There’s No Business Like Snow Business

There's No Business Like Snow Business (Image 1)

Fall has only just begun, and most of us are thinking about pumpkins and leaves changing colors.  But there are some cases where one needs to rush right into winter.  There’s no time to wait on the temperature to drop.

Snow is needed on demand. 

With production credits that include Hollywood blockbusters such as Gladiator and Gangs of New York, a small Gloucestershire business has celebrated another year as the world’s most sought-after expert in fake snow.

The company is named Snow Business, and it was founded by owner Darcey Crownshaw.  It’s a business that delivers more than 300 varieties of snow – both real and artificial – for the world’s biggest film and TV productions. 
With more than 300 varieties of snow, the company provides the specific type to what is needed. 

Mr. Crownshaw says there have been challenges… like in the movie Maleficent, where they wanted amazing ice shapes and special features. 

The artificial snow is created from ingredients such as paper, wood pulp, starch, polymer and biodegradable plastic.  Real snow can be customized to appear as light snowflakes or a thick and heavy downfall. 

The company sometimes uses a machine that mixes nitrogen with water that atomizes with compressed air.  This snow is then shot out like what you see on the ski slopes.  On a movie set, however, they will usually use seven different types of snow.  Some will be very white and other snow will be very durable so that actors leave footprints as they walk.  Then there is also an off-colored snow.  This is used so that other objects don’t blend into the background. 

With such a variety, it has taken all 31 years to perfect the different types. 

“We have to understand what the customer expects and then you have to deliver,”  Mr. Crownshaw says.  “When a director says ‘I want snow,’ you have to start a conversation and say:  ‘Well, what snow do you need?'”

(sources:  News Scientist)

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