other significant moment can benefit from such a spectacular effect.
Liquid Fog (Glycerine/Glycol)
If you've spent any time in a popular night club, you undoubted experienced a liquid fog effect. Used to create a vapor in the air, the effect can really complement dance floor lighting as it captures the beams, especially if the lighting is in motion. It's use can set the tone for a lively dance party, especially around Halloween when all the guests come dressed as their favorite character. Add black lighting and venue transforms into an iridescent glow worthy of the holiday.
The downside to liquid fog is atomized glycerine or glycol. Guests with compromised breathing may have sensitivity issues, also it is a saturating fog with characteristics of smoke. This may lead to smoke detectors activating if the fog becomes too heavy.
Haze Fog (Water Based Mineral Oils)
Hazers have replaced glycerine/glycol based foggers in many instances. The fluid is mineral oil dilluted with water to thin the effect and the output is significantly lower, using a fan to move small amounts of the fog over long run cycles. Unlike a traditional liquid fogger that has a visual release of fog in bursts, a hazer runs in the background never drawing attention. It slowly adds a haze and maintains it for the duration of the event. The advantage is having a much thinner atmosphere, many times nearly unnoticeable until lighting exposes a very fine mist. Normally it does not interfere with smoke detectors unless improperly used with extended duty cycles increasing saturation.
Tu-Can Jamz Mobile Productions is a full-service mobile entertainment business. Top quality DJ/MC services, audio, lighting, and photo booth offerings allow us to tailor a unique experience for every customer. Weddings, corporate events, private parties, charities and more. Contact us for a free consultation.