Personally, I find Derek's really a big ***** cat who stands up and takes his floggings whenever he's deserving. (Like when he didn't know the center contact isn't ground on a 60 amp 2 P&G stage pin connector.)
Something that continues to amaze me is no one ever asks any questions regarding how the 20 ton / 40,000 pound, 2 story, raked floored, mansion was flown any time I mention it in print. Our shop was arriving with an 11,000 pound automated fly piece. On most productions, when you show up with an 11,000 pound fly piece you've got the heaviest flown piece in the show but not so with any of the sit-down productions of Sunset. Sunset had two flown pieces heavier being the pool surround at 14,000 pounds and the mansion at 40,000. A 40,000 pound fly piece with 40,000 pounds of counter-weight is, at least in my mind, an amazingly heavy piece of flown scenery to be loading into any theater. I found Feller Precision's structural engineering work to be an education in itself. The producers had allowed three days for us to get our 11,000 pound automated piece in, flown and tested. We were in, up and into testing at the end of our first day, not bad considering the stage is three stories above street level. We were fully complete before lunch on our second day thus buying them a day and a half of Broadway time which you can't put a price to. The rest of our team spent their day and a half enjoying the town and eating raw fish / sushi. Me? I asked if I could spend my free time exploring the grid and the two levels added above the theater's original grid. Someone from the production management team hung a special pass around my neck and told me to wander anywhere I wanted and ask questions of anyone. At that point I headed for the tertiary grid and spent a day and a half working my way down. There was so much to be learned, most of which isn't being taught at Yale. From memory, I remember the flown 20 ton mansion was supported by six cables and I want to say they were each 1-1/8th or 1-1/4". The mansion was the only load on the tertiary grid and the 6 sheaves were somewhere between huge and amazing. Our 11,000 pound piece and the 14,000 pound pool surround were the only two pieces on the intermediate, secondary, grid with the remainder of the production on the theater's original grid. I can't recall for certain but I believe the theater was the Minskoff.
Lol, believe me Ron, I have so many questions about that I don't even know where to start. I actually read your original comment to my student volunteer who just stared at me slack jawed at trying to fathom a 40,000 pound flying set piece.Something that continues to amaze me is no one ever asks any questions regarding how the 20 ton / 40,000 pound, 2 story, raked floored, mansion was flown any time I mention it in print.
The mansion not only flew, with cast members on it, but tracked up and down stage as well while elevated above the deck. I poured over the methodology and think of it this way. They flew the world's largest drawer slides and the mansion was the drawer. Within the raked floor were something like 3 light pipes. The black border U.S. of the mansion was roughly 40' high. Most people would consider that a mid stage black drop. To them, it was just their deepest border. The scale was difficult to fathom. The sheaves were appreciably taller than my knees but then I'm not very tall. I spent every moment of my spare day and a half absorbing the techniques and technology as you can't get that sort of technical theater education in any of the schools. (No matter what Full Sail thinks of themselves.) There was so much to be learned and I seized the moments to absorb it. Our shop built Sunset's "On the road" fly piece twice; once for Broadway after the disasters they had with the 'low bidder' build in L.A. and then again for Toronto which eventually was struck and trucked to Vancouver.Lol, believe me Ron, I have so many questions about that I don't even know where to start. I actually read your original comment to my student volunteer who just stared at me slack jawed at trying to fathom a 40,000 pound flying set piece.
You are certainly on the list of people I want to meet on my next trip to visit the in-laws in Guelph.