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Thoroughly Modern Millie Elevator

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by bbentler, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. bbentler

    bbentler Member

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    I am currently directing a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. We need to figure out how to the get an elevator to lift up and down while two young ladies tap dance on it (we cannot do a lighting technique). Any ideas of how to rig this to go up and down? We have a welder. I am also open to a different sorts of contraption perhaps something that could lift it from the ground that wouldn't be loud. I've checked out Flying by Foy and it would cost around $3500. That's just not an option. Help from anyone! :D
     
  2. spiwak2005

    spiwak2005 Member

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    Foy or another licensed flying company are your best bets for safety. You may not get any rigging help on here due to liability.

    We just did it with projection. As they tapped, a projected animation over their heads showed an arrow going up through the floor numbers. Add to this a dinging sound effect. We used the same "projection screen" (just a piece of painted plywood) that we used for the chinese translations.
     
  3. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    What about using an actual personel lift (with appropriate safety precautions of course)? You maint. dept probably has one and could help you out.
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    But do you know how to weld well enough to build something that supports weight? Steel is great, as long as you build with it properly, if you don't bad things can occur, really bad things.

    Added to that, it take a lot to get something to move up and down safetly. I would highly suggest going the projection route unless you really do know what you are doing. I also know of a few theatres that have the units to rent, that might be a viable option for you.

    There is a reason Foy, ZFX, and Hall cost as much as they do, what they do is dangerous and should not be undertaken unless you are highly trained and have the right gear.
     
  5. slingsandarrows

    slingsandarrows Member

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    Find the thread on here that is set for sale from a production of tmm, its from the user jowens. He has a elevator used for that scene. Actually it is a wheel-chair lift to be specific. It has a nice facing that makes it look like an elevator. It will support your two girls and achieves a decent height. Definitely look into it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Nice idea slingsandarrows Wasn't sure how I felt about people selling sets on here, but you just won me over with that post.
    bbentler, I can only second what Footer said;
    " There is a reason Foy, ZFX, and Hall cost as much as they do, what they do is dangerous and should not be undertaken unless you are highly trained and have the right gear."
    I always hate to be the guy who says "No" to the Director, but sometimes it's necessary. If you were to do this in-house you'd have to have a certified welder and a licensed rigger to get it done safely and right, and it'd probably wind up costing you the $3,500. that was quoted.
    The possibility of using a personnel lift is intriguing, and doable, but youhave to do it without altering the inheirent design components of the lift.
    In the end you have to ask yourself how high is this thing lifting and are you willing to put your mother on it and have her do a free fall off of it from that height. If you wont put your mother, or yourself, or you partner, child, on a device then you simply can't expect the actors to do it.
     
  7. litetrix

    litetrix Member

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    What about an electric pallet jack
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    That gets you a whole 3 inches.
     
  9. chausman

    chausman Chase Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Just FYI, the original post is from several years ago, and the poster hasn't been active in quite some time.

    MOD NOTE: Let's keep this civilised
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2012

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