Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by cb668, Oct 17, 2009.
how do i hang a flat from a batten
By calling a professional.
Any further discussion of rigging how-to is a strictly verboten topic here. If you have to ask, you should have a pro do it or provide proper training.
What kind of flat is it? Does it have to fly during the show?
its a hollywood flat
it flys during the show
Because you have given us so little information.... size of the flat... how the flat is constructed, number of flats... I am not going to be able to help you and am going to have to ask you to get someone in your area in there who knows how to do this so they can show you in person.
I am not a huge fan of flying hollywood flats. They buckle oddly and weigh a lot. Broadway flats are more manageable for this and steel frames are by far the best for flying. I can not give you information on how to get these flats off the deck unless I knew how the flats were constructed and if they were constructed correctly to be flown. Added to that, getting a group of flats weighing 600# from point A (laying on the deck) to point B (upright and true) can be a very ugly process no matter what your experience is with rigging.
So.... as said before, get someone in there who knows what they are doing to help you. You will get the piece of mind that is is done right and will then have the knowledge to do this project again safely under your own power.
Unless you too want to be lucky enough to be able to write a story like my boss wrote....
they are built properly 4x8 with luan and are no more than 50 lbs each . there are 4.
Where are you located? Someone from CB may be able to recommend someone to you.
Just please DO NOT try doing this yourself. CALL SOMEONE
Sorry, There are just too many variables to safely explain on the internet. For example: You don't know how to fly the flat, how do you know if it's properly built for flying? Four 40lb flats is a lot different than four 50lb flats. You never guess on weight when flying overhead. We know nothing about your fly system and if it's safe to operate, properly maintained, and if you and your crew know how to safely operate the system. We know nothing about what hardware you have around to use and if it is properly rated for overhead lifting.
Finally consider this disturbing thought, How do you know I'm not a 13 year old girl from Oklahoma who's never run a fly system? Are you willing to risk the life of everyone on stage based on anonymous advice from the internet? While rigging a flat to fly is a relatively simple thing in the rigging world, it's not something you can just head to Home Depot for parts and teach yourself the rest.
Where in this great big world are you. Maybe we can help you find a good resource so that you can safely learn to do these things.
If you do this yourself you may get it right. You may not. If those flats fall they will KILL anyone standing under them. KILL as in 100% guaranteed DEAD. It's not worth the risk, get help. Learn to do it the right way. Help everyone in the show live to see another day.
I was at a dress rehearsal for Shogun. The scenery was made by a very professional firm that has built many dozens of Broadway shows. An aluminum flat slipped off a track and hit the lead in the head and knocked him out cold. It was very scary, we thought he was dead. Use a pro.
thanks,we will handle this correctly.
With a professional company? That's surprising, especially if it was an incident of human error. That scares me a bit, because by what you described, that actor could have been seriously injured or killed.
Shogun was built by Scenic Technologies which is part of PRG. The scene had traveller tracks that flew in and out with moving aluminum framed "japanese screens". As one was flying out unevenly I heard a loud bang as the stop on the end of the track fell to the stage. Moments later one of the screens ran off the track, swooped left then back to the right to hit the star of the show right in the head. He dropped like a sack of potatoes and didn't move. The house lights came up, they called for a doctor in the house, they duck taped his head to the floor to make sure he didn't move. On top of all of this it was critics night. They emptied the house so we all went home hoping he would survive. He was hospitalized but fine. Scenic has done many of the biggest shows on Broadway and is extremely professional with their rigging. You are only as good as your worst employee or the worst person that is going to install and use your products. If this can happen to one of the best it can happen all too easily to inexperienced riggers.
How do you find companies for theatrical flying, anyhow? I feel confident in what I know because I learned along the way, but I keep encountering new teachers who don't know how to fly, and I'm never certain how to refer them to a professional. The companies I've looked at deal more with flying truss for rock shows and the like.
Frighteningly enough, at a local festival a company was selling hardware to fly flats. I wandered by the table, and they asked if I knew what it was. When I did, they said I was the first teacher to answer correctly. Now ask yourself this - if no one knew what the gear was for, why on earth were they selling it to those people?
There are very few ways to learn proper rigging:
-Go to college and take a class that covers it.
-Take an intensive workshop from Jay Glerum and Harry Donovan. Sadly Harry just passed away so the future of those classes is currently unknown.
-It looks like Jay also offers classes at USITT and LDI.
-My local theater dealer used to host rigging training classes a couple times a year. I'm guessing this sort of thing happens around the country.
A great starting point for everyone is to buy Jay Glerum's book AND Harry Donovan's book.
You would be amazed what people will fly stuff with. For the short time I was the only TD in a district with 14 high schools. I only had to do stuff at my building, but occasionally I would get a call from another high schools drama teacher to give them a hand. I was amazed what some dad would come in with and get a flat in the air with. Everything from boat hardware to whatever else they could pick up. I don't know what I hate worse, flying improperly with improper hardware or flying improperly with proper hardware used improperly. Well, both suck.
There are a few ways to find people to help you rig safely. Someone with an ETCP cert in theatre rigging should be able to help you fly a group of flats. ETCP riggers can be looked up on the ETCP website. Anyone with a degree in technical direction with the proper background should be able to fly a group of flats as well as rig most theatrical scenery. Contact your local college's theatre dept, someone should be able to help there. There are plenty of TD's on this board that don't have their ETCP but could rig scenery.
Rigging scenery is a weird animal from what most traditional riggers deal with. I would not trust an arena rigger with 20 years experience on the steel to rig a set of portals on a counterweight system. Just because someone says they are a rigger does not mean they are the right kind of rigger to fly your scenery.
Scenery has to be constructed in order to take the load and to take the stress of being flown. It is the responsibility of the technical director to make sure all scenery being flown can be flown safely before a single drawing hits the shop floor. I would not expect most riggers to know how to correctly build a piece to make sure that the places on the scenery that the points are being attached to are properly built. I would expect them to be able to get the piece up after they are given the points.
I hung flats for a show I'm currently doing on a traveler track. They work well, but I can't seem to get them in the same spot twice. I have the rope spiked, but it seems as though it never works.
I can't imagine that the rope stretches that much. What else would be moving?
1. The rope DOES stretch that much.
2. Unless your rope is very taut, no slack, you will experience different results when you try to repeat the move.
What type of track are you using and what size of operating rope? When you initially pull on the rope, does the other side of the line go limp? If so, your line is not tight enough for accurately repeating spikes.
Is your track tied off to the side wall so that it does not sway or move when the rope is pulled?
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