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Train effects for 'On the 20th Century Limited'

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Sitbon, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Sitbon

    Sitbon Member

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    Melbourne Australia
    Hi All. I'm designing the set for a production on the 1930s play 'On the Twentieth Century Limited'. Looking for ideas to suggest a passing landscape through two upstage train windows. The director doesn't want to use technology like projection or tv screens as too modern.

    Things to know.
    - use of Venetian blinds in front of window for day scenes
    - there is 1 meter clearance between the cyc and window
    - how to light to suggest the train stops at select stations
    - has to be self reliant system not operated by a stagehand

    I'm also looking for ideas for fake chrome around the edges of doors and strips but will post in set area.


  2. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Stouffville, Ontario
    A gobo rotator will get you the motion effect in the windows. just use the upper most part of the beam and it will look like things passing in a linear (as opposed to circular) fashion. Don't put the fixture directly behind the window--get it up so your light has a chance to spread out, you avoid a hot-spot in your window, and the effect will probably be enhanced by the blinds. You can control the rotator from the board to slow it ti a stop when they are pulling into a station. And remember that light movement will draw the eye of the audience, so once you've established that the train is moving, fade it to a level that doesn't distract. As for the chrome, I use silver metallic duct tape (the kind used for HVAC systems). Cheap, cheerful and easy to work with.
    Van likes this.
  3. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Sarasota, FL
    Take a look at some of the effects 59 Productions used for Forbidden Zone. Video emphasizes their projections but you can see some of their lighting effects @ ~2:30. Subway isn't quite the same kind of lighting you'll see for the train in On The Twentieth, but you might find something worthwhile in there.
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Lititz, PA
    You could make a continuous belt of muslin that you stretch across two drums. Paint the scenery in a continuous loop on the muslin, get a motor to drive one of the drums and you will have a nice rotating loop of scenery passing the window. If you put the whole rig on a small wagon or traveller you can just slide it out of the way when you want to see through to the cyc.
  5. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Warwick, Rhode Island
    direction wouldn't work right for this but I did a shadow puppet show with travel like this, though it was square to the audience on a screen and we had a sonotube rig with scaled scenery attached and a crank so it rotated like a spit with a light behind it project the shadows onto the screen. wouldn't work here in the same set up but a variation of what Alex mentioned above.

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