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Author Topic: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?  (Read 14044 times)

Matt Collins

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Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« on: July 26, 2012, 10:13:45 am »

Doing a stage in an arena, seeking ideas / examples of visually exciting backdrops that are fairly simple to implement and inexpensive.

Thoughts?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 11:33:29 am »

Doing a stage in an arena, seeking ideas / examples of visually exciting backdrops that are fairly simple to implement and inexpensive.

Thoughts?
If you don't need rear lighting capability, muslin backdrops are relatively inexpensive, and can be lit well with usual lighting.  Rosebrand and others make these with or without fire ratings.  Here's a show that I LD'd with a 36' X 18' muslin backdrop.  Light is 16 Chauvet SlimPar Pro RGBAs, some Lekos, and 2 Varilite VL770 movers.

The top of the backdrop was angled due to the roof line of the room we were in.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 11:36:26 am by TJ (Tom) Cornish »
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Joshua R Berneking

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 12:56:35 pm »

This is black shade cloth just like you would purchase at any garden store, just crumple it up creat some bunch points with zip ties etc and light with colored lights.

Or these are just strips of bright aluminum screening crumpled up and hung with some lights on them.

Doing a stage in an arena, seeking ideas / examples of visually exciting backdrops that are fairly simple to implement and inexpensive.

Thoughts?
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James Feenstra

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 12:58:25 pm »

non-black backdrops suck if you want any kind of light show

the darker the backdrop the better!

what kind of show are you doing? that will influence decisions heavily
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 01:17:38 pm »

non-black backdrops suck if you want any kind of light show

the darker the backdrop the better!
That depends on how much light you have to hit with and what you're trying to achieve.
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James Feenstra

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 01:24:53 pm »

That depends on how much light you have to hit with and what you're trying to achieve.
hence 'light show' not 'lighting the stage'

the more lighting you have (or want to see), the darker the backdrop should be
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 01:41:42 pm »

hence 'light show' not 'lighting the stage'

the more lighting you have (or want to see), the darker the backdrop should be
If by "light show" you mean beam effects, then I agree.  I'm not sure that's the only definition of light show.
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Matt Collins

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 03:27:07 pm »

It's a conference with talking heads and will be in a 360 arena with stage at one end; not ideal conditions by a long shot.
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James Feenstra

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 11:29:01 pm »

If by "light show" you mean beam effects, then I agree.  I'm not sure that's the only definition of light show.
I don't see how one would define light show any other way, as that's typically what people think of first

i suppose you could have a theatrical light show

keep in mind i do mostly rock and roll

as the op's show is a corporate show, black will still be appropriate, plus the video guys will like that a lot more than any other color
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 11:34:57 pm »

as the op's show is a corporate show, black will still be appropriate, plus the video guys will like that a lot more than any other color

Black is a terrible BG for video. You would be much better off with a medium gray that can be lit for different looks. This is a great use for movers since they make it easy to change color and patterns. LED wash units that can change color are good too.

Black is a leftover from old theatrical drapes, and on a corporate just makes it look like you don't care, or can't afford to make it look better.

Mac
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 07:25:03 am »

Black is a terrible BG for video. You would be much better off with a medium gray that can be lit for different looks. This is a great use for movers since they make it easy to change color and patterns. LED wash units that can change color are good too.

Black is a leftover from old theatrical drapes, and on a corporate just makes it look like you don't care, or can't afford to make it look better.

Mac

   +1

   And....the Contrast between a talking head and a black background can kill I-mag,

    Hammer
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DanGlass

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 11:03:31 am »

Nicely put Mac!  +1
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James Feenstra

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2012, 12:59:36 am »

Black is a terrible BG for video. You would be much better off with a medium gray that can be lit for different looks. This is a great use for movers since they make it easy to change color and patterns. LED wash units that can change color are good too.

Black is a leftover from old theatrical drapes, and on a corporate just makes it look like you don't care, or can't afford to make it look better.

Mac
I disagree...a fair number of our corporate clients request a plain black backdrop over the other options we have available, but I suppose it depends on the client/show.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2012, 10:50:15 am »

I disagree...a fair number of our corporate clients request a plain black backdrop over the other options we have available, but I suppose it depends on the client/show.

My guess is if they're requesting black it's because they haven't seen how much better other colors look, and work as a video background. They are still locked into the belief that black "disappears". It doesn't. I just looks like a big ugly monolith. It's only advantage it that it's easy to find.

Mac
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2012, 12:33:38 pm »


It's only advantage it that it's easy to find.

Mac

Well black is better than the "bordello" red that seemed to be the only choice at some conference centers.
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Jay Barracato

Mac Kerr

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Re: Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2012, 01:09:01 pm »

Well black is better than the "bordello" red that seemed to be the only choice at some conference centers.

Not for video it isn't. In corporate shows the IMAG image is very important, and it's pretty hard to get worse than black as a background for video. Bordello Red may be in bad taste, but it will give you a better IMAG shot than black.

Most drape companies, like Drew Whitiker's Drape Kings or SGA can rent you a variety of colors of velour drape. They clean it and maintain it, and provide variety. Why own it?

Mac
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2012, 01:53:53 pm »

Not for video it isn't. In corporate shows the IMAG image is very important, and it's pretty hard to get worse than black as a background for video. Bordello Red may be in bad taste, but it will give you a better IMAG shot than black.

Most drape companies, like Drew Whitiker's Drape Kings or SGA can rent you a variety of colors of velour drape. They clean it and maintain it, and provide variety. Why own it?

Mac

   +1

   And the day you use a black background for use with an I-mag event.... at least one of talent is going to wear white...and it'll really be a crappy image...   you'll see a cool "floating head" effect.

   ;D

   Hammer
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2012, 04:52:25 pm »

Well I was commenting based on taste.

Now I know: medium gray.
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Jay Barracato

Mac Kerr

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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2012, 05:07:53 pm »

Well I was commenting based on taste.

Now I know: medium gray.

On the other hand, as with all things, it depends...  I think black is always a bad choice on a corporate event, it looks cheesy, and it makes it much harder to change the scenic looks with lighting. It also is very bad for IMAG. In the music business, where you are not worried about a good background for cameras, it will make any lighting beams show up better because of higher contrast. Even in corporate events black can work if you have some set pieces in front of it to make a background that is set off from the black. It can also work well as a blackout curtain with scrim or tuile, or something like that in front of it to take the light.

Nothing is writ in stone.

Mac
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Re: Ideas for an inexpensive backdrop?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2012, 04:48:19 pm »


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