Special Scenic Effects
Scenic Gauze Reveal / Transformation
An effective way of creating a transformation or reveal effect is to use scenic gauze. The main scene background is painted on the gauze with lighting focused not to shine through the gauze from the front. To illuminate the gauze the lights need to be fixed above and just in front of it. The scene behind must also be carefully lit so that there is no spill of light onto the gauze. To change from the gauze background to the scene behind fade out the lights in front of the gauze and fade in the lights on the set behind. The set will appear to materialise through the painted background.
An expensive but effective effect is a snow shaker. Whilst its uses are limited, when you need one it will really add the finishing touch to a winter scene. They are usually cylindrical devices about six feet long, and suspended horizontally over the stage. Filled with stage snow made from fire retardant paper, an electrically operated mechanism gently showers the stage with the snow. The same mechanism can also be used to shower the stage with silver "flitter" or confetti.
There are aerosol sprays that produce realistic "old and dusty, haunted house" type cobwebs. If you need to cover a large area or you do not need such realism use the Christmas decoration snow that comes in the form of layered material similar to Kapok or glass fibre in appearance. It can be thinned out as much or as little as you like.
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.