Playing tricks with Audience: Let it Snow!
Stage Technology is moving forward in a fabulous way. One of which is the effect of snow. There are many methods to create a falling snow effect on stage.
The traditional approach is the snow cradle. A snow cradle is simply a piece of black fabric suspended between two movable battens. Tiny holes are cut on one side of the cradle, and dry artificial snow (white paper confetti) is loaded into it. The cradle is tied to two movable battens, and while one of them is lowered and raised continuously, artificial show will fall through the holes. The advantages of this system are that it is being relatively inexpensive and easy to operate. Its main disadvantage is that an extra crew will be required to operate the cradle during each performance. Also, snow cradles are not practical in a venue that lacks movable battens.
Snow effect on stage using snow cradle
Avalanche effect on stage
In recent years, snow machines working with paper, plastic snowflakes or liquid to produce authentic snowflakes that disappear within seconds after reaching the stage floor have become popular as an alternative means of creating snow on stage. This kind of snow machines are very easy to use, and the stage management team can operate them at side stage. It allows remote control of the effect and offers a wide range of snow dispensing speeds. Unfortunately, snow machine creates noises, which can be covered by background music, or by positioning the machine behind the draperies. Yet for certain venues or performing scenes, snow machines are still too loud. They are more expensive than using snow cradle and a constant supply of snow fluid is needed. Besides, the snow liquid will make the floor slippery, especially for dance performances which may cause injury during a performance.
Snow Machine using paper confetti
Paper Snow Confetti
Snow Machine using fluid
Snow Machine using fluid
Snow effect in outdoor event
How to make your own Snow Cradle:
|Step 1||Start with a piece of black fabric of about 4 feet wide and as long as your desired snowing area.|
|Step 2||On 1/3 area of the fabric, cut small holes evenly.|
|Step 3||Attach ties to the 2 long rims of the fabric.|
|Step 4||Tie the fabric to two movable battens. The batten near to the holes is the "working" batten; the other is called the "fixed/stationary" batten.|
|Step 5||Load the cradle, the working batten is raised 1 to 2 feet above the stationary batten and the shredded paper confetti are distributed evenly in the area without holes.|
|Step 6||On cue, raise the working batten and lower it gently just enough so the confetti will slide toward the holes, fall out and drift gently onto the stage.
The faster you “rock” the cradle, the faster it will snow!
If you plan to sweep up and reuse the snow after the performance, please take care to sift through it before reloading it into the snow cradle. You will not want your actor getting hit unexpectedly on the head by a screw or nail.