Short answer: both. A haze machine creates an atmospheric effect which has the biggest impact on the lighting design, allowing you to see the beams of light. Crit's picture, above, from The Addams Family is a good example. Fog/Smoke machines are more along the lines of special effects. For low-lying fog there are different machines you can use, but your typical fog machine will not give you a nice low-lying effect. ~A dry-ice machine, which drops the dry-ice into heated water, will give you a very nice effect. Something like the Chauvet DJ Nimbus. ~There are also machines that use ultrasonic technology to cause water to vaporize, mixed with a smaller amount of fog juice, and create a nice low-lying effect. Something like the Blizzard AtmosFEAR Big Bad Lo Fo. ~As Toni pointed out, there are some fluid-based fog machines which push the fog over ice (either dry-ice or regular ice), and can use a special low-lying fog juice. ~To do basically the same thing, using a regular fog machine with the low-lying juice, you can use a fog "chiller", which just uses an external unit to pass the fog over ice to cool it. Something like the Vortex Chillers Frost Bite. We can't use haze in our auditorium because it has set off the optical sensors in the fire alarm system. But if that wasn't the case I would love to use haze to get some really great lighting effects. When we did Addams, we wanted a lot of low-lying fog, but none of the stores nearby sold dry-ice and we couldn't afford the ultrasonic machine. So I decided to go with one of the fog machines we already had, run through a chiller. I didn't feel like paying almost $500, so I bought a big trash can and some PVC pipe from Lowe's and made my own.
Stage fog and haze; health effects and exposure monitoring.
March 15, 2020
Bill Reynolds; firstname.lastname@example.org
A brief overview of issues, concerns, and mitigations related to the use of stage fog and haze in theatrical productions.
First, some definitions:
What is stage fog and haze?
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and other agencies studied and recommended exposure guidelines for stage fog and haze. Health effects identified from these studies and interviews with exposed actors and singers determined:
The NIOSH studies conducted from 1990 to 1994 recommended:
A study conducted by ENVIRON in 2000, initiated by Actors Equity Association (AEA), concluded:
Actors Equity requires these guidelines be followed for AEA productions. AEA and Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) maintain documents, guidelines, exposure monitoring protocols, and equipment details related to stage fog and haze.
The motion picture industry and Canada implement a list of products that may not use to create stage fog and haze:
Exposures related to minors: