We wanted a big fan in the set. A really big fan. The set was all about the fan. We spent almost 3 days looking for one. We wanted it for lighting: it had to be operational.
We also had no money. We found a few fans that were big, but they were too theatrical. In the end we decided to make one, with a 7 day episodic turnaround it was becoming urgent.
The Set Designer drew up the blades, and the carpenters rigged them on an axle with the help of spfx. It looked great, it was awesome, but it was static.
We had to come up with a motor to turn the fan on for shooting, but we could not resolve the noise issue in time. Merely hours before shooting, someone jokingly suggested to use a bike and a grip off camera. It was a brilliant idea. Not only did we have the fan up and running for camera, we were able to shoot it immediately because we had no more technical issues.
The fan not only was silent, we had the added benefit of being able to control the speed at which the fan gave off the most interesting shadows. It was an awesome solution.