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Kite effect in the house?

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by CSCTech, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. CSCTech

    CSCTech Member

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    Hello,

    Well, this year our big musical is going to be, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. We have yet to get into really anything, but I was asked by the director to come up with a way to do this effect already,

    So an actor will come into the house from the rear and run down the aisle 'flying a kite', the directors don't want to use any props, so at first I was thinking, mount a projector on a swiviling stand, but then I would have the square outline of the projection, and it just seems like it would be a lot of work to do during the show.

    So, I then thought of taking one of our Mini Ellipsoids (Colortran), mounting it to a little stand, getting a gobo of a kite and sticking it in there, and I would just need a female stage pin-male edison which shouldn't be a problem, the only thing I see wrong with this, is the focus of the gobo while its moving around the room.

    If anyone has suggestions or comments on my second idea that would be awesome! :)
  2. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    So...to clarify...you want to be able to project an image/gobo of a kite being flown as the actor runs down the aisle and he is flying the kite in/above the audience etc... Using an image as opposed to the actor using a prop string and prop kite (typically attached to a track or runner or some similar gag and they just pull it along line etc)?

    Cool--the questions I have are similar to yours, and would be of the surfaces you are projecting onto are going to work (i.e. corners/doors, smooth surface, dark surface or lite etc) and where can you place your projector or moving light--you could consider to do this with a moving mirror fixture and gobo (or moving head but I would think it would be too much the distraction and clearance space needed for the head)...OR you could try this as a 'movie' element that is projected onto an area from a projector where you could add other aspects to the scene... I would think doing this like a 'followspot' would not work out as well based on positioning and operation...but I don't know your venue so... The projection also IMO should best be to the side of the audience or directly above them--not behind them or force the audience to upend in their seats to see what is going on...

    The issue I agree becomes primarily with doing this as an image projected is your focus of the fixture/gobo and its movement--if you are just doing a plain kite moving down the room.... This is something a moving light might be able to better compensate for faster with focus points and fluidity of motion... It just depends on where you plan on shooting the image from. Have you considered that if the image is just the kite in the audience seating area shot onto the wall/ceiling or wherever, and there is no other scenic element (i.e. sky, tree's, horizon etc) to just a dark room and wall and a big bright kite--it may seem a bit 'off' or empty...? It may or may not--but thought I would mention that.. IMO I would consider a moving light (mirror) if the image is the route you wish to go for optimal control and adjustments...


    My 2cents on the subject....

    -w
  3. CSCTech

    CSCTech Member

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    To answer a few questions,
    the surface would be the same throught the effect, which is our cieling which is white plaster, however the hieght varies every so often.
    Whatever instrument we douse for this can be positioned in the booth (open air), mid way down the house, either side, or infront of the stage, I was thinking of making a custom gobo holder for our Comet followspot, but, we need it to follow the actor right before, and it would be almost impossible to re-focus it in the time between he gets tot he stage and kite cue.

    I was also thinking, if we can get a projector with a large enough field of veiw, we could just place it in the booth and have a looping video of a kite fluttering around, which might actually work since last time I used out projector from the booth it covored the entire proscenium wall.
    I am just worried about having a brighter black square outline of the projection, then the blackness that the house will be. (Not sure how to explain than)
  4. shiben

    shiben Well-Known Member

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    the projector might be a good option for you, but as you mentioned, the projector black will get to you. Also, it will look funny if all of a sudden there is a projected kite there and thats the only effect using that system. Is the director set on using no props for the show? If so, can the actor run in pretending to fly a kite in? It might be easier that way, and also fit more with the entire "look" of the show if all the other "props" are just imagined as well. We did a show earlier with "no" props, and had a few props in the show, and by the end of the first tech, it was apparent that having some props or images of props just made the lack of them evident when they chose to pretend to use props. My 2cents.
  5. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Shiben, either use props or not but I think the projection idea will look somewhere between odd to horrible.
  6. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    +1 for props. I think projection/gobo on the ceiling will look silly and kind of cheap.

    Is it that expensive/difficult to hang some type of track or line for a prop kite to slide down? Thinking while I type here, you might not even need a track...you could have a string run the whole length...then tie a loose knot around that line via the line holding the kite up. It would then slide down the "track" line as the actor runs... Seems WAY easier and cheaper than a projector/person to run the projector/computer/etc...

    Just my opinion.
  7. CSCTech

    CSCTech Member

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    It's not that we aen't using props, but in the show the actor runs down the aisle holding a kite prop singing a song about trying to get it to fly and when he gets on stage he gets it to fly, and so we are thinking of ways to give some kind of visual of a flying kite, the kite will then get stuck in a tree prop after a quick blackout and moving of the tree prop, so their are two kite props.

    Any other ideas for getting a visual of a flying kite too would be cool ;)
  8. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member

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    I would take a length of string and stiffen it with glue, then he can trail it and move it up and down behind him. For the tree, block him to cross upstage of it, drop the string behind and do your blackout. When the lights come back up have an actual kite in the tree.
  9. canadiagg

    canadiagg New Member

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    you can use your spotlight to do this effect. Simply make your own gobo of a kite and attach it to your spotlight. then you can easily control the kite.
  10. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to do that why use a S4 on a stick?
  11. CSCTech

    CSCTech Member

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    Gobos in a Comet followspot?

    Hey everyone,

    Been a while since I have been here, and I know I asked about the Altman Comet before, but I don't believe I got any replies to this specifc question.

    We will be putting on You're a Good Man Charlie Brown next month, and one of the special effects I am supposed to be coming up with is a flying kite, So I was thinking of trying to use our Comet followspot with a Gobo to get this effect (We have no extra lines, nor do we have full height linesets so flying it in on a batten is pretty much out.),
    I know the Comet does not specificly have a gobo slot, but I was wondering if anyone has made it work before?

    I was thinking maybe putting it in one of the gel frames, since their circular in the comet, might work. But I just figured I would ask if anyone has had luck with this before, before I go waste my time :p
  12. techno89

    techno89 Member

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    Re: Gobos in a Comet followspot?

    As long as its behind the lens obviously hahah. The spot focuses so theoretically it should work.

    I'll now wait for someone to fly in and correct me :p
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User

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    Re: Gobos in a Comet followspot?

    Put a fixture on a floor stand or pipe base.
    As long as you keep everything fairly loose you can pan and tilt all you want.
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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  15. rsmentele

    rsmentele Member

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    Re: Gobos in a Comet followspot?

    You might also want to consider that as the image of the kite moves further away from the source fixture, i.e. when the character runs down the aisle away from the booth, the image of the kite is going to grow larger, all though this depends on if your character is running from front of house to the stage, and also where the fixture ends up, so not knowing the exact layout and travel pattern of the actor, I'm not sure if this will be an issue, but its something to think about.

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