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a completely transparent gel?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by MidnightsBrokenToe, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. MidnightsBrokenToe

    MidnightsBrokenToe Member

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    The director for the current show I'm working on wants a clear material we can use to cover window frames, to create the appearance of glass. She wants to know if there any completely clear gels. We have a swatchbook of Roscolux gels, but the clear filters in it all have a..."fuzzy" appearance from far away, which we don't want. Anyone know if there is an absolutely clear gel that would fit my director's desires?
    As a note, we considered using mylar, but that runs pretty expensive, which is why the director wants to try using gels.
     
  2. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    My other swatches are in the car, but I have a GAM here that has a clear. It's 1505. I know that the other manufacturers have clear as well, so it's odd it isn't in yours.
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Commercial plastic wrap, Plexiglass
     
  4. MidnightsBrokenToe

    MidnightsBrokenToe Member

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    commercial plastic wrap bubbled (we tried it)
    I actually found something just a second ago that might work.
     
  5. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    What about Rosco Heat Shield. It is intended to be used with other gels to extend the life of the gel, but does not change the color at all, so it must be clear. Runs about the same price as other gels.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Rosco 00. I assume that you are going to attempt to stretch it over frames? Your best bet would be to go with some type of material that you can stretch then heat to shrink it. It will not be easy to get a look of true glas without some type of shrinking. Is there a specific reason why you have to have something in the windows? Usually any type of glass on stage is a bad thing.
     
  7. MidnightsBrokenToe

    MidnightsBrokenToe Member

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    We were originally going to go with mylar, which has to be heat shrunk, which wouldn't be hard, but as I said, it gets expensive
    I personally am against using any glassy surface or appearance on stage, because as you say, it's a bad thing...but the frames are on a set of French doors that lead offstage. It's what the director and the TD want, so that's the only reason I know of that it needs to be there...they just want it to look authentic. (I don't know if this makes a difference in the way glass will look on stage, but our theatre is a very small black box with the set built in a way to mimick proscenium staging. It's just more "up close", so to speak. Seems to me, glare from glassy surfaces would be worse in that kind of arrangement)

    Maybe I'm making this harder than it really is? It seems to me that gels would end up being as costly as mylar, because from what I can tell we'll need about ten sheets of the #00 gel to cover all of the frames in the doors.
     
  8. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I think I have to agree with you about the making it harder than it really is. Our mainstage is also a modified black box and there isn't a seat that is further than 20 - 25 feet from the stage, so I know where you're comming from is the realism dept. Cost wise I'd suggest using 1/8" plexi. it will give you a more "stable" surface than most any kind of stretched plastic. if the door is slammed a lot or there is the potential for impact against it then I would be sure to use 1/4", for super high stress situations go for poly-carbonate it's more expensive but man can it take the stress. Acrylic sheeting can be installed just like glass. Polycarbonate can actually be stapled through and it won't crack shatter or deform.
    Now if you're bound and determined to go the Ultra cheap - low tech solution , Hop on over to Home depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware or whatever politically correct hardware supply store you use and purchase some " Frost King" window weather treament. It comes in sized sheets and it comes with snot tape, < for those of you who are non cinema that's a doulbled sided really gellish tape that looks a lot like snot when all balled up> simply tape it in place then use a hair dryer to shrink to fit. Use a hair dryer not a heat gun ! a Heat gun will burn right through it ! . The biggest draw back to the sheet goods is, as I said, stability. It will wiggle with every single step someone takes when they are near it. I would suggest using the old hairspray trick on the surface as well to help cut some of the glare. Don't use " Dulling Spray" there is a medium out there called Dulling Spray and it doesn't work well on plastic surfaces. it leaves an oily residue and if perchance you touch it or and actor brushes against it, the effect it ruined and it's extremely difficult to remove, especially from a flexible surface like strectched plastic.

    Wow long story short < too late > I think your right it's going to be a lot more expensive to do it with gell than it would be if you try one of these other ideas. Happy glazing !
     
  9. CHScrew

    CHScrew Active Member

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    They make a industrial shrink wrap that would work fine. Just lay it out over the frame and stretch it as much as you can buy hand. Then go over it with a hair dryer (a heat gun, if used too close, will burn it and make it hazy) to tighten it all up. Ask anywhere that makes fruit baskets if you can buy some from them...

    Or ask them to donate it in return for a free ad in the program ;)
    free is always better.
     
  10. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Go to your local home store and buy a window insulation kit (under $ 10.00) It will give you enough film to do about a dozen small windows. Affix it around the window with double sided tape (included) and heat shrink with a hair dryer.

    Works like a charm.
     
  11. ricc0luke

    ricc0luke Active Member

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    GAM 1505 is their heat shield.

    van hit it right on, plexi is the way to go.
     
  12. MidnightsBrokenToe

    MidnightsBrokenToe Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I know this is technically a set question in a lighting forum, so thanks for being understanding and helpful.
     
  13. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    Actually 1505 is their Clear Poly. 1510 is their UV shield. A trifle really.
     
  14. pacman

    pacman Active Member

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    Yes, take a look at the plastic film sold as window insulation. I used it in an old house years ago with drafty windows. Bought it off the Internet. It comes in rolls with plastic channels to lock in place. Pull it tight & you're in business. At that time, there were lots of products out there & many were not as clear as you want. Check around, 'cause the stuff I used was perfectly clear.
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Gel is not the way to go. You're trying to do this the hard way. As several others have said, use the cheap "frost king" window insulation at home depot. If it's too shiny, GRADUALLY give it a dusting with hair spray. 10 minutes to install, hair dryer for 2 minutes, $10 you're done. As has been said it will wobble a little... but it get's very stiff, like a very fragile drum head. The worst part of this technique in a school is that everyone wants to touch it but if they do, they damage it. So you have to keep guards on set to watch the actors.

    A couple of sheets of thin plexi-glass won't cost more than about $40 either... go to Home Depot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2006

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