Fog, haze, smoke, atmosphere — whatever you call it, it's an essential filmmaking tool to not only give your scenes a certain mood but for also diffusing light and adding depth. However, spreading fog around when you're shooting outdoors can be incredibly tricky, especially since most smoke machines run off of AC power (and sockets, unfortunately, don't naturally grow in the woods).
But there is a way to fill your outdoor shoot with fog without needing electricity. In this video, Todd Blankenship of Shutterstock shows you how to turn an inexpensive bug fogger into a super effective and portable fog machine. Check it out below:
Just in case you skipped the video, no, you're not actually using bug repellent to create your fog, you're using mineral oil, and because the fogger eats up liquid rather quickly, you'll want to bring along plenty of it.
A few words of caution, though, before you go out and try this yourself. The bug fogger used in the video uses propane and a flame to heat the element that will turn the liquid you use into fog, which means that mfer can potentially start a fire if you're not careful. As Blankenship says, take every precaution to keep you, your crew, and everyone and everything else nearby safe. Avoid using a bug fogger in areas that are particularly dry, use only mineral oil to avoid clogging the spout, and make sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand in case a fire does break out. Remember, if in doubt, just stick with a smoke machine and a generator, or a DIY dry ice contraption to create your fog.
"Fog Tube of Death"
Blankenship also shows you how to build a handy-dandy "Fog Tube of Death", which will help spread your fog more evenly over a larger area. Making one is pretty simple, but you'll need AC power to do it. Grab a couple of squirrel cage fans, some temporary air duct tubing (it should half precut holes in it), and gaff tape. Lay out your tubing to your desired length and tape the ends around each fan, creating an air-tight seal. Then, turn your fans on, let the tubing fill up with air, and then spray your fog into the fans. Boom! Fog errywhere.
What are some other inexpensive/convenient ways to create fog outdoors? Let us know down in the comments.