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Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Does anyone use backdrops? If so, how long does it take to put up? And how is it made?
wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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I have one and I use it for bigger shows (not birthdays.) The frame is made of PVC pipe and the curtains are black velvet. I would say it takes 3-5 minutes to put up. The biggest problem is: the pipes are several feet long and only fit in my car by running from the back window ledge up between the front seats and resting on the arm rest. It's uncomfortable for long rides. A minivan or truck would solve it, but it’s not worth it for all the more I use it.
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Cody S. Fisher
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Austin, Texas
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I use the Spider Flex system. It is up in a matter of minutes, looks VERY professional, and it fits into a custom case about the same size as a golf bag. I really like the fact that it has an opening in the middle for the performer to enter. It is 12 ft. wide and just under 8 ft. tall so it easily fits almost any venue. It is not cheap, but I honestly feel it is worth every penny. You can check it out at http://www.laflinmagic.com/.

I hope this helps,
Cody S. Fisher
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WayneNZ
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New Zealand
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I too have the Spider-flex.
Best investment I’ve made in my show.
Yes it cost a fortune to get it to
New Zealand etc. And yes our exchange
rate killed me. But I’m very happy that I have
it now. Smile
kenscott
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Yep, me too. I use both the small and large spider backdrops.

They are great and worth every penny. Honestly if you have not seen how this thing sets up it really is magic in itself.

I like setting this backdrop up in front of people because it really is cool to see and they know that you must be professional.

Spider backdrop a must have.

Ken
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
Barry Mitchell has a design that is much like the spider flex and can be built very cheaply. (I do not know if required items are available in UK shops though.)
In his book the "Magic of Thinking Creatively", page 167.
It's a great book by the way. Particularly for those of you who like story telling magic or do theme shows.
I do neither but still found it a good book.
Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Thanks guys. I like the look of the spider backdrop, and think I will invest in one soon.
kenscott
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Billy
You will not regret it. I have the blue backdrop and burgundy one.

Ken
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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There is also an item called a Trimble Backdrop in the Success Books (I think Success Book #1?), by Frances Marshall. It can be built from Coreplast or Corregated Cardboard, and packing tape or duct tape. Mine is about 8x12', and I built it for less than $50 Canadian.

It is not by a long shot as good as a spider flex, but may do for those on a really tight budget.

The Trimble backdrop still takes up a full 4x4' (and a thin 1") in your vehicle. I drive a minivan, so this is not a concern. And it is not designed for use in places where there might be a breeze (will tend to blow over), so if you are doing a school show in a gym, where they decide to open doors to give a cool breeze for the kids, be warned.

The Gr8 DonaldD.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I have one but I only use it for larger indoor banquets where I have my illusions and they do not have a stage area for me. This allows me to make my own stage and store the illusions out of the way until performance time.

I do a lot of outdoor fair shows and I would never use a backdrop for any of those types of events. I also do not use one for kid’s shows as it takes up too much room and is never really needed.
Kyle Peron

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Ricahato
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denver
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Wow, I was amazed by that kind of backdrop (spider) but I can't afford it yet. Smile
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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The spider backdrops are very nice but also very pricey as well.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I use a backdrop for my kid shows. I use the one from Abbotts. I think it's called a jet set. It's about 6 by 6 feet. Just right for a living room. It allows me a "backstage" area sort of and allows me to make an entrance which is timed with my music and voice over introduction.
The curtain, I sewed myself from fabric I found on sale. It's a light purple with moons and stars.
The jet set folds down to about 3 feet by 6 inches and sets up in a couple minutes. Only one screw to turn.

Ken,
Do you use the spiderflex in your birthday shows at people's homes?

Kyle,
I'm coming back east for 3 weeks. Hope we can hook up again!

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
kenscott
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Yes the small one is great for birthday's Jim.

Kyle you are right about the price. But I think you have to spend it to make it.

Ken
Snidini
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I disagree with you Ken that you have to "spend it to make it". With a little ingenuity, one can certainly build/create backdrops without the huge expense that some are charging. Don't get me wrong, I too, like Kyle, know that the spiders are very nice but pricey. I am just saying that there are other alternatives out there if one is willing to investigate or create. Look at the backdrops that Dan Wolfe has created and I think you'll agree with me that that you don't have to spend it to make it. He says he is in the process of having someone license these out from him for production.
kenscott
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Good point snidini. I have numerous backdrops that I have bought over the years that look OK at best. The spider is one that does very well for me. I can fly with this with NO problems.

Not familiar with Dan Wolfe is there a site that this can be seen.

Several things went into me forking the money up for the spider. 1. Compact all in one bag one trip
2. Instant setup ( I can have both screens set up in 4 minutes.)
3. Walk through the middle of curtain for entrance.
4. The curtain cannot turn over. (It has support on the bottom legs.) Sure the wind would turn it over if I was outside.
5. I hang my puppets on the back of curtain frame along with my cloths etc.
6. Curtain will not be wrinkled up and look bad after being rolled up in bag.

So with all that it is, money well spent in my mind. And it makes, since to me if I am going to make the money I should spend some money and get the material/props, sound, etc. that will help and benefit my show and my business.

But do see your point snidini. Oh and that is another thing, I am bad at building things.

ken
Tate
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NC
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Snidini, I've tried looking at the Wolfe backdrop, but the only thing I was able to find was an "artist rendering" (or something like that). Can you provide a link?

Tate
mdspark
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I too would like to be able to view the Wolfe backdrop.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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I agree with you Ken regarding the quality and effort in putting it up. I made one many years ago, but it took quite a while to put up, and wasn't very strong, which is why I know want to get a better quality one that will go up quickly and easily.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Wal-Mart sells a queen size portable air-mattress bed, which is placed on a "spider-like" frame. (Resell the bed to recoup some funds.) You would also need to buy the cloth, then Velcro or sew it on the frame. Barry suggests perma-press cloth so frame and cloth can dropped down together. A real nice touch. It used bigger tubing than the "Spider and a little heavier but it looks well.

Does Barry discuss any of his routines in his book?
Barry discusses many of his routines as well as giving you permission to use them. His book will be a classic.

See Barry Mitchell's Website for more information on this book and the cool original products he sells.

This frame can be found at this online Wal-Mart Site for a real low price, about half of what others are selling it for.
Dennis Michael
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