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River On Stage

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by STONEAGE, May 26, 2008.

  1. STONEAGE

    STONEAGE Member

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    Location:
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    We are putting on a show called Fever (an Australian written play) and there is a river that is quite important to the stories. (It's a combination of 4-plays)

    I am looking for different options on how to do the river. A few ideas have been passed between the designers and director, and most of them involve using smoke (ice'd) and a water effects machine or just breakup gobos.

    It would be best if the actors could enter the river, so using real water is not the best option, and as my director says; 'water always wins' ..

    What ideas do people have? We have reasonable, but still limited budget, but all ideas are welcome.

    Thanks,

    [Edit; FYI; we also have no fly system]
     
  2. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    You could just put a long piece of blue fabric on an angle and use some scrolling gobo to give the effect of running water.
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    To capitalize on Mbandgeeks idea, you could use several strips of mottled blue china silk. stretch them loosely across the stage and then get a floor output squirrel cage fan and blow that across the top of it. The process of using several strips will allow you to have the actors "enter" the water, by stepping in-between the strips, and even "dive" under by lying down beneath the strips. I've used this effect before in a couple of productions, most notably "The Diviners" in which a character must drown, which is not a good thing to do to an actor, really it's not.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Only because the costume shop has to keep altering the costume to fit each new actor.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Although not stated, that was what I was trying to imply. purely a technical inconvience, as actors are a dime a dozen, 12 cents a dozen if they're Equity. :mrgreen:
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    There are good lighting options with gobo rotators... but you are going to have a hard time getting something bright enough to work with the rest of the lights on stage at full (that you can afford at least)... those effects work great on night scenes but not so great in a daylight wash. I like the silks idea. It's much more practical. You could build one of those back yard fountain types of thing and landscape it with real water but you are opening yourself up to SO many potential problems doing that. Like you said, "water wins".

    One other option would be to build a realistic river bed and use a water substitute... like they do with model railroad sets. I think they use a colored acrylic material but that would get expensive on the scale we are talking about. It seems to me that a realistic river bed and some high gloss paint in the hands of the right person could work pretty well.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2008

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