Wrapping ribbon around xmas tree

DGotlieb

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Jan 6, 2013
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Bay Area
So I am starting to puzzle out a solution for our Christmas remount of Nutcracker... the play... because that is a thing.

Anyway, the set is pretty simple it is a revolving staircase with a tree in the middle. As it revolves the tree gets bigger. (this is the easy bit I know how to deal with)
https://imgur.com/veP0c0x


the challenge is once the tree has revolved the director wants a 3' tall child to wrap a red ribbon around the 12' tree and look like
https://imgur.com/8EGofjh


what actually happens is the ribbon drops in a straight line down the tree and then wraps in a flat circle around the bottom illustrated here
https://imgur.com/ezid44f


I think I tried about 10 different things last time with vary little success. I figured I should start thinking of possible new ideas before we start getting into meetings so that maybe I have some solutions or alternative ideas.

I do have a fly line about 11" either US or DS of the tree if this help you in thinking of a solution.
 
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Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
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Phoenix, Az
Have the child stand farther away from the tree.

If that’s not acceptable then have the child look like they are wrapping it with “magic” while someone downstage is actually holding it out of sight and when it gets low enough for the child to grab it have them finish it off.
 
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DGotlieb

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hm...

Ok so some clarification. The tree only spins 180 deg and then back (the inside look and the outside look, photo was taken in mid rotation). Also the tree is static while the ribbon is wrapped. The child has to move around the tree while on the stairs and can't stand on the floor up stage of the tree because of a chain motor driving the revolve.
 

Amiers

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Well that makes things a lot more difficult.

You could hang the ribbon off the batton above the tree to get some height on it and after a few wraps a stage hand could pull it from the batton. Using whatever method you feel comfortable attaching the ribbon to it.
 
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RonHebbard

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hm...

Ok so some clarification. The tree only spins 180 deg and then back (the inside look and the outside look, photo was taken in mid rotation). Also the tree is static while the ribbon is wrapped. The child has to move around the tree while on the stairs and can't stand on the floor up stage of the tree because of a chain motor driving the revolve.
@DGotlieb and @Amiers If it helped, why couldn't a covering be built over the drive chain ( and motor ) to support a performer walking on it?
[ I'm hearkening back to the 40' diameter turntables in the full bore productions of 'lez Miz' where the entire turntable was raked, along with the entire show deck on all sides of it; the forty HP DC servo drive was USR within the raked deck, the table was motivated by an endless loop aircraft cable surrounding its periphery and a double width roller bearing chain coupled the periphery of the turntable to the opto-coupler which kept track of its rotational position. The cast walked and danced over the 40 HP drive and it's associated drive cable and position sensing chain with zero problems. ]
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

sk8rsdad

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Ottawa
Short people and tall trees seems like a bridge too far. I keep thinking of a clear tube that fills up with powder, liquid, or smoke, or possibly a string of pixel lights, or possibly a series of guides and the ribbon on a roll such that pulling a cord causes the ribbon to snake it's way down the tree. Maybe with a mylar ribbon the friction could be kept manageable.
 

DGotlieb

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Short people and tall trees seems like a bridge too far. I keep thinking of a clear tube that fills up with powder, liquid, or smoke, or possibly a string of pixel lights, or possibly a series of guides and the ribbon on a roll such that pulling a cord causes the ribbon to snake it's way down the tree. Maybe with a mylar ribbon the friction could be kept manageable.
interesting idea, maybe I can think about this more. Some sort of path the ribbon has to follow already in the tree then the kid can just waive her magic wand and the ribbon can be pulled up along it's path into place.

The challenge of course is to have something big enough that the ribbon is noticeable once activated.... but subtle enough you don't notice it's there until the trick....
 

egilson1

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Boston, MA
Along the idea of a lite path, how about led tape inside a frosted tube. You would see the tube before hand, but the contrast between before and after might work. Maybe going from off to bright red that starts at the top and works it’s way down the tree.

Just throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.
 
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DrewE

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Vermont
If the 3' tall human is coordinated enough, maybe they could guide the ribbon with a pole that has a hook or something on the end. I kind of shudder at the thought of most 3' tall kids running around carrying a 7' pole, though, even a lightweight one.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
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Short people and tall trees seems like a bridge too far. I keep thinking of a clear tube that fills up with powder, liquid, or smoke, or possibly a string of pixel lights, or possibly a series of guides and the ribbon on a roll such that pulling a cord causes the ribbon to snake it's way down the tree. Maybe with a mylar ribbon the friction could be kept manageable.

If smoke and magic are involved you could shoot it from bottom to top and if it’s fast enough nobody will even notice.
Ribbon on a track out of a present maybe.

Wave of the wand blast of smoke with a SFX and woosh the ribbon is there.
 
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DGotlieb

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Bay Area
Along the idea of a lite path, how about led tape inside a frosted tube. You would see the tube before hand, but the contrast between before and after might work. Maybe going from off to bright red that starts at the top and works it’s way down the tree.

Just throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.
this is actually a pretty compelling idea I hadn't thought of. I think I could hide most of the thing inside the tree to not be seen until lit up.
anyone have a suggestion on something easy to work with for the frosted "screen"

If the 3' tall human is coordinated enough, maybe they could guide the ribbon with a pole that has a hook or something on the end. I kind of shudder at the thought of most 3' tall kids running around carrying a 7' pole, though, even a lightweight one.
we have tried putting the spool of ribbon on a stick and even I had trouble doing it

If smoke and magic are involved you could shoot it from bottom to top and if it’s fast enough nobody will even notice.
Ribbon on a track out of a present maybe.

Wave of the wand blast of smoke with a SFX and woosh the ribbon is there.
I don't suppose you'd be able to fly in a cone-shaped rigid spiral of ribbon to nestle down onto the tree?
I definitely though about the idea of if a ribbon pulled thru the tube, tie the mechanism to the fly system and pull it up from off stage. there is plenty of room to hide the mechanism inside the stairs.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
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What ever you do do, post it. We love seeing the finished product as well as help other people in the future to do tricky effects.