Snow • Ice
A proverb among film crews says that you only have snow when you don’t need it. To ensure that you can have snow at any time and in any environment, artificial snow is therefore used, although ours differs greatly from the one skiers are used to.
We use a whole range of different materials, equipment and techniques to create the illusion of ice and snow. We don’t want to hide the fact that the realistic realization of this illusion is one of the most demanding artistic works in the field of special effects.
Thanks to our decades of experience in this field and a wide range of technical equipment, we can claim to be able to prepare even the largest sets perfectly.
Especially with snow and ice the interaction of script and location is very important, early advice from us can save you a lot of grief and effort.
What is there to consider?
Unlike real snow, which simply melts, all the materials we use do not simply dissolve into air on their own. For this reason, more or less time-consuming cleaning work must always be taken into account. Artificial snow can also permanently alter or damage the surfaces on which it is applied.
Furthermore, the preparations can take several days, in which the set is of course not usable. During this time we also need a sufficient power supply on the set; however we will inform you in good time about the overall power requirement of our machinery.
Before you ask the owner, let us carry out an on-site inspection of especially the existing buildings. In extreme cases this can result in the fact that it won’t be possible to perform this effect in the desired size, type or location. This is often the case with historic buildings and may require them to be build as a replica film set.
Of course, then the owner or manager of a location must be informed and his (written) consent is needed. Obtaining this is the responsibility of the production and without it we will not start work in any case.
IN THE STUDIO
The essential thing to remember is, that it can be quite laborious to restore a set to its original condition after the intensive use of artificial snow. A precise planning in the shooting order of scenes is therefore most important.
Apart from that, there is not much to consider here, except that some artificial snow types on set can lead to slippery conditions.
Artificial snow is largely problem-free for your performers. However, please ask them for special allergies in advance — we will then take into account the ingredients of the products we use and will contact you if necessary.
Clothing and hair of the actors, as well as props can be affected by contact with some artificial snow products, but are usually easy to clean by wiping and washing. We’ll gladly carry out preliminary tests with sensitive materials in our workshop. If necessary, you should therefore plan sufficient replacement and breaks.
CREW & EQUIPMENT
What applies to the actors is also true for the crew and the equipment — artificial snow can leave behind residue! In addition, falling artificial snow can be sucked in by cooling fans and cause damage to the interior of equipment.
However, we can help to avoid such mishaps with various technical aids. Just talk to us.
The effect and the scene are wrapped. Now the disposal of the materials used and the removal of calculated (!) damages can be started by the production crew. Depending on the snow material, one ore more of the following techniques will be necessary: hoovering, brushing, wiping, cleaning with high-pressure washers etc. In rare cases, any damage caused thereby must then be repaired.
Sometimes outdoors, small amounts of biodegradable materials can remain on site and decompose or weather within a few weeks.