I'm producing a music video in a hotel room, and the director has requested we use fog. We've talked to management, and although they want to help, they can't disable the smoke detector in a single room. They want us to get our shot, so I think they would support a creative solution if we can come up with one.
Here's my question- is there some way to shielding the detector during the shoot? Can we make an airtight seal, and put a plastic bag over it? Any ideas? I'm certain there must be some method to this- after all, I assume many productions have required fog in hotel rooms.
I like what Chris says.
But if adding in post won't cut it, why shoot at a real motel? Unless there is something unique about the room, I think building a set is a better idea then shooting at the real thing. Most hotel rooms could be replicated pretty easy.
If shooting at this location is a must, what about covering the detector with a tupperware or similar container gaffed in place? Maybe plastic as a first layer for added protection. Depending on how much fog you do, you might want to cover the detectors in adjacent rooms, or at least open the windows.
I really appreciate the support, unfortunately there's no budget to build a set, thought that would be ideal. So, we're stuck with the hotel, and the hotel's smoke detector.
Although I really like the idea of sealing the fire detector, I'm really looking for someone who has done something like this before. I can't think of a way of testing this without potentially setting the alarm off and making management and other clients angry.
Depending upon the manufacturer, and with client (hotel) approval, why don't you have the hotel maintenance people simply remove the sensor's cover and disconnect the unit until you are finished? All it takes is a small screwdriver. Good luck.
Why not get the manufacturers name of the sensor and call them up? I'd also check into how the whole alarm system works. You wouldn't want to compromise the system and have liability for anything should something go wrong somewhere else in the facility.
And remember to tell your lighting guys to keep the hot lights away from the sprinkler heads - that would be disastrous.
Smoke detectors react to ionized particles or heat - beither of which have to do with a water-based fog machine. Talk to your local fire department - they may have a fog machine for training purposes and could advise you on a solution.