Chemicals in Film: 20th Century Fox orders Products

20th Century Fox orders Glycerol for Major Film

20th Century Fox is the film company that brought some of the biggest movies ever to the screen; Avatar, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes and Taken – to name just a few.

Fox have ordered chemicals from ReAgent before – to use both for behind-the-scenes purposes as well as on set – and they recently contacted us with an order for a large amount of glycerol.

Glycerol can be used for on-screen special effects as well as for more practical uses to make filming run a little more smoothly. Christopher Dutton, the SFX Buyer at 20th Century Fox, told us what they will be using glycerol for:

“We add it to water so that things don’t dry out too quickly. Because the filming can take so long and there can be many retakes, if we wet an area mixing the Glycerol with the water means it stays wetter much longer so it saves us continually wetting the area or items on set.

It is something we use in all films and we usually keep a supply, we just sometimes use it more on one film than another.”

Glycerol is a chemical that’s soluble in water, and other common uses include adding it to cake icing to stop it setting too hard, and adding it to soap that’s been made specifically for people with dry skin, as it stops the skin drying out even more.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children


SAMUEL L. JACKSON – Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The recent order of glycerol will be used for an upcoming movie adaptation of the book ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’. The plot involves a teenage boy who finds himself on a mysterious island, protecting a group of orphans from creatures who are out to destroy them!

Directed by Tim burton, the movie is currently being filmed in London and Florida and is due to be released in March 2016 by 20th Century Fox.

It will star globally-recognised names such as Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench and Chris O’Dowd.

Chemicals in Film

Directors use chemicals to create special effects in film and TV and you can learn more about some fascinating techniques by reading an article on ‘Applications of Chemicals in the Entertainment Industry’, written by ReAgent’s MD, Rich Hudson.

The article describes how different chemicals create different coloured flames, and how glycerol can also be used to change the weather (and the mood) on set by creating artificial fog and snow.

To find out more about different chemicals and their applications, see our online chemical store. Our friendly sales team are available to give you free technical advice and answer any questions you may have about our products.

Thanks to for allowing us to use her image of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ book.

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