A Character Called Smoke


Fog, smoke, mist and haze effects have been used in productions of all types of videos and movies to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. In some cases, the smoke is actually a central character to the action.

In the remake of the movie, “The Fog”, the smoky mist was an antagonist that the other characters had to avoid.  This created suspense and fear to the viewers.


Smoke has also been used on stage and on-screen to evoke a sense of place & time – such as catching beams of light in the scene to add an abandoned feel to a location.

Australian photographer and filmmaker William Davidson took on the challenge of directing a music video for the band, “New Look’s” single called, “The Ballad”.  He envisioned the smoke becoming a character in the piece as “an abstract physical state that falls in line with the song” while at the same time creating a sense of mystery and anticipation.


Davidson: “We don’t know the smoke’s origin – is she creating it or is it emanating from some outside source?” The smoke is used to shroud Sarah Ruba, the band’s lead singer, in a mysterious haze and there are also several shots where the smoke is traveling in unconventional directions – such as into the car as it’s turning sharply, that we see at the beginning of the video:

The effect of smoke and fog when implemented throughout movies and videos is always very successful in enhancing moments of crescendo or high drama along with the music.


Photos courtesy of:


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