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Letter drop

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by ChrisClarke, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. ChrisClarke

    ChrisClarke Member

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    We're doing a production of Calendar Girls this year. One scene calls for letters to drop gently from above - maybe 30 over a minute or so. I'm having trouble figuring how to make this happen!

    Our grid is approx 4m above the stage with another 1.5m to the ceiling. We have no equipment so anything we use would need to be hired/borrowed/made! Any ideas gratefully received!
     
  2. DRU

    DRU Member

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    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Soutwestern Ohio
    In college, we did an opera that called for something similar. Our rig was actually quite simple.

    Take a wood board or a piece of steel and attach a series of screw eyes/eye bolts of a small-ish diameter to it in a line, with all the eye holes facing one direction so that a metal rod can go through them all at once. The letters run through the rod between eyes. Rig the rod to pull out of the eyes from offstage once you mount it to the grid. As you pull the rod out, the letters will drop. You can control how many letters fall at a time by adding more eyes and spreading out the letters. Make sure to taper the end of the rod so that the letters can slide off, and make a stop at the end so that the rod doesn't come completely out.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  4. ChrisClarke

    ChrisClarke Member

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    Sorry I should have been more specific - letters which have been written to one of the characters - she picks the odd one and reads it out. So perhaps some in envelopes, some on notepaper - that kind of thing. Grid has no walkways so can't use a crew member... I had thought of a ladder behind the set with someone flinging them up and forward...
     
  5. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    Do you have a way to access overhead between shows to preset something? Any rigging that can raise and lower? A board with letters held or clipped and electro magnets, pins that pull by a string, or some other low tech remote release. I imagine a long board with a kerf cut in and somehow strings or fishline that are pulled to release the letter from the kerf. Fussy but cheap.
     
  6. Skervald

    Skervald Active Member

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