The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Fog machine for kids birthday parties (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gotgot
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of gotgot
Hello,
I'd like to make my show more impressive for the kids (I perform in people's living room most of the time) and would like to add a fog machine with a couple of lasers or colorful leds.
I'm thinking about that kind of fog machines https://www.amazon.com/AGPTEK-Colorful-R......2&sr=8-1

is there a reason not to do it? I've read I could ask the parents beforehand to turnoff the smoke detector if they want this kind of show I guess...

thank you
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10169 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
I can think of many reasons not to do it. Indoor in someone's home confined space, insurance, small space can make breathing hard, just one kid with asthma and I could see lawsuit. Pets too. Not to mention some fog machines leave a residue throughout the area. I do not think many parents would like or approve it. Even kids would likely be only impressed the first (or two) times they see it. Does your insurance even cover it in someone else' home? I can't see how it improves the value of your show.
gotgot
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of gotgot
I was thinking of using a hologram fan for some routines, it looks awesome and magical https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h8coN7m......INMICOUD and I'm looking at different ideas to make my "stage" look more modern and without the typical backdrop my rich clients already saw...

If I use it only twice during the act, does it really leave some residue? I don't think it's a problem for asthma when used so sporadically...

thanks for your reply
PhantomStranger
View Profile
New user
Tri-State Area
84 Posts

Profile of PhantomStranger
We used them for Halloween themed events with kids we had come through my work in the past, no alarms ever went off, no issues with the kids either, maybe we got lucky??
gotgot
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of gotgot
Thanks for your reply
does it fill up the room or stay the source (I'd prefer it to stay around me) How long does it stay in suspension after you emit it?
thanks!
Josh Riel
View Profile
Inner circle
of hell
1999 Posts

Profile of Josh Riel
In my experience the fog does what the air does, so the more stagnant the air the more likely it is to stay around you (assuming the fog machine is very close or directed at you).

The type I've used, if memory serves, needed an oil(?) additive to stay opaque, and it did stay airborne for a while, but I can't remember how long precisely.
Again if I remember correctly, whether it fills the room or just an area depends on the machine, and/or the machine's setting.

I can only assume that technology has improved in the decade or so since I've bothered with one, and I have seen similar uses indoors, so perhaps it is more important that you buy the right machine? I'd suggest some research on what is available to start.
I didn't find smoke to make much difference, so I abandoned it almost as soon as I began. That doesn't say as much about the smoke as it does me.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
PhantomStranger
View Profile
New user
Tri-State Area
84 Posts

Profile of PhantomStranger
The one we had filled the area around where the machine was then it kind of got thinner and wafted into rest of area but much less thick. We had to buy the liquid to put in it. Was just the basic machine and liquid from spirit of Halloween. It was a larger space we were in. I would concur with the above though. Depends on machine and space you are in.
Ray Pierce
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2513 Posts

Profile of Ray Pierce
There are a lot of misunderstandings regarding atmospheric effects. A “Fog machine” is usually incorrectly labeled. “Fog” is typically a heavier than air effect using CO2 (or LN2) to create clouds hugging the floor. They are usually a heated water chamber with a dry ice bucket inside that is lowered into the hot water to create the fog. A “Smoke Machine” is what most Halloween devices are which create a lighter than air smoke effect by the atomization of a water based fluid like propylene glycol. It creates a thick smoke which is typically pretty hard to manage in small spaces. Also, the cheaper models like you referenced have a heater that cycles on and off as needed with a thermostat. Because of this, there is a good chance that it will be in an “off cycle” just at the moment you need it in a show and not function. The more expensive units don’t have this issue.

For lasers and beam effects using lighting you’ll need a “Hazer” which creates an oil based haze that floats in the air and breaks up the laser beam enough to make it visible. This is a completely different effect from a smoke machine. The hazers are usually run during the entire show to get a balanced field of haze to make the beams effective but are NOT recommended for inside someone’s house. To get a dense enough haze it will create a hazard for the audience if the space is too small.

Of all the effects I would stay away from for a kid show in someone’s home... smoke and lasers top the list! I always love all types of effects to add production value to my show but just be aware of the hazards associated with each one of them.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10169 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Ah yes Ray, for many years I toured with the huge 55-gallon drums for the dry ice fog machines (two of them, one coming in from each side of the stage). Only this version could leave you with a nice controllable knee-level layer of smoke. If you wanted more than knee-high coverage we used fans to aim and project. Thanks for pointing out the differences between a fog machine and a smoke machine.

Of course, this would be so overkill for a home party, but fun to imagine for a moment.
michaelpenkul
View Profile
New user
Toronto Canada
50 Posts

Profile of michaelpenkul
As a DJ I work with fog and haze a lot - it's not so much the machine being used as it is the fluid you buy. There are many types of fog fluid based on the type of fog you'd like, ranging from quickly disappating fog, better for a quick visual effect, to more hazer type fog that sits in the air and is good for lasers and lights. These fogs also come in water and oil based forms - generally the oil based fog lingers in the air longer and is denser, however, it can and has triggered fire and smoke alarms for me in the past. Water based fog is much better around alarms, and doesn't leave that residue that was mentioned above.
Ray Pierce
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2513 Posts

Profile of Ray Pierce
Quote:
On Jan 5, 2021, Mindpro wrote:
Ah yes Ray, for many years I toured with the huge 55-gallon drums for the dry ice fog machines (two of them, one coming in from each side of the stage). Only this version could leave you with a nice controllable knee-level layer of smoke. If you wanted more than knee-high coverage we used fans to aim and project. Thanks for pointing out the differences between a fog machine and a smoke machine.


Lol.... I remember them well! Having to drag those monsters around then make sure you had time to get the water hot enough to get a good flow. The first improvement came when they added a water pump and then pumped the hot water up and over the dry ice hopper so you could trigger the effect electrically. That brought us to the advancements we have today. For a show we designed for a certain Tokyo theme park, the special effects guys had a huge accumulator tank they used to create 4 or 5 different atmospheric effects depending on the temperature of the water, how the injected the LN2 into or around it, the back pressure they pumped in and how they ported the exhaust from it. That one system gave us everything from a low rolling fog to a CO2 “Jet” type effect. Of course we had the luxury of a HUGE 30 foot tall LN2 tank behind the theater to provide enough product for the 40 - 60 shows a day we were doing then.

Quote:
Of course, this would be so overkill for a home party, but fun to imagine for a moment.


Many people might not realize that CO2 units don’t do too well in inclosed spaces (like someone’s home) as the CO2 (being heavier then air) can drive the oxygen up and out of the room. Even on small sound stages we have to have o2 sensors to protect the cast and crew before people start passing out. Even on stage we have problems with the CO2 fog rolling into the orchestra pit. We always have to add a fair amount of positive airflow fans to draw it away from the musicians.

Some effects are best left for the bigger events where it can be carefully controlled!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
gotgot
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of gotgot
Thank you all for your answers!
I guess it's so cheap I'll try one and see how it goes, and then reconsider the balance hassle/improving my show after a few tries. Mindpro mentioned lawsuits but in Switzerland, where I work, people wouldn't go so far...
Greg Arce
View Profile
Inner circle
6445 Posts

Profile of Greg Arce
I had to bring this story up because of this thread. This happened to a friend of mine around 1980. He was a dancer and a choreographer. He had choreographed a ballet for a large school event. In the dance he thought it would be cool for fog to spread over the stage. He had his friend by an electric fogger. Those are the ones that use mineral oil and shoot out a chemical fog.

Well, the friend went to a hardware store and asked for a fogger. He bought. He didn't know you were suppose to put in mineral oil. Instead he used the juice that came with it and that's one to kill bugs.

The show ended up in the local papers. The dancers were dropping like flies and had to be rushed to the hospital. My friend, the choreographer, woke up in the hospital and was told what had happened. No one died, but it looked pretty serious as it was happening.

Anyway, be careful in whatever choices you make.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
gotgot
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of gotgot
Does it count as a publicity stunt?
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10169 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Please let us know what you do and how it works out. If you get any pushback or how much of a difference it makes.
gotgot
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of gotgot
So I got one and well, it's cheap, it works, but it doesn't really do what I thought it would.
I thought it'll stay rather low and dense and we'll see some laser beams I bought separately thru it.
In reality we don't really see the beams, and the fog diffuses quite quickly in the room.
I won't use it for a regular birthday party show, because I simply look foggy and kids wouldn't see me as well as they should in this mess.
I'll keep it for halloween parties though.
oh and it doesn't seem to leave anything on the floor or the walls, at least with the liquid I bought.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Fog machine for kids birthday parties (2 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.15 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL