The Screen Room
Film Fact #9: “Snow” Way!!
Film Fact #9:
The fake snow that was used in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was actually 100% asbestos fibres!
Chrysotile, or “white” asbestos, resembles real snow and during the late 1920s and 30s, artificial snow made from asbestos was sold under various brand names such as “White Magic”, “Pure White” and “Snow Drift”.
The health hazards that came from exposure to asbestos were already known at this time but it continued to be used for many years to come. It was also used in White Christmas (1954).
Over the years various substances have been used to make fake snow in movies.
Cornflakes painted white were widely used in the early days but caused problems for the sound department as they were so noisy. Snow scenes with dialogue often had to be re-dubbed to get round the issue.
In It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) foamite (the material used in fire extinguishers) mixed with sugar, water and soap flakes was used for the first time and even won the effects team an award.
Marble dust, salt and flower and even just plain salt (used in Superman - 1978) have all been used to create “snow” in various movies throughout the years.
Didn’t “snow” that? Well now you do. 😉👍