DIY Halloween Props – Realistic Fake Fire Special Effects

hey I’m Jamie and I’m Jay and today we’re gonna set our house on fire today we’re gonna create a special effect that is not real but looks exactly like real fire and it only uses some basic stuff like some clock some fans and some lights this effect was inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland and there’s one part in the ride where you’re going through and the whole village is on fire and they use a really similar effect to create the illusion of fire in all of their windows you literally don’t need any tools to build this and it’s so realistic that we actually called our local fire department because we were pretty sure our neighbors were gonna call it and think it’s a real fire stay tuned to the end where we bring out a real fireman and get his expert opinion on our special effect basically how this effect works is that on the inside of a window we’re gonna put a fan and that fan is gonna blow air straight up then we’re gonna drape a curtain or a piece of fabric over the fan and it’s gonna kind of like billow in the wind and create kind of a wispy effect with the fabric now between the curtain and the window you place a couple of lights and you point the lights up towards the curtains so when the curtain is billowing and the lights are on and you look it from outside it looks like a really really awesome fire pit the very first thing we did was set up the fans and we did one for each window now in our particular house we have this cool room where there’s three windows and right below it there’s this like perfectly sized shelf but obviously you’re not gonna have the same set now if you don’t have a conveniently placed shelf right below your window you can use literally anything you can use a couple of chairs and put your fans between the chairs you can use some boxes you can build a little structure for it you know anything will work as long as you have some good airflow it could also bribe your kids with Halloween candy – just hold fans facing straight up but you do need some space underneath the fans so what we did is we actually cut a bunch of two by fours kind of to an ideal length so that we could stack them up underneath of the fans we used box fans for us and one for each window but any kind of fan will do you do want to make sure though that the fan is strong enough you can use a box fan or end real fan but like stay away from the desk fans or they’re not gonna be strong enough to get the waves and the fabric that you want once the fans are set up it’s time to do the fabric the fabric we are using is a lightweight silvery satin material now this fabric is good because the silver reflects the light really well but you can also use like a white sheet or kind of almost any light colored material as long as it’s lightweight enough to get you know good flat bench in our house we have curtain rods above the windows so it was a perfect way to sort of hang up this fabric if you don’t have curtain rods you could try something else but definitely those make it easy to figure out how much fabric we needed for each window we measured from the curtain rod to the back of the fan and then we added about a foot just to make sure we had enough slack from there we laid it out and cut it into three pieces we didn’t want to do any sewing for this project so we just duct tape the fabric to the curtain rods and it held really really well yeah like really really well I mean kind of have to like peel it off the curtain rods after the fact but we didn’t have to sew anything [Music] the next step was to attach the fabric at the bottom and we did that by anchoring it to like a long pipe that we just happen to have our idea was to anchor all three curtains to one piece so that we could kind of adjust them all together but in hindsight it would have been better if we’d use three separate anchors at the bottom when you turn the fans on you want to be able to make micro adjustments to how much tension is in your fabric and where it sits on the fan so by having them on one long piece we couldn’t really do that for each individual window we had to do it all as one unit but if we were doing it in little sections that would have been a lot easier to get the billowing effect we wanted for each one [Music] you want to try to cover the whole window with the fabric so that there’s not certain areas where you can see through because then it kind of breaks the illusion a little bit you want the fire to be everywhere yeah so if your window is too wide for your fabric you can sew a couple pieces together or you can overlap them or you can just tape them like we did one last thing we did just for extra credit is we took an oscillating fan and we put it about eight feet back from the wall that way it’s not the same billowing over and over it changes a little bit and gives it a really realistic effect to figure out the lighting we got a bunch of different colored LEDs we got red orange and yellow and we tried out a bunch of different combinations now these are LED light bulbs specifically because they don’t get super hot like halogen bulbs because these are gonna be pretty close to a piece of fabric you don’t want to create a fire hazard which is really easy to do with a hot light bulb make sure you’re super careful if you try this at home we picked up a bunch of these clamp on work lights and they literally just sort of clamp on to the windowsill in our case if you don’t have a windowsill or again have a different set up you’ll have to improvise a little bit on how to get your lights to be in the right spot but for us we clamp them to the windowsill and then we were able to rotate them to kind of point them in the right direction ultimately you want one light on each side of the fan and you want them to kind of point upwards towards each other so that in the middle it creates a sort of mixture of light and that’s where the fire effect happens the best combination we found ended up being one orange light bulb and one red light on each side both pointing up at this point everything was set up and it was finally time to do our first test it was pretty cool once everything was moving but we did notice that we needed to make some adjustments we moved around the lights we adjusted the position of the fan and we messed with the tension of the fabric a little bit until we got it looking just how we wanted Alexa light my house on fire [Music] we were pretty blown away by how realistic this was and the very first thing we thought was oh man somebody is definitely gonna call the fire department on us so we reached out to a friend who’s an actual firefighter here in Austin and we asked him exactly what he thought so we actually brought in a professional firefighter this is Stefan he’s here to tell us what would actually happen if someone called the fire department on us I saw the effect and I was I was really impressed it looked so real that you’re definitely gonna get some calls on this what would happen is that your local fire department would get dispatched we’d try to get in our truck we drive over here and we’d have to investigate what’s going on so as a professional firefighter what is your day-to-day like you know I get that question a lot we we do all kinds of things we we do fight fires we go to medical calls to go to wrecks and then really we end up helping anyone that they don’t know who else to call so you saw the effect last night that we put up in our window on a scale of 1 to 10 what are our chances that someone’s gonna call that in as a real effect is it can I say 11 concerned neighbor or just someone passing through the neighborhood would see that and and want someone to investigate it further just for your own safety so how often do people call you for like something that’s not a real fire like a false alarm or maybe a Halloween effect that’s a little too real it’s funny they it’s funny that you ask you know it isn’t I wouldn’t say that it’s the majority of our calls but we do have a lot of false alarms which is good sometimes people were concerned sometimes people drive by and see something and they want us to check it out and so we have to go on all that we have to go check out everything and make sure that’s not the real thing somebody calls you out for a super-realistic Halloween effect what happens what do you do well unfortunately for us we we will be dispatched and we will actually show up at your house which may not be a bad thing but if it happens over and over again that can become a problem so the first time you show up maybe it’s not a big deal every night of October if you show up that’s probably a nuisance yes I would how would think that could become a problem and I if you are gonna try to attempt something like this I would highly recommend you let your neighbors know and then your local fire department may not be bad idea to say hey we have this this going on and be aware so if we wanted to let our local fire department know how do we do that there’s a most communities have a three one one that you could call or stop by your local station and just let them know that how long you’re going to be doing it and what it’s all about so one more question I have for you is obviously when you build the effect you’ve got hot lights right near a piece of fabric and you know these are LED bulbs so they don’t get very hot but what are some safety tips we could follow to make sure that we don’t start a real fire well I like that you used LED light bulbs that’s a great choice because about 30 percent of house fires do start with a heat source like a candle or halogen bulb so using those would be a bad idea in addition the fabric if you can use something that’s fire resistant that’s even better make sure you’re not overloading your circuits and using surge protector after surge protector all in one outlet because that can become a fire hazard as well well listen man we really appreciate you stopping by and also to get your endorsement because you heard it here an actual fireman says that that looks like real fire you saw how easy it is to build now go build your own thing from the outside he thought embedded in there there so there’s there’s not to like there was a bug I followed the bug with my eyes today we’re gonna set our upstairs bedroom ablaze