Confetti Magic returned to Television Centre with the brief to create low smoke for Dua Lipa’s appearance on The Graham Norton Television Show.
Against the backdrop of a giant moon and projected clouds, Dua Lipa’s latest release, Levitation, called for an ethereal feel with whisps of smoke swirling around her and her backing singers.
The effect was required to run throughout the song – around three and a half minutes.
Rather than opt for traditional dry ice with its associated supply and handling issues, we chose to use our new low smoke machines, providing greater control over the duration and density of the smoke effect.
Two machines were used, one on either side of the stage, with ducting used to deliver the smoke via vents on the front edge.
Operation was via a DMX desk providing control over the density of the smoke and the strength of the effect. We chose fast-dispersal smoke fluid so that the stage remained clear of haze for the cameras. This also allowed us to increase the flow rate and create a more dynamic effect that moved and flowed with the dancers.
The low smoke machines use a combination of vapourised water and smoke fluid to create a heavy, low lying smoke effect. Different types of smoke fluid can be used to create the desired effect from a long lasting, dense white blanket of fog to a more misty, light effect that disperses quickly without build-up.
Low smoke machines offer a number of advantages over dry ice machines. They are cheaper to run than dry ice machines and can typically be run for longer durations. They are less hazardous to operate as well. Low Smoke Machines are safe to use in cellars and basements where the suffocation hazard of dry ice would preclude its use.
The smoke machines were started a minute before the beginning of the track to allow the smoke to build up. As the cameras cut to Dua Lipa, the stage was set for some beautiful atmospheric shots through the smoke with the stage lights highlighting subtle eddies and swirls.