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Shortening a backdrop as it is flown out

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Smatticus, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Smatticus

    Smatticus Active Member

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    I have a quick question to throw out there. I'm doing lighting and set design work for a production of My Fair Lady and we are constructing a two story study. The height of the study is forcing us to raise teaser heights and now we aren't going to have enough space to completely fly out a couple backdrops we will be using. We are planning to rig the backdrops so that they shorten themselves as they are flown out. We did do this once in the past, I wasn't involved in it then but it seemed to work alright. I'm just wondering if there is a particular term or expression that refers to rigging a backdrop in this way. Any suggestions on the best way to do it?
    The way I'm planning is to connect 4-5 lines to the bottom of the drop on the back which run up to pulleys on the batten and then to the ends of the batten. At the ends of the batten the lines go through another pulley that send them to the stage floor where they are anchored. This is rigged when the drop is flown in so that when it is flown out the bottom of the drop is pulled up toward the batten. I believe this is roughly what was done in the past. Any tips or suggestions?
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If your linesets are spaced very close together (8 inches or less), and you have a free linset immediately upstage of the drop, you could hook the lines to that lineset, and then you just run both linesets out, so that when they're both at high trim, the upstage one is pulling the drape up enough to be hidden.
     
  3. Smatticus

    Smatticus Active Member

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    I may be able to do something like that for one of the two drops; I have two drops on consecutive battens with the next batten upstage of them free. So that would work for one of the two, but the other would have to be rigged in the other fashion, unless I can figure out some way to move things around.
     
  4. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    I think the term you are looking for is tripping drops. Most stagecraft books will have a pretty good picture and explanation of how to do about it. I am away from my books right now but Friday I could look something up for you.
     
  5. Smatticus

    Smatticus Active Member

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    I need to just get a good stagecraft book, but if you could confirm that term that would be great.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yep, its called tripping. Usually drop are built to be tripped, some even have center pipe pocket for this. Just be sure when you do trip it that you put at least a point ever 8' or so on the bottom pipe. If you have the linesets available, its pretty easy to do.
     
  7. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    If you haven't already, I think you should take measurements of the height of the backdrop, the maximum height that you can fly the pipes, the height of the two-story study, and the bottom of the lowest teaser. Then sketch those to confirm that you will be able to get eveything out of sight.

    Based on your first description, the backdrop will "fold" and thus be half as long. Will that length, hanging for the maximum height of the pipies, be out sight?

    Joe
     

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