Invited by Director of Photography Owen Wong, PMI was invited to help consult on the workflow of incorporating our Handheld Fog machines, the SmokeGENIEs, in the production of the entire film.
There were multiple challenges, in particular because of the storytelling, a lot of thick, dense textured smoke needs to be deployed very close to the actress' face, as the textured smoke is used as part of the identity of the female lead character.
Traditionally, outdoor smoke requires the use of Artem foggers, or incense sticks for cheaper options, both of which produces a very unpleasant smell. Not only does the irritating smell of the smoke will severely affect the performance of the actress, but the toxicity will cause a legitimate health threat to the actress.
The demand of "100% Safe and Actor Friendly" smoke was essential for this production, and hence SmokeGENIE was the required choice.
A total of 3 SmokeGENIEs was deployed for the entirety of on-location shoots. With the capability of having multiple outputs, Owen was able to instruct crew members to assign more fog to be behind the subject, while still maintaining a trace level of lingering smoke between the actress' face and the camera, to create depth and maintaining a clear focus on her face.
Because of the unpredictable wind blowing in the outdoors, the smoke was constantly moving in different directions in between shots. The nimbleness of the SmokeGENIE really shone in this regard, the crew were able to walk around with the fog machines during the shot to accommodate for the wind direction in real time, keeping the right amount of smoke in frame.
Using the Tubing kit, A smokeGENIE is also rigged to the sleeve of the actress, to create a unique effect where the smoke emerges from within the palm of her hands. It was a very special visual that got a really nice reaction from the audience.
Overall there were a lot of creative scenes using smoke to achieve various theatrical effects. It was a very exciting and fruitful creative outcome.