(Close Window)
Topic: Need help with show design
Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Apr 11, 2007 07:46AM)
I'm wanting to expand my show some more, actually starting next year sometime I have to be doing fundraising shows (John Kaplan's Program.)

I want to make this show be able to play in any venue without problems, for those who have John's program, I was considering setting up my stage somewhat like his, with the 30ft backdrop upstage, then a shorter 15ft backdrop (which I currently have) and then two on either sides for the wings.

I'm questioning my artistic ability here, I want it to look good, and I want more then just pipe and drape everywhere. It would be nice if I had an actual set or two for the stage. I have been considering many possibilities so far but have not come to a clear conclusion, and I'm in need of help!

I also want to use a video projection system, so I was thinking if that were to be motorized to 'drop' down form the truss.
I also have some lighting that I want to incorporate into the set some how. (par cans and a couple Martin scanners)

I'm trying to keep this as low-budget as I can, but I would be willing to put in $2000-$3000 to get the look I want.

Here is a shot of my current set-up: http://bp0.blogger.com/_G-kcFD1KgFw/Rf3OjS1A7MI/AAAAAAAAACA/rTOuG1zA6dM/s1600-h/P1030152-southampton.jpg

Any thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated.

Sam Pearce
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Apr 11, 2007 08:23AM)
Very Nice Sam,

After studying all of John Kaplan's material for years, and spent over $25,000, I can say it is not a cheap venture. I personally love the Stage Fright Program, because it is a character I can easily play.

John has used a very basic portable set. There is more on set design in the section on [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=173&38]Notes from a Designer's Logbook - by George Ledo[/url] Lots of excellent reading material.

Check out John Bundy's [url=http://www.wackydracky.com/]Wacky Dracky[/url] Website. John has made his own backdrops that are displayed in the movie samples he has for viewing. Study these and the performance style set design and lighting. This is what you are striving to accomplish.

As for projection systems, that is a topic in-itself, if you plan to use it in conjunction to a routine.

As for Stage Flats the biggest problem with them is carting them around, it means a trailer, there is $5,000 easily spent.

Also [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQQnGvrPS4A]Check out the Day in the Life with the Spencers[/url] to see the effort he puts into a full blown show.

Take a step at a time. Focus on one item at a time. Also a nice sound system is important for this kind of show.

Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Apr 16, 2007 10:53PM)
I agree with Dennis I have been searching for the Utimate backdrop for the last twenty years. You have a great Idea going. Designers Note boook is a bible you should have as it gives you a great resource you can go to when you have an Idea.
Most of all Buy one step at a time (There weve said it twice) Let the show make a little money then buy something elsae. you don't need it all at once.
Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Apr 18, 2007 10:01AM)
Hey, thanks for the responses.

As for the projector, I plan on having a video camera and a large projector screen, so I can do some close-up material for the audience. I will most likely get a motorized one that will hang from the back truss, that way, its not a bother when I don't need it.

I put together a very nice stage set in a computer lighting program, I will post some pics later today. The issue is that I figured the expenses, and it will be about $10,000 just for the trussing, and I figure another $10,000 for new lights and other expenses... I guess I better start saving! haha

As for the transportation issue, I'm buying a trailer in the next couple months, it will be a 6'x12' most likely, so there will be quite abit of room for gear in it.

I know I don't need everything at once, so I have been slowly buying stuff lately. To break it down quick, for stage set stuff, I have: 15' truss with curtain, two trees with 4 par56's each, another tree for smaller shows with just two PAR's (amber), a hazer, two martin scanners, dmx board, tons of cables and power, then on top of that I have a full sound system with a countryman type mic. (audio technica.)
But for me, I really like lighting, so its pretty much where all the extra cash goes. Go ahead, call me obsessed! :lol:

Sam Pearce
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Apr 18, 2007 02:52PM)

Lighting is as important as music, however, the skill to use it right is the issue. With my Pars, I got a computerised control board, with a video tape on how to use it. After watching that once I was lost. Especially on getting the sound, the lighing and the routine all working together. The timing is the big issue. I can pause the sound but not the lighting.

Still lighting is no problems with the cools, hots, and white lights, all setting the mood. It it all those new fancy lights that do all sorts of cool effects that I never studied in college. Why and how to use them I am at a complete loss!

With Fight Night, the cools and spot lights is all I use. And of course Fog machines.

Message: Posted by: g0thike (Apr 18, 2007 05:10PM)

Talk to Kevin from LivingIllusions about some computer software called Elation Compuware:


It will allow sound, lighting to work together as well as fancy lights.

Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Apr 19, 2007 07:56PM)
I'm already looking at buying CompuPro in the near future!

Well, here's the pics of my planned setup, let me know what you think!


Sam Pearce