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Creative backdrop flying

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by mcp0526, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. mcp0526

    mcp0526 Member

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    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    The high school theater I work at doesn't have much of a fly space, but has four counterweighted flys that go to the ceiling. For the downstage fly where I want to get creative the stage to prosc. is 16 ft and above that is about 8 ft to the ceiling. The batten stops 8 ft above the stage when lowered.

    Does anyone have any experience rigging the drop "backwards". What I am thinking is attach the top of the drop to something stationary and attach the bottom of the drop to the downstage fly. When the batten is flown out it would lift the bottom and fold the drop in half. I think the "math" works out for a 16 ft drop. Does anyone have experience doing this? Does it work? Thanks for the input!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    It works, its typically called tripping a drop. Pipe the bottom and tie lines on it if possible so you don't have the secondary pipe in view with it is flown in. Make sure you have clearance and having it folded up won't be in the way of any lighting or anything else.

    You could also look at making or buying some type of a roll drop, where the drop is rolled around a tube/pipe and drops like a roller shade and then rolls back up.

    You can click the word tripping and the yellow underline and it should take you to a wiki article with a little more information.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. NateTheRiddler

    NateTheRiddler Member

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    Whoa, that's neat. I never thought of doing that (likely because my trim to ceiling is nearly 30 feet so I've got headroom), but that's a cool way to do it. So do you have to pull both lines simultaneously in order to "fold" the drop in half? Or do you pull some rigging magic to make it so that only one line has to be pulled? I remember seeing a system in a theatre where two fly lines were "mated" together, mimicking each other's movement. I'm not sure how it was done, but I guess it would be possible?
     
  4. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    When you use a second batten, you just tie the lines to it and fly the batten, which keeps both lines moving at the same rate. It's the same way a snow cradle works, that's just a smaller scale.

    I've also seen it done where pulleys were added to either the same batten or the grid because a secondary batten wasn't available, and in that scenario you do either have to pull both lines at the same rate or find a way to mate them and still leave enough room for them to travel independently on the other end.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    If the top and bottom are flown, they are flown independently, not tied together, as the bottom has to travel the height of the drop more.

    You have to be careful in that the weight is shifting, so it will be out of balance at some point, THE most important part of safe rigging.

    Think about lifting a drop from third point if both battens fly for maximum clear. There are more options depending on what's available.
     

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