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Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Van, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Home and Garden, Has anybody done this yet ? I tried a search didn't see it anywehere. My question is this, if you've done it, How did you drain it ? Just looking to bounce ideas off someone else. Make it rain all over the stage ? no Problem. Fountains spurting on cue ? No Problem. Draining that much water and not having the set completely fall apart from being water logged through 6 weeks of run? Small Problem.
     
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Wow, sounds like somebody is out to get you with their script selection.

    Well I'm far from an expert on indoor rain so forgive the rambling if this sounds nuts to you (I know you are used to that anyway). It seems to me, for a general strategy you could build a giant drainage pan the size of the stage. Have it sloped and channeled for water collection. Then build a metal grid on top of that that the set is actually suspended on... sort of a giant set strainer. Then above that as long as everything has good drainage it should all run down hill or through to the large collection bin below the stage.

    You also might want to think about some sort of drying apparatus to run for a few hours after the show. Some sort of combination of fans or dehumidifiers... again not a dehumidifier expert either.
     
  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you need a plastic set! (No, I'm actually serious here!) You can get alot of lumber in some form of plastic now, I know because I used it for the benches for my eagle scout project. You can get siding, decking, and some dimensional lumber in a grey plastic material, can't remember what it is. It's hellaciously expensive, though!
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Isn't that also the wonderful show that takes place in two physical theaters at one time (you go one night in one theater, the garden, an the next night in the other theatre, the home, or vice versa). The show is performed the same each night and the cast runs back and forth between theatres. I think the making it rain on stage is the least of the worries on that one!
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    You are correct Sir ! :mrgreen:
    We lucked out and now own the building in which our theatres are located. It a very weird building that has been a million differnt things. Summer before last they asked me, "Van, what woul it take to build another theatre upstairs ? " well ..... So now we have a theatre downstairs< mainstage> and another upstairs < second stage>. House is going to be downstairs and Garden upstairs, and yes the cast will be running up and down stairs all night. We're hoping to install an elevator < for patron convinience> but I'm thinking we should insist the actors use the stairs, in case of elevator malfunction. :twisted:

    As it turns out we are doing the West Coast premier of this show as we are one of the few theatres actually equipped < and stupid enough> to do it . I'm excited by the project but trying to start planning now.

    I like the idea of doing some of the construction out of plastic members, I hadn't thought of that. I think Trex is a brand name I've seen. also I've been looking into building a giant collector under the set boundaries. Luckily I have a 30'x30' EDPM pond liner left over from Metamorphosis < yes I think this place has it out for me, they insist on the water shows!>

    Keep the Ideas comming! I'm all ears. I'll keep y'all posted on the progress, I have the feeling this is going to be an interesting production process.
     
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    That's the name of it! Yup, Trex is your best be there. Great stuff, really tough and strong, easy to cut with the right tools, and best of all, it doesn't split!!!! That's another thing that I like about it. It's plastic, so it doesn't splinter, split, or warp as easily. But you do need to watch out - it'll fill up sandpaper in a matter of seconds, and it sometimes smokes with that nice plastic-y smell if you cut it too slowly.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I built a deck out of Trex about a year ago and it was priced about 50% higher than treated wood... and you know how much more that costs than untreated... this could be some set.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Oh... one other thing about Trex. It is strong in the sense that you can't compress it so it's great for horizontal surfaces. But you can rip a screw right out of it with pliers. So you've got to really pay attention to which directions you are putting stress on the Trex or you'll tear it apart. It's surprisingly "floppy" material and get's very soft when it's warm.
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes...that's right. You'll definitely have to watch how much wattage of light you pound on to it...this looks like a place where Selecon Pacifics could come in handy, with their no-IR, heat-reducing mirrors and everything. Even more money :).
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    That's it ! we can't afford to do it ! ..... No that'll never work. Good info though. I'm starting to think marine grade ply with perhaps trex as sleepers with some drain holes drilled through it to allow water to run to the collection point. Hmm starting to sound a lot like the set for "take me out" we did it 2 years ago. Two seperate shower scenes on stage with 6 independently remote controlable shower heads < on/off, not move around> See they like to torture me with Water! Two, count 'em two hot water heaters so the boys wouldn't suffer from shrinkage:oops: Oh and the whole shower rig had to fly in and out of the stage picture so it wasn't in the way of all the other scenes..... ok now I'm just bitching sorry. Anyway Y'all have got me thinkng, this is a good thing.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Although it comes in 2X4 and 2X6, I believe Trex is too flexible to be used as a joist. I think it's pretty much just a walking surface. Better check with your local lumber yard.
     
  12. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and NEVER, EVER buy TREX 4x6. Yes, it's made, albeit hart to find, but Trex is solid, there's no air, so it's much heavier than wood. I had the unfortunate occasion to try to lift some of that just to see how heavy it was. Wow! It really is heavy.

    And I agree, Trex is much better as Decking. For siding (if you end up using siding), the obvious choice is vinyl siding.
     
  13. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    I don’t know how big of an area you need, but the pond liner supported underneath at the sides by short lumber boards for walls may be the best containment system. And sloping the bottom will improve drainage, though maybe at the expense of how much water you can capture. (You might look at spill containment systems online and get some ideas.)

    What sort of surface to the actors walk on? Is it a deck over the containment area? Will they be tracking water off stage?

    Draining that basin, I’d be tempted to find a way to pump it out, rather than put a drain pipe in it that has a joint that must be sealed. (On the other hand, a pump won’t be able to pump it dry. Anyway to siphon it? Trap door or below stage access?)

    Something to ponder – (sloped bottom not withstanding) will the basin be creating a big damp poorly ventilated area that can damage the floor anyway? I think you may need a sacrificial plywood floor under this.


    Joe
     
  14. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes that is a similar idea to what I did for the "lake" for our production of "the Seagull" last year, a 30x30 foot pond about 5" deep. Major difference being that I had to install a recirculating pump to keep the water moving. I'm leaning heavily towards a sacrificial marine grade plywood deck.
     

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