Foam City, Miami FL

The Making of the Foam City

Niteglowfx in partnership with Back Stage Technologies Europe were commissioned by the BTAA television agency of the year to carry out the worlds largest foam effect for a European wide television commercial. The commercial will be screened throughout Europe in June. The filming of this effect was shot on location in the downtown Miami streets and used purpose built foam machines to create various types of effect for the advert.

The Foam Equipment

We had to build a foam generator that would fulfill this tight brief, namely; it had to fill whole streets up to 3m high and 100´s of meters long in just a few minutes as the time was tight with limited shooting hours per day before the sun went down or the shop and business owners wanted their premises back! The system also had to be capable of pouring foam from the roofs of buildings so had to break down into components that were small enough to fit in a service lift or be lifted to the roof tops by "cherry pickers".

We came up with a design which copied a concert speaker system we had seen, i.e. the complete system was made up of many smaller systems that were simply bolted together. The foam machines were made in such a way that they became modular and, like the speaker systems, could be bolted together on location and suspended in arrays. In this way we could create a foam generating system that was both portable as well as giving us the flexibility of suspending as many "heads" or "generators" as we wanted to give the Director the effect he desired.

Bio-Degradable Foam

Having created the foam machines we now needed the foam concentrate. A standard detergent was not suitable as the Miami Authorities did not want this in the water course. We therefore developed a bio-degradable product which was mixed with water in such small volumes that the potential for any ill effects was virtually zero. Never-the-less, we also developed a food grade, de-foaming product, which when sprayed onto the foam caused it to "fizz away" which then made it easy to suck up some large road sweeping vehicles. We developed several versions of the foam product, one which was heavy, wet and poured like lava and one that was light, fluffy and was easily blown into the air - combinations of these two products enabled us to create the effect needed for each days shooting.

A typical UK foam party uses up to 15ltr of fluid and up to 600ltr of water this effect used 7200 litres of fluid and 360,000 litres of water. To make this unique effect the machines were bolted in frames of 4 and used 500ltr of water and fluid mix per minute as well as stand alone units to top this up. To create one shot a wall of foam was produced over 9 meters high to give a river effect moving down the Miami streets.

Pictures of this effect will be added to this web site in due course.Foam City Miami Photos


Click image below to see the fantastic Foam City video footage, please be patient, it will take about a minute to download.

Foam City 

Niteglowfx can cater for all types of foam effect from the largest foam parties to the smallest events.

For other Movie Special Effects, visit our partners at BSTE.co.uk




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