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A Pit of Dirt

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by BFPele18, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. BFPele18

    BFPele18 Member

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    I just had a meeting with a director for an upcoming show and he wants a pit of dirt on the stage. Real dirt. Then he wants it to rain. Real water plus real dirt equal Mud. I am not looking forward to that clean up.

    However my concern comes from the dirt. I want to make sure that the dirt won't make actors or audience members sick. I once worked on a show with dirt and 3 actors and a technician got respitory complications.

    Any suggestion on what kind of dirt I should look for?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Don't use dirt, used cut up tires. Its the same stuff they make running track out of, and it looks extremly close to dirt onstage if you get a few different colors and blend it. Unless you really want the mud thing, if so... stay with the dirt... How you will revert from the mud state to the dirt state overnight I really do not want to know.
     
    BFPele18 likes this.
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Definitely like the idea of something other than real dirt. Although for the back of your mind you can get makeup grade dirt from Ben Nye (I think) which is very safe to use... it's too expensive to make a dirt pit out of but great for making sets, clothes, props, or people dirty.
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    That would be a lot of little bottles.... I think that would use all the ben nye product for the year. Would be a fun phone call to make however.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I think it comes in gallon size jugs, but they will cost you... "Sorry, I didn't have any money left for the set or royalties, but I've got a lot of really nice dirt!"
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Ground up Oreo cookies and chocolate pudding.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Dude you'd have people lined up to try to eat the set.


    Which reminds me I did Flowers for Algernon and one of the scenes takes place in a donut shop. I had this really nice glass display case for the donuts to be in, but I didn't want to have to buy donuts over and over for the week long run. So I got four dozen donuts and a can of shellac. I gather the entire crew together and made them watch me spray two boxes. I gathered the entire cast together and made them watch me spray the other two boxes. When the show was done, there was one bite missing from one donut.
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Not after the first day, when the pudding starts molding.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    But we want brown dirt, not greenish-bluish mold colored dirt
     
  10. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    You could use that kind doesn't need to be refrigerated.
     
  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Years ago, when doing "The Trails of Tears." We used to get Ben Nyes Texas Dirt in 55 gallon drums, as most of the cast was caucasion.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Ouch I bet that was expensive Van.
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Not as expensive as it was gross. They had to put Lysol in it to keep it from molding in the Oklahoma summer heat and humidity.
     
  14. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    my two words of sympathay/empathy: The Tempest--the director for it wants us to cover (yes, COVER) the entire stage in at least 6 inches of sand...i DO NOT want to be the one to clean that up...
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  15. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    6 inches of sand! Assuming that you have a typical stage (30 feet wide and 20 feet deep) - that's about 10 tons of sand.

    Hope you can get a Bobcat onstage....


    Joe
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I read an old article about a portable sand dune set. If I remember right they carved foam to shape the dunes and be support underneath, then covered it with fiberglass and painted the fiberglass with sand mixed in the paint. It's probably a little more expensive than the real thing but hey it's much easier to clean up. I can try to find the article if you are interested.
     
  17. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    The theater that I worked at last summer did a show with the entire stage covered in sand 2 summers ago, what they did was build a giant sandbox and line the bottom with a sand colored carpet,and then throw a couple of inches of sand on top, ive seen seen some pictures and it worked.
     
  18. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    we have a big arsed stage. it's larger than average. also everyon kindly go see me rantings that i shall be posting in a few minutes, i just find my new story comical...Tempest keeps getting even more fun XD
     

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