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Shoestring budget Scenery...

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by alekei, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. alekei

    alekei Member

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    Hello!

    I need to decorate a stage with a very little amount of money.

    No specific theme, just modern, fresh. Just for not doing an act with a black backdrop and that's it.

    Do you have any ideas? any pictures?

    I've seen concerts that use some fabrics at the background. I would like to get more ideas.

    Regards,

    Alejandro.
     
  2. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Try building some frames that are ddiffernt sizes and covering them with muslin to create a bunch of mini-cycs. Arrange about the stage in a way that is fitting to the play. For color light from the front with some deep gels.
     
  3. MKE

    MKE Member

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    i know this thread is old. But here is a simple but effective way to create a set. it is very easy n quick to do.

    japaniese screens can look very effective, but can cost a bit.

    all you need to do is get some timber and make a frame with several 60cm by 60cm squares in it. lets say 8 rows of 4.

    then go down to a local hardware store and get some white ( u may have to use an cream white) shade cloth. it usally comes in rolls so just cut to the desired size.

    paint the timber black and staple the shade cloth to the back of it.

    place several in front of a black backdrop and light with cyc lighting.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    My favorite material for doing cool stuff with cheap is Cheese Cloth. My local theater supplier sells 60 inch wide for less than $1.50 a yard. figure out a way to drape it and shine light through it. It picks up the color of the light and looks really cool. You can also dye it different colors before lighting it.

    If I was really desperate I would try something with various sizes of appliance boxes and lots of paint. There actually is a book about building sets from cardboard. It's primarily for elementry school plays but if you are desperate for money it's an option to consider.

    Finally, your situation may not be as bad as you think. Make friends with the people at the local community theater or college theater. They may be willing to rent... or if you're lucky loan... you all kinds of stuff.
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    In not trying to offend or write off your request, there is not a lot there to provide help on. Another concept to consider is to design what you wish first, than worry about making it become reality second. Yes you have seen shows with other types of drape, what type of drape or effect did you have in mind if it's the starting point to your design concept? By modern and fresh, do you mean a scenery drape effect or by way of design for say a box set at a location? What about a bunch of rolls of tin foil taped to a batten than slit on 1" centers? You than have a sort of glimmer drape. Different than a black drape especially if there is any wind movement. Simple/cheap/done, just a question of even with the most remote of concept for design first having one, than figuring out how to make it reality. If a silvery glimmer drape is not quite what you had in mind, it's something in concept to cross off the design list for ideas in refining what your design intent is. Still it's all based upon what you had in mind for your set. Many rock bands have LED and even video walls as a backdrop, if this is in mind for modern etc. there might be a way to do this. First this has to be a specific and more refined intent.

    Just a concept or thought to consider in as opposed to designing around what you find or get sent your way, doing something you design, than firuring out how to make it reality under the challenge of no budget. No budget is not a design limitation as long as you figure out another way of doing it and have time to get it done. Quick, good and cheap are three production realities. Cross off one and the other two are required. Cross off two and you have less than you wish to some extent. Thus also if quick and cheap is desired, you loose what looks good often if not quick at very least has little fore thought.

    You can as a concept change a pillow into a sword with a bit of stuffing, sewing and cutting, plus a few hardening agents or added stiffeners. On the other hand if you have a few pillows laying about, and your show were really better off with swords instead of pillows, short of design intent for needing swords, there would be no reason to consider making them into what they are not. Instead, having a few pillows about, it's a pillow fight that might work but if intended to be a serious fight, such pillows lying about would not help the show. First design, than figure out how.

    While it's possible to do a show by way of anything about, normally those types of shows that are without specific needs in doing take much more design effort to make work out well than those with a specific need and design intended.

    What I used to say to designers was - just design the thing, let me figure out how to make it work. What I might recommend to you is less worry about what physically might be brought to task in making the design, and more design than figure out how to physically make your concept into great art at this stage. Once you have the concept of what you would like to see on stage figured out, the rest in making it appear on stage - no matter what the budget is often easy enough to find a solution to. You in part have a start to a design concept. Go with it and expand upon it. Worry about the details after you can state what effect you desire.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2006
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Well said Ship. It's amazing what you can do with no money if you have a vision and go for it. I spent 4 years in a high school theater with very little money. Not only did I pull off some great shows with cool tech tricks, but I found $200k in grants to get new drapes, a minor theater remodel, new light board, new sound gear, and a collection of Source4's. I even got grants from the local art's commission to bring in professional theater people to do productions with my kids. There are lot's of people in the community who will give you stuff, give you money, or at least spend a half hour on the phone with you helping you figure out how to do what you want. The key is knowing what you want to do and then asking for help to make it happen.

    Like I said in the previous message I'm sure there are lots of great people in your local theater community who may be willing to loan you all kinds of stuff or at least give you ideas on how to pull of things you didn't think possible. I suggest you try community theaters and colleges first. But event the larger “professional” theaters have people who will do great stuff for you. You have to network. Heck, a buddy of mine and I just volunteered 4 hours over at a local school showing them how to set up a decent light wash and program their light board. Why? Because she asked.
     
  7. rjn0

    rjn0 Member

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    I'm a new member and I Found this old post browsing CB.

    I've collected a "wish list" for grants similar to the list you have mentioned in the post above. Do you have any suggestions for a successful proposal?
     

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