The Blog on Fog

Wynonna Earp Season 1 Episode 10 aired Saturday night on Space, unlike earlier WE blogs, this week we will not be talking  gory prosthetics nor wildly complex mechanical elements.  But there is one effect that is pervasive through the entire look of the show and is huge in the role it plays in creating atmosphere and really stunning images, yet it’s rarely ever talked about.  From Shorty’s Bar to the assassins’ lair, to the haunted woods, the Ghost River Triangle is filled with eerie ambience through fogs and hazes.  Well done atmospherics are essential in the setting of the visual tone of the show.

For this episode we had already done a number of very large location fogs using what are called “Hessey” style foggers and electrical theatrical foggers.  But for the outdoor locations in forested areas and open valleys it took large teams of FX technicians and a constant watch on wind direction and speed to ensure that a consistent level of fog was achieved.

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We decided to try a new fogger, a rugged touring smoke machine which saw service on some of the largest musical tours ever staged such as the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.  The Roadie X-Stream is a Jem classic, the only fogger capable of filling the largest stadium stages featuring a huge 2 x 9.5 litre fluid capacity, a high output fan and continuous high output thanks to the twin block, 4 output, 5000W vaporizing system.

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We were excited about using The Roadie as it’s capable of projecting a variety of effects, from a controlled haze, to a high-density fog, over a very large area. The remarkable output and length of projection is largely due to Jem’s unique ‘X-Stream’ airflow system ensuring long throw smoke projection.   And the fog fluid smelled like “Irish Spring” – a choice which may or may not have universal appeal!

Piping the fogs through a large system of fans and plastic hoses we were able to fog an entire forest with a minimal crew, achieving some great lighting effects as seen in the images here.  When fog is back lit it becomes very defined and when front lit it disappears and just looks fuzzy, like shooting through gauze.  It makes consistency very important as well as lighting direction.

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We had a highly tuned machine which put out a massive amount of fog for a subtle yet spectacular result. The scenes in this latest episode of Wynonna Earp are testament to the power of atmospheric effects in creating a beautiful and eerie look.

For more reading on fog, atmospherics and their health and safety see  http://tsp.esta.org/tsp/working_groups/FS/fogdocs.htm

Wynonna Earp airs on Space Saturday nights after Dr. Who. It is also available by clicking here on iTunes.

This blog was originally posted June 6, 2016.

At Bleeding Art Industries, WE CREATE COOL. Check out some of our other work at www.bleedingartindustries.com and our products at www.shopbleedingart.com

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