雪之神話!

你可能曾於劇場裡看過有「下雪」場景的演出。其實,舞台技術有很多方法製造「下雪」的效果。

傳統的做法是運用舞台上方的懸吊系統,裝置一個「雪袋」的機關。「雪袋」裝置很簡單,就是利用一塊黑布,在布的一邊剪開一些小孔,然後把布綁到兩根並排且可上下移動的吊桿上,而「雪」(雪紙即白色薄紙屑)就載在「雪袋」裡。當靠近小孔的那根吊桿被上下拉動時,雪紙便穿過布的小孔飄下來。這系統的優點是相對廉價和操作方便;但缺點是需要額外一位技術人員操作。另外,沒有可移動的懸吊系統的表演場地,便用不著此「雪袋」機關了。

舞台上使用雪袋的飄雪效果

雪崩效果

近年來,於舞台演出中經常使用的雪紙機,以及利用雪花油的人工造雪機漸趨普及。這兩種雪機易於使用,舞台管理團隊可於台側控制下雪速度,而人工雪花機除可控制雪花的大小之外,噴出的雪花亦會於幾秒內消失。但雪機運作時會發出噪音,即使以背景音樂掩蓋,或將雪機掛於沿幕後降低滋擾,但在某些場地或場景演出中,它發出的聲音還是會很大。而雪機比自製雪袋的成本昂貴,且需不停的供應雪花油。此外,雪花油會令地板濕滑,容易使表演者於演出中滑倒受傷。

使用雪紙的雪紙機

雪紙

使用雪花油的人工造雪機

使用雪花油的人工造雪機

室外演出的下雪效果

如何DIY雪袋:

第一步 選一幅寬度約4尺的黑布,長度約是預計下雪的範圍:如果希望全舞台都下雪的話,那布的寬度就得跟舞台一樣寬!如果希望下雪的地方僅是在左舞台或右舞台的話,那就選擇一幅舞台寬度一半的布。  
第二步 在這塊布的三分一範圍內平均地剪開一些小孔。
第三步 把繩索/帶子附加於布長的兩邊。
第四步 兩邊各綁在兩根並排且可上下移動的吊桿上。靠近小孔那根為「工作桿」;另一根為「固定桿」。
第五步 當布綁妥後,把工作桿升高1-2尺,將雪紙加載到雪袋沒小孔的那邊。
第六步 待劇情需要下雪的時候,技術人員就會上下拉動工作桿,這樣,雪紙就會穿過布的小孔掉下來。而拉動的速度越快,雪便會落得越密。

安全小貼士

如果你打算掃回及循環再用雪紙,須仔細篩選混在其中的一些雜物 (如螺絲或釘子等),才可將重用的雪紙加載到雪袋裡。否則,演員有機會被下雪時隨雪紙飄落的雜物打中。

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!

Safety

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.