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Making a fake flame effect


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Hi All


I have had a rather unsuccessful time trying to source le maitre fake flame units to hire for a show next year, and as they seem to list at around £2400 a piece I don't think that I will be buying them! In an ideal world we would have gas flame bars but it's a small studio venue so we require a less fiery alternative! Obviously only fire will look exactly like fire but a smoke and lighting effect looks like it could be a punchy option. I'm not a big fan of silk flames and I think that in a small venue they would look awful, whereas these effects at least look interesting.


Has anyone on here had any success putting their own effect together? I've seen this post on control booth that has a couple of links to youtube videos of home made effects: http://www.controlbooth.com/threads/realistic-flame-effect.32948/My link


I'm thinking a smoke machine with ducting to a long pipe with holes drilled at intervals and then maybe a line of sunstrips either side of the pipe to uplight the smoke (one line gelled in yellow and one in red). Using the DMX sunstrips would give some scope for variation in flicker and shape. I imagine that we would want to use quick or extra quick dissipating smoke fluid, I noticed that martin make “Pro Steam Simulation” fluid which might be an option.


Any thoughts?



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My best effect to date was some birdie lamps hidden under coals in a fireplace and having them run through fluorescent tube starters, dimming them gives you some play in the flickery ness of the effect. I went for one orange, one red and one yellow flickering with another in a deeper amber on permanently. did the trick for me!
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