building a false proscenium...

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Do you want it to blend into the plaster of the pro (or wood... or whatever your pro is made off) or are you looking for something black just to knock the pro down. Steel flats with duvateen are the defacto standard, but you can go a few different ways. Also, how easily to you want this thing to go away?
 

danl

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well, it's just for one show, so it will be hung (?) or built (?) in front of the current proscenium... it will not move in or out...

i was thinking of building platforms, but wasn't sure if it would be best with wood or fabric, and if fabric - which type...

i will be painting it, but with fabric i'm afraid of on-stage light bleed through from the back...
 

Van

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well, it's just for one show, so it will be hung (?) or built (?) in front of the current proscenium... it will not move in or out...

i was thinking of building platforms, but wasn't sure if it would be best with wood or fabric, and if fabric - which type...

i will be painting it, but with fabric i'm afraid of on-stage light bleed through from the back...
Platforms??? are you building just a false pro or are you adding a thrust too ? It sounds to me as if you are not going to have anything above to rig to so Flats would probably be the way to go.
Kinda need some dimensions, rig point info. You say it's only for one show. do you mean one performance or one run?
The paint treatment that you are doing will greatly impact your choice of fabrics. If your'e doing a Vaudevillian style paint treatment you could get away with covering flats with a heavy Muslin, adequately sized, base painting and back painted, you shouldn't have any light leak issues.
Post a few more particulars and we can zeroin on this issue a little better.
 

danl

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i'm not building a thrust... i'm just wanting to put a facing on the current proscenium which is rectangular to create an arched portal... the pro measures 18 H x 40 W... i am able to connect it to the top of the current pro, which is wooden... the sides are concrete block, but possible to connect to... the link below is a rendering of what i'm hoping to do... the problem i want to avoid is light bleed-through on the fabric, showing the skeletons of the plats... i suppose i could use sheet goods to cover it, but i'm concered about weight...

(the run, including tech, will be three weeks)

http://www.revolutionfreedom.com/images/pro.jpg
 

soundlight

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I assume that you mean flats and not platforms, because building platforms to do such a thing would be rather impractical.

What about skinning the whole deal with 1/8" MDF material? I've made all sorts of archway members out of that and 1x material, and it works rather well, and is very lightweight compared to other hardcovering materials.
 

gafftaper

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Build hard flats covered with Luan. You could just paint them directly. Or you can cover them with muslin and then paint (my preferred method of flat construction at all times by the way). You'll get a much smoother looking surface with a proper muslin and sizing job than if you just paint the wood. And you can reuse them as flats in the future too. I'm assuming you are a school and don't have access to a good welder. The pros would weld up a steel tube frame, bolt it in place, and then screw luan to the frame.

By the way, Luan is thin plywood about 1/8 of an inch thick (it comes in several thicknesses and types of wood). It's only about $11 per 4'X8' sheet. The MDF approach would also work but it would add a lot more weight to the structure which isn't a good idea when working in the air.
 
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soundlight

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I just usually don't consider anything below 1/4" luan to be usable because of the number of times that I've gotten luan with a bad core from a supplier. Many times it is returned, but sometimes it's already been cut and installed by the time that I notice this. Thus, I always go the MDF route when doing 1/8" material. It's also good to have an acquaintance in a major cabinetry facility that doesn't mind losing 25 sheets of the stuff to our truck every now and then...
 

danl

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I assume that you mean flats and not platforms, because building platforms to do such a thing would be rather impractical.

eep... yeah, i meant to type flats and not plats... lol...

i considered luan, but wasn't sure how the price would compare to canvas or muslin... if i could afford to use both as mentioned above, i would - it sounds very nice...

thanks!
 

Van

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You'll find that using Luan is the cheaper way to go for several reason. The biggest being labor. Soft covering flats, even if you use Gaff's technique of mus over luan, takes quite a bit more time as you have to cut the fabric, attach it, then size it, there is a lot of waitning inbetween steps.
Looking at your rendering, it should be a very simple matter to construct this pro from standard "studio" flats. I prefer 1/4" luan as a covering for long term use, and for flats that need to stand up to some actors chewing on them. In the case of this pro I think I'd elect to go with the 1/8" Luan. MDF can be used but if you are going to be doing extensive painting, it will buckle and bubble, unless you have framing every foot or so. 1/8" luan will allow you to put your toggles on 48" centers, this will save you money and weight. I can post a drawing, if you need it, to show a good way to construct those curvered areas so that you don't lose their depth. How thisck is the retuen on the interior edge?
 

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You'll find that using Luan is the cheaper way to go for several reason. The biggest being labor. Soft covering flats, even if you use Gaff's technique of mus over luan, takes quite a bit more time as you have to cut the fabric, attach it, then size it, there is a lot of waitning inbetween steps.
Looking at your rendering, it should be a very simple matter to construct this pro from standard "studio" flats. I prefer 1/4" luan as a covering for long term use, and for flats that need to stand up to some actors chewing on them. In the case of this pro I think I'd elect to go with the 1/8" Luan. MDF can be used but if you are going to be doing extensive painting, it will buckle and bubble, unless you have framing every foot or so. 1/8" luan will allow you to put your toggles on 48" centers, this will save you money and weight. I can post a drawing, if you need it, to show a good way to construct those curvered areas so that you don't lose their depth. How thisck is the retuen on the interior edge?
Do that. Enless you can weld, then thats a whole other thing. False pro's made out of steel do work very well because they hold up and go back in the same every time.

But.... luan and hollywood flats is the way to go. As far as the curve goes, there are a few ways to do that. It all depends on how much you want the return to be... I'll be interested to see what van suggests.
 

Van

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gafftaper

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Yeah post a drawing Van, I'm curious to see what you are thinking. This is one of those areas where there are ten ways to do it. Nine of them are the right way... then there's Van's way.

Definitely have to agree that the muslin covered flat is labor intensive. But if you build them the right way and keep them in stock they'll last a long time and you have a really good looking surface for painting. When the fabric gets too much paint on it, just tear it off and re-muzzle the flat. A local community theater here uses hard flats but they don't cover them and it drives me crazy. Dutchman doesn't work nearly as well on wood so the seams show. Plus you get nicks and scratches in the wood flats that show.
 

DannyDepac

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Hi I'm Thinking of doing something similar for a quick show run with ver similar dimensions - Van did you ever get back to him with the drawing? I really am more concerned about how to manage the "arch" smoothly and how is the middle section suspended? Is it attached to the outer flats' stiles? Thanks in advance
 

Van

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IDK if I did or not. Let me look through my Archives. I didn't get to bring everything with me when I left ART. I do have quite a bit on my machine at home though.
I can tell you that at my old Theatre we had a piece of Uni-strut embedded in the concrete on the upstage side of the Pro. It was a wonderfully convenient feature. I can't tell you the number of times I rigged shelves for receivers, nailers for suspended pieces, just all sorts of uses. So I had that advantage I rigged 2x6's on the US side of the pro that just stuck out far enough to allow me to attach... I think I used Simpson ties, between the flats and 2x6's.
It's really just regular Flat framing but you layout the curve on the luan prior to building the flat. Compute your radius or your arc and mark it out, do a rough cut then install backing. Lay in a piece of Luan or MDF, cut to the width of your desired return, glue the crap out of it, staple to your backing. Once everything is set you can flush trim the facing luan to curve created by the MDF.
I'll look for a drawing tonight.