The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Moving Stairs

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by gabei, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. gabei

    gabei Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    A new challenge for the theatre geniuses.

    I am building a staircase for a new version of "Les Miserbale" we are doing. (It is NOT the over done musical) The staircase is 13' high and 18' long and on wheels and it moves alot during the show. One side (the one show in the image) is Val Jean's apartment, the otherside is the Inn, so it has to be able to be moved. Does anyone know of any robotic wheel systems that could handle a set piece this big? Here is a image of it:


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,462
    Likes Received:
    1,870
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    In the theatre world, we usually want to pull or push something accross the stage, not drive it. People do drive things all the time, but its not suggested because you lose precision. No, there is no off the shelf scenery car out there. I would be extremely concerned with running such a system. The reason why we put scenery in tracks is because we know what it will do, it has hard limits. Now, this could be done, but I have a feeling that it would easily cost over 10k, odds are more like 50-100k

    What do you want the piece to do when it moves? What type of buget do you have?
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,078
    Likes Received:
    687
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    I assume that by "robotic" you mean some kind of automation system. As [user]Footer[/user] said, most automated systems perform the best when the scenery is tracked. Now, it is possible to put in curved track and make the piece able to rotate, but you are still limited in range of motion (which isn't a bad thing). However, any form of automation is going to cost you, from hardware to control you are looking at great expense unless you already own automation gear. You also have to consider that automating the scenery will usually require that you can access the underside of your stage to run track, control, and power cables. Either that or you might have to build the entire deck up if you can't get underneath the stage.

    Probably the easiest solution is to put the piece on casters and just have cast or crew push it to each position. There is nothing wrong with this type of solution, and it is used very often in the professional world. This will be the most cost effective and simple solution.
     
  4. jessamarie6

    jessamarie6 Member

    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Chicago
    I too am going to suggest putting the unit on castors and just having run crew push it. With carefully placed spike marks and some good places to grip, the crew members could probably do it all from whichever side is upstage and remain all but invisible.
    If you want something that looks a little more high tech you may look into building some sort of pneumatic brake system into the unit (I'm sure there are tons of posts on how elsewhere on this site so I won't go into details here).
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,078
    Likes Received:
    687
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    Small hijack...

    CASTOR - noun
    a reddish-brown oily substance secreted by beavers, used in medicine and perfumes.

    CASTER - noun
    each of a set of small wheels, free to swivel in any direction, fixed to the legs or base of a heavy piece of furniture so that it can be moved easily.

    Right, back to your regular scheduled program.
     
  6. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    151
    Location:
    Southern California
    Also known as a weed that grows in the canyon behind the Pageant's work shop building.
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,949
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Sorry, gotta add;
    Did you know that Castor Oil and one of most deadly toxins known to man, Ricin, both come from the Castor bean ?

    Whereas Caster Oil usually comes from a can, marked WD-40.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,778
    Likes Received:
    2,843
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Van you amaze me! First it was the tetanus coming from bird poop, now this. I thought I new a lot of useless information but you are the KING! I bow to you oh wise one.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice