star curtains

Dani

Member
Hey everyone,
Can anyone give me advice on star curtains (i know they are called something else but im blanking at the moment)

We are doing You're a Good man Charlie Brown and the Director thinks she wants one and I wanted to know of any information or websites you can send me too.

Our problem is we are very limited on fly space and space in general, and are there any that go horizontally rather than being flown in?

Thanks!
-Dani
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Hey there, I agree with Taylor. They are expensive and finding one to rent can be very difficult. Manufacturing one is realtively easy just a little labor intensive. Google "fiber optics" star curtain. There are several companies that sell all the pieces I believe N.S.L. is one of them < it's not NSI the light board manufacturer it's National Specialty Lighting> Perhaps a few well placed star gobos would be another option. A star drop is another great thing to have in stock < just like fake foliage> but when manufactured it really needs to be for more than production to make fiscal sense in most smaller pro theatres and educational settings. So if you were to make one I'd suggest making an entire one rather than just doing the top half of a scrim or muslin drop that's going to be seen over the top of a wall or what ever.
Hope that helps.
 

Foxinabox10

Active Member
Where in Pennsylvania are you located?
 

len

Well-Known Member
Try searching "fiber optic curtain rental pennsylvania" and you'll find some. I've heard of SLD lighting but never done business with them. They come in a variety of sizes, and with a variety of different circuits. The higher the number of circuits, the more color projectors you'll need, but the more points of light you'll get per square foot. Typically, you use a dmx controlled color mixing fixture to connect to the curtain, such as the HES Color Pro FX or Martin Fibersource. Any company that rents curtains will also have projectors.
 

drawstuf99

Active Member
This is the cheaper way of doing it, but if it works, it works.

We got one of our empty linesets directly behind a dead hung scrim and just put as many of those "netting xmas lights" behind it and just plugged it in. Someone made a series of plugs that just went down the whole batten and we plugged them in. Then we got some of those little lightbulb covers and covered a lot of the bulbs up so it got the random "star" effect. Gaff tape works too bc those bulbs dont get hot at all.

Just put the lights on at like, 40% and you've got a good star curtain. Depending on the kind of lights you get, you can get some that burn a bit cooler so when you lower the intensity they look more white than just a normal strand, but even then it looks fine.
 

jonhirsh

Active Member
An even cheaper way of doing it.

Take a black drape you own. infront of that on a seperate lineset hang pieces of black thread. Every few cm or so place a piece of tin foil so you will have strands with randomly placed tinfoil.

Hit it with light from the side. And slowly fly this up and down to create a twinkle.

JH
 

drawstuf99

Active Member
Ah! I hadn't thought of that one. I saw a show that did the same sortof thing, though I think it was with something more sturdy than tin foil--maybe a reflective plastic or something. It was the most beautiful thing in the whole show...and trust me, this show was phenomenal design wise.
 
Dani,

Despite what others have said, star drops/fiber optic drops are not expensive to rent and your limited fly space does not have to be a problem. I see you are near Philly, lucky for you, Mainlight is not far from you. In my opinion, Mainlight makes (and rents) the best fiber optic and led drops in the world. Check them out at www.mainlight.com

Private message me or email me off list and I can tell you exactly who to talk to, or give you some advice about rigging the drop in limited space!

BRANDON
 
Our theater group wanted one so bad during Les Miz and Titanic...if only if only...our getto rigged version..chicken wire and a 'ell of a lot of christmas lights set to twinkle mode...not even joking....*sigh*
 

barrigan

Member
You know, the tin-foil thing ends up looking really elegant and beautiful. Especially if you use something like small washers or nuts as the center and cover them with tin foil. The weight of the hardware makes the thread twist and the "Stars" twinkle. The sidelight is crucial. I always do it with two floor mounted fixtures.

This is super low-tech, but I find it looks better than Christmas lights, and the only thing that looks better than the hardware-and-tin-foil stars is a fiber optic curtain.
 

danl

Member
we made our own for a production of CATS... we used net-strung christmas lights end-to-end and hung that in front of our black cyc. if you're lucky enough to find the strands where the set stays lit even with missing bulbs, you can randomly remove the bulbs until you are pleased with the number left lit. we were not so lucky, so we covered about 80% of the bulbs with black foil and electrical tape... then over that we hung a black scrim with no bottom weight. even the slightest breeze or movement of the scrim would make the lights twinkle in such a beautifully natural way...

you can see videos of it in action on my site:

http://www.revolutionfreedom.com (in the "theater" section)...
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Thanks for the update, danl. It's rare that we get a question, and then the resolution, thus "book-ending the thread. That warms my cockles. And your star drop looks great!
 

punktech

Active Member
we used a star curtain here for our production of The Tempest. and we used black strings with brand new nuts tied on to them randomly. we hit them with two floor mounts and 2 mounted up on the pin rail. it looked BEAUTIFUL, when i first saw it i thought we'd bought or rented a an LED drop. don't discount the low tech way of doing things ever, just because it's cheap doesn't meant that it isn't elegant.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Something you've not experienced yet, Charc, sidelight. Shins and mids. Offstage at the sides of the nuts on the floor and about +15' (if available). ERSs only, and shutter a slot of light that hits nothing but the nuts, not the black scrim DS or the Black Velour US. Also the best way to light snow or rain. So 4x ERSs rather than a $1000 FiberOptic rental. Great idea! Gafftaper will steal that one, for sure.
 

punktech

Active Member
side light is my by far one of my favorite positions, so much definition, so little effort!
 

SVF0391

Member
Hey everyone,
Can anyone give me advice on star curtains (i know they are called something else but im blanking at the moment)
Our problem is we are very limited on fly space and space in general, and are there any that go horizontally rather than being flown in?

Thanks!
-Dani

I totally hear you does any know of a website to rent these from that can get folded back and forth on a track cuz many fiber optic start drops are ony allowed to be dead hung and not brought in and out via a track.
 

len

Well-Known Member
I totally hear you does any know of a website to rent these from that can get folded back and forth on a track cuz many fiber optic start drops are ony allowed to be dead hung and not brought in and out via a track.

All the ones I've seen get folded into trunks/hampers for every production, so I don't see the issue with hanging them on a traveller, folding them during the show. The places I worked at which had them were most concerned about 2 things: getting the face of the fabric dirty and making sure the tie line was intact. However, the issue is with the umbilical cords (we always called them hoses) which connect the curtain to the projector. Usually, the hoses are at one corner of the piece, so that part would have to be a fixed point and the projectors would have to be either attached to the same batten or on some other place where the relationship between projectors and curtain wouldn't change. But always best to follow the mfg./and or rental house's instructions for care and use, to avoid liability problems down the road.
 
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