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Cheap Sets

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by MNicolai, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Sarasota, FL
    I was watching Repo: The Genetic Opera! (brought to you by the same producers/director of Saw), and one of the scenes really intrigued me. The set is entirely plastic. The story behind it is that the producers told the director, Darren Bousman, that they couldn't give him any money to shoot the scene. After Darren made enough noise, they said, "Fine, you can film the scene, but we can't give you any money for a set. All we can give you are these rolls of plastic."

    Lo and behold, he used the plastic to create the setting, and it worked great. Until I listened to the commentary and heard Darren talk about this scene, I didn't think twice about the plastic being used for the scenery. After seeing that, I'm curious if anyone here has any tricks they picked up of ways they created dirt cheap sets that worked surprisingly well?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  2. achstechdirector

    achstechdirector Active Member

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    Booneville MS
    We have a Kimberly-Clark Plant in town, they produce paper goods, well one of the items they produce here are the stuffing for diapers. I know what your thinking why would we have diaper stuffing in our theatre. Well for some reason it comes on 10 ft. wide rolls with about 10,000 yards on a roll. (It is really thin) Well if the ends of the roll gets bent up in any way, they have to discard all of it. SO... we got a roll. We found out it was just a thin gossamer. So we hung this fabric in 12 foot tall 10 foot wide drapes to postition on stage for awards ceremonies and we shot lights through it so it could become any color and ta da we had beautiful flowing drapes. i thought they would be extremely cheap looking WELL there not so cheap looking. we constantly got comments on how high they regarded us for buying such expensive material.

    IT IS DIAPER LINING BUT I am not going to tell them that.

    Mean Huh?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Not even going to ask about flame proofing on that one.
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    That would be NFPA 701, Bob.

    [user]achstechdirector[/user], I doubt that your local Fire Marshal or AHJ would approve.:(
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    Well at least they didn't shine a bunch of hot lights at it to create potential source of... oh... never mind.
  6. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    Audio Engineer
    On Tour
    When we were short on money back in high school, we would get wood pallets that were no longer needed (can find them all over craigslist free), and build sets out of them. Generally the frame is decent wood, and the boards over top were terrible. Bigger things are delivered on bigger pallets, so you can get some pretty big pieces of lumber.

    Sure, it's terrible quality, but it builds what you need, and some sanding and paint can do some work masking it the poor quality.

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