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Innovations & Landmarks

Landmark moments

Creating high-speed hot wax spray for The Day After Tomorrow. Covering Bond St in falling snow and breaking a Guinness World Record. Helping the makers of Hugo put falling snow into a 3D movie for the first time. Over the past thirty years we’ve worked with the best in the business on some incredible projects. Take a look…

2016

We demonstrate WIFI & radio DMX control of the SB100 & 200 machines. We launch Eco Flake & Pro Flake ™ falling snow fluids (probably the most Eco friendly falling snow fluids on the market) with which we win the Cotswold life EMI (Engineering, Manufacturing, Innovation) award for best R&D project. We launch the SB10 falling snow machine. Working with the former head of aerodynamics for the Ferrari & Maclaren F1 teams we optimise all of the snow nozzles for our falling snow machines which are now 3D printed in house. Working with Versarien Technology company “2D Tech” we 3D print the first object in the world to be made from Graphene / ABS nano-composite.

2015

We launch the SB200 Booster and SB200 Winter falling snow machine’s. We invest in in house 3D printing technology.

2014

We sign an agreement with Bristol University to undertake research into Bio falling snow fluid.

2013

We celebrated 30 years of Snow Business!
We also launched a new generation of falling snow machinery (SB100, SB200), developed Real Fresh Snow (cryogenic snow that can be made at The Snow Mill or on site) and we introduced eco-friendly, vegetable-based packaging.
2012 We received a Wildlife Trust Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to nature in Gloucestershire by a business leader’ at the Nature Works Business Awards.

2012

ISO 14001. The internationally recognised environmental standard was awarded to Snow Business International.

2012

Oscar – Winner – Best Visual Effects – Hugo.  Awarded to Joss Williams, for whom we completed both the snow dressing and falling snow effects. Hugo was the first 3D movie to feature falling snow, and we developed the techniques and processes that made it possible.

2011

We developed the quietest falling snow machine in the world. With help from Salford University’s Acoustic Research Department, we created two ‘super silent’ falling snow generators – The SnowForce Stealth and the SnowBuster Super Silent.

2010

Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Snow Business Hollywood supplied the Display Snow ground cover for the arena, as well as the materials for the falling snow. Display Snow proved itself, standing up to an arena’s worth of traffic and forming a high-quality screen for CGI projection.

2009

The 10th Anniversary of Snow Business Germany

2009

Oscar – Winner – Best Visual Effects – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Awarded to Burt Dalton, for whom Snow Business Hollywood completed both the snow dressing and falling snow effects.

2009

We began working with Salford University’s Acoustic Research Department to develop an even quieter version of our snow machines, using the latest motor and air movement technology.

2008

SnowStorm. We introduced our giant output falling snow generator. It’s probably the largest (dry foam) falling snow machine in the world, quieter than any wind machine and has a portable moving head. It’s also incredibly powerful, pushing large amounts of dry foam artificial snowflakes vertically to heights of 40m.

2008

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – Winner – Outstanding Visual Effects – Prime time Emmy Awards – John Adams. Awarded to Roland Hathaway, Snow Business Hollywood.

2008

Remote station falling snow machines – for quiet snow delivery on set. We put all the mechanics into black boxes, which can then be positioned tens of metres away from the snow head. With full DMX and computerised control, entire stages can be rigged with instant, infinitely adjustable falling snow.

2007

Oscar – Winner – Best Visual Effects – Golden Compass. Awarded to Trevor Wood, for whom we completed all the snow dressing and falling snow effects.

2006

We broke a Guinness World Record for the largest area ever covered with artificial falling snow. We covered New Bond Street, Bond Street and Old Bond Street simultaneously for the ‘Bond Street Association’.

2006

We gave our first lecture at the English Heritage Sites and Film Management Conference, held at the Tower of London.

2005

Setting the standard. We developed our national professional training and grading scheme for snow technicians with BECTU and PACT. The scheme is monitored by JIGS.

2004

BAFTA – Winner – Best Visual effects – Day After Tomorrow. Awarded to Neil Corbould, for whom we completed the snow and ice dressing and falling snow effects.

2004

SnowForce. We perfected large, powerful, very quiet dry foam falling snow machines and put them into production.

2002

Wax rigs – computerised, ultra safe, efficient. We designed high-speed hot-wax spray technology to dress the huge landscapes in The Day After Tomorrow. The equipment was the culmination of years of development, and it was so precise that the temperature could be set to within 1 degree, allowing it to be used to dress actors and delicate props.

2001

Display snow. To meet the needs of visual merchandisers and event organisers we developed an impact resistant, low dust, artificial snow for areas of heavy footfall. Display snow received its Class 1 fire rating in 2003.

2001

We received a special mention from the UK Dept of Trade for our exports of fake snow to Siberia.

2000

Oscar – Winner – Best Visual Effects – Gladiator. Awarded to Neil Corbould, for whom we completed all the snow dressing and falling snow effects.

1999

‘The Snow Mill’. We purchased a derelict 1730s water mill in Gloucestershire, restored it and turned it into our international head office and training centre. The Snow Mill has a library, warehouse, test areas and a refrigerated room.

1999

007 Polymer. We introduced this polymer to our range of snows and it stole the show with its ability to expand 4000%

1999

Snow Business Deutschland was established in Germany.

1999

Snow Business Hollywood was established in Los Angeles.

1999

Very large-scale ‘dry foam’ falling snow devices were added to our fleet, delivering huge amounts of artificial falling snow and blowing it in relative silence up to a distance of 30m.

1998

Biodegradable Starch Snow was developed and introduced to the UK.

1998

SnowGun. We developed this for use when filming with Steadicam systems. It quietly produces dry foam falling snowflakes from a light, portable backpack.

1996

SnowSticks. We developed this pyrotechnic device to create super lightweight ash that looks like floating snow.

1996

Hamlet. We covered over 100 acres of SSSI parkland for this Kenneth Branagh film. This is still the unofficial world record for the largest area ever covered with artificial snow.

1996

SnowEx rigs. We weren’t happy with the risks posed by pressurised air receivers, so we developed a non-pressurised rig. SnowEx rigs are much lighter, faster and can be refilled whilst in use for non-stop snow dressing.

1995

Flash Barrandov Effects – Prague became the first non-UK based Snow Business distributor.

1994

BAFTA – Winner – Best Production Design – Madness of King George. Awarded to Ken Adam, for whom we completed all the snow dressing and winter effects.

1994

GoldenEye – We signed the first of many James Bond (007) movie contracts.

1992

Half Size SnowFX. We developed this finer grade of SnowFX for close up camera work on The Muppet Christmas Carol. The snow actually looked like it was settling, and the semi-translucent top layer meant you had to touch it to find out it wasn’t real!

1991

PowderFrost. We developed this ‘super-fine’ snow for the TV series Thomas the Tank Engine, but soon realised that the product (a pure cellulose) would make an ideal winter dressing for large sensitive sites, such as SSSIs. PowderFrost is easily rinsed into porous land (by water hose or rain) leaving the location clean. The pure cellulose acts as an organic fertiliser and it can even be used on organic land.

1986

We completed our first ‘White Wedding’ in Ealing, London. The guests entered the church on a lovely summer’s day, but when they came out just an hour later we’d been busy at work, silently covering everything in a thick layer of snow!

1985

High-pressure spray heads. We found that by pushing a very small amount of water through snow as it was sprayed, we could bond it to anything it touched (whilst leaving it ‘touch-dry’). Developing this system meant we could build snow up to a much greater thickness on trees or props – it could even be sprayed in thick layers onto vertical and inverted surfaces. The very small moisture content also meant that the fake snow could be made into snowballs and thrown – just like the real thing !

1983

SnowFx. We invented the first eco-friendly snow made from recycled paper. It was more realistic than its rivals; it could be sprayed to settle naturally on trees, bushes and buildings, and it even made good tyre tracks and footprints. SnowFX soon replaced the traditional materials of salts, urea-formaldehyde, polystyrene, mica, marble dust and high expansion foam.