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Beauty & the Beast

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Hoggie134, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Hoggie134

    Hoggie134 Member

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    As a member of stage crew and an active member of a musical society I am involved with our local theatre in Dundee. We have just been given permission to perform Beauty & the Beast and having seen the West End production wondered if anyone knows how they did the beast transformation,I have seen various threads of how it can be done but would like to know how they did it.
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    The Z company I assume is ZFX.
     
  3. JackMVHS

    JackMVHS Member

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    Does anyone know about how much this would cost?
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    You would be looking at probably around a minimum of $5K to do the show.
     
  5. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    A community theater I do some sound work for did B&B a few years ago and were able to rent the rigging they needed for fark less than $5k. Granted it wasn't a Foy job, he didn't go zinging off across the space. He started out in a heap on top of an elevated set piece, clipped himself in under the cloak and peeled his mask off while we did a bunch of stuff with smoke and lights. When the time came, he got hoisted about four feet, flipped over once, shed the cloak and landed on his feet.

    It looked like more than it was because we played up his flight with a bunch of tricks. During the "transformation" the whole stage slowly faded into near darkness, with just Belle in a spot. Some haze, flashing colors, strobes and sound effects got the audience's attention away. And when the Beast finally did his flip, he was caught in a sudden burst of side light, which as anyone who lights dance will tell you, gives a certain floating effect. Land on two feet, boom boom, lights back up, and you look like wizzards!
     
  6. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Still, this is not something you should attempt to do on your own. Even a set-up such as you described requires a qualified rigger/rigging company to set it up and train those who will be involved with the effect. Even a fall from four feet can kill or permanently injure someone.
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    To build on what [user]cdub260[/user] said, if you did not rent and have this rig installed by one of the companies listed (ZFX, Foy, Hall Assoc.) then chances are it was not as safe as it should have been (and in that case it should not have been used). Even the major rigging companies like Sapsis and Clancy won't touch flying people unless done in conjunction with one of the aforementioned companies.
     
  8. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    Just want to point up that I'm fairly sure the OP is in the UK given the reference to Dundee and to the West End production of BATB rather than the Broadway production....in which case getting Hall or ZFX in is not really a practical solution! Foy does have a UK division (Flying by Foy) and there is also Freedom Flying (Freedom Flying although that webpage seems to be down at the moment) and Hi-Fli (Theatre Flying Effects by Hi-Fli.). I've not worked with the Freedom or Hi-Fli people (but have heard good things about them both) but certainly the Foy's guys are fantastic.
     
  9. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Good catch, kiwitechgirl. I've campaigned before (and lost) to have location a requirement in the personal profile for just this sort of situation. I was thinking the OP could have meant Dundee, IL, USA.
     
  10. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    However, while we my have been off naming companies that are US based, there are European companies that do the same thing. The points are still valid, you should not attempt this effect without hiring a company that specializes in the flying of humans in theatrical settings.
     
  11. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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  12. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I just finished doing "beauty and the Beast" with a local high school and we did it in our community theatre 2 years ago. In both cases, we had a trap door built into the scenery, and fog machines all around it. We also used several strobes pointed at the area, and several egg strobes built into the scenery. The beast just does some wrenching and struggling as a down red light builds and the fog builds, Then the strobes start going off one at a time as the music builds until the beast is totally enveloped in fog and he removes his mask and cape and in one case he stuffs it into the trap in his throne, and in the other case we had a very small stagehand come partially out of the trap in the stage and take the cape and mask. The actor then stands straight up with one hand extend to the sky and the red light becomes white. The actor then turns around and is no longer the beast.
    No, it didn't require any dangerous rigging, and was spectacular enough for both shows that the audience stood and applauded during several of the shows. It takes timing on the part of lighting sound fog and the actor.
     
  13. Teber

    Teber Member

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    I once saw a production of beauty and the beast where the transformation was really neat! The stage was just belle watching downstage with a look on her face of disbelief and quick movements to draw attention. Dry ice filled the stage from every direction even above (below the lights of course.) But they just had a flood of different colored lights in a chase with a transparent rose on the stage from a gobo. No one needs to fly. The beast took everything off in the 10 seconds and by the end of the music he was the handsome prince again.
     
  14. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Oh rad! A couple of rigging/flying companies I've never heard of! Thanks y'all!
     
  15. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    We just finished up our run of Beauty. What we did, because we didn't have the money to fly anyone, was to have the Beast lying on the floor. We fogged the entire floor, and then had the Beast slide offstage left. A second person, playing the Prince, then slid on stage right. Stop fogging, and allow the fog to rise, and PRESTO! You have a transformation.
     
  16. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    We use the two actor trick a well, it's amazing how clean it can look with a bit of fog and some strobing lights. I haven't seen the West End do the transformation, but given what I have seen my company do, both with and without flying I would say, if you have the budget and really want to copy what you saw at the West End go for the flying option, but I can assure you that with a bit of stagecraft (that is what they pay us for right???) a very convincing effect can be done without the need for the extra expense. Personally if I had the FX budget I'd look into pyro for the transformation before I'd look into flying, but maybe that's just because of how I've seen it done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  17. WooferHound

    WooferHound Active Member

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    I finished a run of Disney's Beauty and the Beast three weeks ago. I do not know the specifics of the effect but I do know that they used 2 actors. I describe the effect as, the Beast's impression of a cloths dryer.
     
  18. elliot47

    elliot47 Member

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    My highschool Just started to prepare for our spring musical. Beauty and the Beast! I think we are bringing in some professional flyers that i guess went to HS here.
     
  19. GBtimex

    GBtimex Member

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    I worked on a Ice show that had Beauty and the Beast in it for a number. The trick they did was put a cloak with best fur out on the ice. Those elements were attached to half body and placed on the ice while the skater got ready for the next bit. They had a rope attached to the half body and the rope ran through a block (pully). 2 stage hands JERKED the thing back while the lights were low and then followed it up with some pyro. It was a cheap solution but for an ice show it was fine. Keep it simple, Keep it Safe and Keep it Cheap was the mentality. I can't speak for rigging but a good lighting designer can make this look wonderful. Best of luck to you.

    If you could please include a video how you guys did it I would love to see the final result.

    All the best,

    Here is one of the other ice show's (not the one I was on) solution:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4qftE065d0&NR=1




    GBTimex
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  20. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    I was just local crew on the touring version of Beauty and the Beast for their stop my in city. While I wasn't a rigger, I know that their transformation did not involve flying (I was a carp on the in and out, and did not install anything that could fly anyone)

    I can only assume that their transformation involved a lot of fog and a trapdoor somewhere, as they had a set piece that could probably drop someone and I ran tons of piping for fog everywhere.


    Just my $.02 - if the pro tour didn't fly, you probably don't have to fly to make it look cool.
     

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