Cinderella is an extremely popular show, as it is commonly performed by theatre groups ranging from professional tours through elementary schools.
As much of the script revolves around magic (created by the Fairy Godmother), several scenes have tons of opportunity for eye-catching spectacle.
The most commonly requested effect is for the Fairy Godmother's wand. A great idea is to use our MG11 Flash Wand, loaded with FP11 Flash Cotton and FP01 Flash Paper. Our Flash Wand is decorated to look like a standard Magicians Wand... which isn't quite perfect for this show. As such, many productions simply wrap the wand in colorful tape (available from Wal-Mart and other sources) and attach a star-shaped piece of cardboard (or, better yet, thin plywood or plastic composite) to the end. If you do this, be sure the star is attached to the side of the Flash Wand, not over the end (which would greatly inhibit the effect!).
This setup allows for several options: the Fairy Godmother can create a shooting fireball, an electrical explosion of sparks, or a shooting fireball that "bursts" into sparks (like a Roman Candle). If you just want the "shooting fireball" effect, then you'll only need the FP11 Flash Cotton and the FP01 Flash Paper. If you want to create an "Electrical Explosion" of sparks, then you will need the FP11 Flash Cotton and the FC22 Sparkle Additive. Please Note: When using Sparkle Additive, be sure that you use two pieces of Flash Cotton: one without additive placed into the barrel first, then another piece that has been treated with Sparkle Additive.
Please Note: Flash Cotton and Flash Paper are shipped wet for safety - be sure to read the directions and dry the product for 24 hours!
Easy trick for loading your Flash Cotton with Sparkle Additive:
Take a small piece of DRY FP11 Flash Cotton, fluff it up and simply put it into a Ziploc bag. Add some Sparkle Additive, and shake it up! This piece of treated flash cotton is then added to the Flash Wand (which already has a tiny piece of un-treated Flash Cotton in place). When fired, an Electrical Explosion will result!
If you want to create a Shooting Fireball that "bursts" into sparks, follow the same loading procedure (which is included in the product directions) but place a small piece of Flash Cotton that has been treated with Sparkle Additive (described above) inside of your Flash Paper before wadding it up and loading into the barrel. This creates a VERY nice effect! As always, use caution when using special effects.
A common question arises: How do I create multiple "shots" during the same scene from the Fairy Godmother's wand?
The wand can only be shot once before needing to be reloaded. As such, most productions wishing to have the FG create multiple effects in the same scene simply use multiple wands - each loaded before the production and switched-out during the scene. This can easily be accomplished by the actress simply walking behind a scenery piece and grabbing a new wand while ditching the used one.
Some other ideas for Special Effects for Cinderella is to use professional Pre-packaged Pyro.
So, let's talk about Pyro!
Many directors and designers want a "Flash of Fire and a Poof of Smoke" for each time the Fairy Godmother uses her magic. A great way to create this effect is by using Theatrical Flashes, controlled with a Mini Pyro Controller.
A Theatrical Flash produces a bright white flash accompanied by a rolling ball of smoke and a low to moderate report. These effects are excellent for stage use and are very clean with little fallout.
Another option would be to use Pre-loaded Flashpots. These devices create a flash with smoke and a BANG! They are also available in different colors (Red or Green) but the smoke will always be white.
Realizing that several states require special permits to use Pre-packaged Pyro (like the Theatrical Flashes and Pre-loaded Flash Pots) and many cities/counties require permits to use them as well, these items are not for everyone. Here at Theatre Effects we have a saying, "When in doubt, leave it out!" These types of pyrotechnic effects are not for everyone... which is why many productions choose to instead use a Pyro Simulator!
This powerful machine is capable of creating photo-realistic "flashes" with "poofs of smoke" that are completely harmless and require NO special permits. You can even create a 6-foot-tall BLAST of fire for up to 15 seconds! Also, since the burst is coming from above, there are no machines on the floor or trap doors to worry about.
The Geyser has several other benefits:
- It's DMX controllable (so you can cue it with the rest of your lights).
- It comes with a FREE Wireless Controller (so you don't have to use DMX if you don't want to).
- It's CHEAP to operate (a gallon of our Quick Dissipating Fog Fluid will last for 200+ sustained blasts or 2000+ quick pulses!)
- Did we mention you don't need permits to use this thing?!?!? ;)
You can find more information (and a great product video) of the Geyser here.
The Geyser is a GREAT way to cover the magical transformation of Cinderella from her dress of rags into a beautiful ball gown. Since the Geyser can be mounted upside-down and shot from your overhead lights, the misdirection and cover from the fog gives the performers 8-10 seconds for a quick-change. Also, since the Geyser uses our Quick Dissipating Fog Fluid, the "smoke" disappears within a minute, so you don't have to worry about smoking out your audience!
We hope these ideas help you with your production. As always, the Wizards of Theatre Effects are happy to assist you with any questions you may have. Feel welcome to contact us any time at 1-800-791-7646