We don’t put it down if we can’t clear it up
Whether we use short life organic artificial snow products that simply ‘disappear’ when it rains, or more durable fake snow products laid over the top of SnowMembrane, we guarantee to leave any location as found. With over 200 different types of artificial snow we can select the right product, not only from the film maker’s but also from the property owner’s point of view.
Good preparation is the key, SnowMembrane, a tough material that allows water and sunlight to pass through uninterrupted, can be laid to cover areas completely before any of the more durable snows are laid. The membrane protects the location from much more than the snow because it forms a protective barrier under traffic. Once filming is completed the membrane is simply removed with the artificial snow on top to reveal the clean location underneath.
Preparation of the site and clearing up afterwards are a hugely important part of the snow making process. By doing this ourselves, and by doing it well, we preserve locations for future film makers and often return to the same location many times.
English Heritage, whose estates include ancient buildings and palaces consider Snow Business to be the leading authority on the safe, effective use of winter effects when filming at their estates. Snow Business also advises the Environment Agency about winter effects materials for use on land adjacent to water and upon SSSI’s (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). Snow Business has successfully dressed and cleared thousands of locations with artificial snow over the last twenty-five years.
What we use & how to clear it
The choice of products needed to create an effect is influenced by the length of time the scene is needed. Each combination of products and delivery systems create a different winter effect in a different way for a different length of time, so the clean up varies accordingly. For a general explanation of the product groups, their uses and clear-up techniques click on the clear up bar.
Self-clearing foam: Fast laying, cost effective, detergent based that is self-clearing. It is perfect for deep snow and background cover but not suitable for close-up detail on buildings or use near water. Care should be exercised near livestock and certain foliage.
PowderFrost: Fast laying, eco-friendly, pure cellulose delivered at high speed as a micro-fine powder which is relatively inexpensive and designed to be washed away by rain or low-pressure water hoses.
SnowFX paper snow: A more stable, yet versatile, fast laying product which can be treated to comply with indoor fire regulations or left in a natural state for biodegradable all-round snow cover that can be washed away.
Polymer: Our unique artificial ‘Instant snow’ expands to 40 times its’ own volume making it ideal to transport to remote sets locations but must be laid onto a porous membrane when used outdoors protect the location and ensure a speedy clear-up.
Plastic snow: Designed to give colour and lift to other products in studios where they are easily vacuumed away, they also come in a number of short-life biodegradable versions that can be used and safely washed away on location.
Wax ice effects: Wax has become a very useful and versatile addition to the winter effects range. It can be sprayed on to any surface (even skin) to give the appearance of sub-zero temperatures, or floated onto water to create a totally believable frozen lake. After the wax is finished with you can peel it off, or scoop it out of the water to be recycled.
Starch: Designed as a biodegradable product for wild areas where clearing might be difficult, starch snow can become slippery when wet and dries to a tough, hard to remove layer if left on manufactured surfaces.
Salts: One of the original artificial snows, salt-based products are now been recognised as being highly corrosive to buildings and very damaging to wildlife and the environment.
Protecting sensitive locations
Snow Business has many years of experience working on and around sensitive sites. With over 168 different types of snow/winter products, it is vital that we choose the right mix of materials to be used and that we properly prepare the location.
Sites are sensitive for all kinds of reasons; they contain historical buildings or plants and wildlife protected in Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Using the wrong materials on ancient stone or rare flora may result in permanent damage. We will help you achieve your creative vision while protecting the environment of the location. We always advise shooting pre effects footage to ensure the integrity of the area is fully restored.