In this video, Heather from a fellow filmmaker gives some tips on using dry ice for filming with some tips and advice on what you should and should not do.
Precautions related to Dry Ice use
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide which means that when it melts at room temperature it becomes carbon dioxide gas which is dangerous to inhale. This leads to a number of precautions that you should follow when handling this substance at all times.
- Store it in a cooler which is not completely sealed letting the gas escape (otherwise you might face a buildup and even an explosion). Don’t store it in a freezer.
- Always transport and store in a well-ventilated space or car.
- Protect your hands at all times with thick gloves and never touch the ice with your hands (it is –109.3° F or about –57° C), long sleeves are also a good idea.
- Use safety goggles if you want to break the ice to prevent it from damaging your eyes.
- It goes without saying but do not eat or inhale it.
- Never place dry ice directly on tile or laminated countertops as these could crack (so does glass).
- Do not dispose of dry ice in a sewer, garbage disposal, and allow leftover dry ice to melt and turn into gas in a well-ventilated area (if possible outside or next to open window water will make the process go faster).
Tips for using dry ice
Plan your shoot in advance to at most several hours after you pick the ice. Using tongs will help you move it without touching it.
Using dry ice indoors makes a lot more sense as wind will prevent you from seeing the effect of the ice but keep that window open.
Using an aluminum disposable pan is a good idea as putting the ice on a lot of other containers can be problematic (glass/ceramic can crack or break as we noted).
Using hot water on the ice will give you the fume-like effect that you are going for but be careful and don’t breathe these. Use a straw if you want to move air around.
You can pour dry ice onto your subject after it becomes fumes as these are heavy and fall just remember to protect your surrounding from the cold and do not breathe this stuff.
You can force the fumes to come out of a specific place if you only allow it one exit and pour hot water inside (like in a soda can for example.
You can create a “sea” of dry ice fumes and put a product inside (move the fumes with some air from a straw). This can create a nice effect.
You can check out many more helpful photography tips in our Photography tips section here on LensVid.