The holiday season not only brings throngs of (vicious) mall patrons, buyer's remorse, and peppermint and pumpkin spice everything; it brings films set in the snow.
Now, you might be inspired to make a film featuring the white stuff, but unless you're an expert planner (and super, super lucky), it's almost guaranteed that snow is not going to be falling during the time of your shoot. This is when you bust out the snow machine! If you don't really know your way around one, Jay P. Morgan over at The Slanted Lens explains how you can make fake snow from a snow machine look more realistic and dynamic in the video below.
Morgan highlights a couple of things you're going to need to do in order to make your "flakes" look more realistic and dynamic on camera. First, he says that to avoid getting huge, blobby flakes from the machine, give it less suds. Second, he suggests putting fans under the machine to further break them up, since the built-in fans often don't do too good of a job. (This also disperses them and creates a nice flurry.) The third tip Morgan gives is probably one of the more important ones. Just like with that big, sexy, movie rain, you're going to need to make your fake snow stand out so it doesn't get lost in the background. This means you have add some lights.
Creating snow for your film doesn't have to be a super labor-intensive thing. Renting one isn't going to break the bank, since they're around the same price as a fog machine (around $60/day), fans are cheap, and if you're shooting something small, you may not even need the semi-elaborate DIY mount shown in the video. Just make sure you add enough light to bring your snow to the foreground.