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Making It Snow

Occasionally, we get a customer who mistakenly thinks that our Snow Machine works on the same principle as the snowmaking machines used to add snow the ski trails at large resorts. While the output of both devices may look similar, the two machines are actually putting out very different substances.

The large snowmaking machines that are used at ski resorts shoot very cold, atomized water into the air, where it freezes into something like actual snowflakes and falls back to the ground. While you could, in theory, use a machine like this for your next concert or play it has two major disadvantages.

1) The machines used to make real snow are very big, very noisy and very expensive.

2) You would need to keep your club or theatre cooled to about 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Theatrical snow machines offer the look of real snow without the mess, discomfort or expense that would be involved with producing real snow. These machines work on principles similar to our bubble machines. Snow fluid (which is like a very "dry" bubble fluid) is blown through a fabric "sock" to create thousands of tiny bubbles. These bubbles clump together and float gently to the ground, creating a realistic looking snow that disappears after a few seconds.

There are a few simple things you can do to ensure you get the best effect when using your snow machine. First, it's always better to mount the snow machine above the area where you want snow, instead of setting it on the ground pointed into the air. The reason for this is very simple, natural snow falls straight from the sky to the ground. With the exception of blizzard conditions, snow doesn't usually swirl up from the ground and then fall back down.

If you're in a venue that doesn't have an easy way to ceiling-mount your snow machine, you might consider picking up an inexpensive lighting stand (like the LTS-01) to get your machine in the air. If you're using the snow machine in a theatre or night club, you probably already have suspended pipes or some other way to hang the device. However you do it, you'll appreciate the natural look of snow falling from above.

While you're thinking about using the snow machine in a club setting, consider some of the effects you can create with it other than a snow storm. For example, by mounting snow machines around a dance floor and then lighting the snow with strobes, you can create a swirling, slow-motion effect. You can also light the snow with different colors of spotlight for colored snow -- red spotlights are often used in haunted houses for a "bloody snow" effect.

Finally, try to keep the snow machine mounted in a near-level orientation. If you tip the snow machine too far forwards or backwards, you could cause fluid to leak out of the case. As a general rule, you should keep the machine within fifteen degrees of level; and if you angle it at all it should be aimed towards the ceiling rather than the floor. With these simple tips in mind, and a snow machine in your inventory, you can create some incredible effects in any space! 

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Theatre Effects Customer Service Department
service@theatrefx.com
www.theatrefx.com
Theatre Effects, 1810 Airport Exchange Blvd. #400, Erlanger, KY 41018
Phone: 1-800-791-7646 or 513-772-7646 Fax: 513-772-3579

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