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Salazar Magic
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New Jersey
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If you're going to research the spider backdrop, use "Pop up display" as your key words.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I love the spider backdrop, but for my own personal needs it is not economical for me to purchase. I do use a backdrop at my banquets shows or blue and gold dinner shows. But most of my shows are kid's birthday party shows, as well as fairs and carnivals outdoors. Because of this, I do not need to use a backdrop that often.

I have two different backdrops for when I do need one. One is a jet set and the other has two stands and an expandable cross bar. They work quite well for me and keep my cost reasonable for me.
Kyle Peron

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JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I just wanted to add that Abbotts Jet Set will only set you back about $75. Greg at Abbotts says they often sell two at a time, that way you can walk through the middle of your curtain.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Snidini
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Here is Dan Wolfe's site, which contains some pictures so you can see some of his backdrops in the background that he has designed. If you go to the video demo and look at the picture of him, you will see his backdrops behind him. Best of all if you do a seasonal show, as he does with his different shows, you can instantly change the backdrops in seconds. Dan is a great guy and I am sure he would appreciate anyone interested in his backdrops to drop him an e-mail and he can tell you more about them.

http://www.dwolfe.com/
Michael
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I've seen Dan's backdrops and they are KILLER! Billy Diamon is making them for Dan. Check out this website for the details: http://www.xrillusions.com/bannerboxes.html
NJJ
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I love the spiderflex! I sue it all the time.

Wait! I don't sue it!

I use it!
kenscott
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Michael,

I saw the pictures of the backdrops by Dan. Can anyone tell me more about them? Example: How they setup? Etc.

I saw on the web all the different styles. Are those like wings for a stage? Are they material or wood?

How tall is the backdrop?

Thanks. They do look really cool.

Ken
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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Visit the site, Ken. Their videos to download are showing them being put up.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Those banner boxes look excellent. Does anyone actually use them at the moment? Are there any downsides? I can’t see any at the moment.
Snidini
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Thanks Michael for posting the URL for Dan's banner boxes. I wasn't aware that there was a site out there. I spoke with him a couple months back he said there would be something on them shortly.

Snidini
Bilwonder
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Oroville CA
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I've used the Jet Set and Bryce Screen as a backdrop, but not as much as I used to. They work fine. The Jet Set is inexpensive and folds up tight, but I rarely need one indoors.
Does anyone suggest the best quick backdrop for outdoors? It seems something that would let most of the wind pass through, but not the light would work best.
…any suggestions?
billswondershow.com
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." Mark Twain
Andrew
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I spoke with Dan Wolfe a couple of months ago and he demonstrated his backdrops. They set up very quickly and break down into a small carrying case.
Currently I am using a backdrop similar to Barry Mitchell's Walmart bed frame, as mentioned by p.b.jones and DenDowhy, but Dan's concept allows for different backgrounds to be displayed depending on your type of performance.

Andrew
Andrew
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drosenbe0813
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Long Island, NY
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I built the Barry Mitchell (hope he doesn't want royalty) backdrop from the Walmart mattress frame. It took about an hour to 'build' it and it works great. With fabric, 2 of them cost about $150.

It takes about 1 minute to set up and even less to collapse and put away.

One of the best things about having a backdrop is that I no longer have to worry about banquet halls with nice mirrors on every wall!!
AmazingEARL
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Tennessee, USA
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Quote:
On 2003-12-15 14:13, Andrew wrote:
I spoke with Dan Wolfe a couple of months ago and he demonstrated his backdrops.

Let me guess...Chicago?

Thought I might as well jump in here (late as usual). The BannerBox is not available at the moment as I have no manufacturing facilities.

NOTE: XR Illusions will NOT be selling them. Regardless of what their website says, my legal counsel says differently.

After George and I get my "Thru Steel" illusion released, Chalet will possibly be marketing the BannerBoxes as well. Keep your fingers crossed and something may be available by the end of Summer.

If you have any specific questions about the BannerBox, just drop me a note.

Cheers!

Dan Wolfe, aka. "The Amazing EARL"
Smoky Mountain Magic
http://www.SmokyMtMagic.com
"We build AMAZING things"
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Personally I do not use a backdrop when performing outdoors. It just takes up too much space, too much time to set up and is always a nuisance when it comes to inclement weather or wind. That is just my opinion.

Indoors I have used a jet set as well as others effectively.

Kyle
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Quentin
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The main consideration for a busy entertainer is the time and effort involved in transporting the backdrop in and out of the venue as well as the time it takes to put up and dismantle.

The set up I used which I bought in 1987 was similar to the Spider and I used it almost entirely for theatre shows.

For house parties it wasn't practical. Firstly because it took two journeys to bring the props in and a backdrop would have meant an extra journey. But mainly it isn't practical in most houses. Usually the room you are performing in has furniture and often it is a task just to rearrange it so's you have a performing area and the children have a seating area with nothing in between. Modern eight foot ceilings and low hanging lamps and chandeliers can add to the difficulty. If you do go for a backdrop keep those considerations in mind. Something smaller might be best suited for a house party.

Another thing to look out for is that a good looking backdrop will attract sticky hands who want to feel and touch the fabric - not out of mischief but curiosity.
AmazingEARL
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I never use a backdrop when working outdoors, either. Unless you've got something pretty substantial with sufficient bracing, a serious gust of wind will blow over just about anything portable. (I've seen a sideshow tent blow down!) Rain can also ruin expensive custom artwork and rust mechanisms.

I tried to make the BannerBox as efficient as possible for indoor use. The whole self-contained unit weighs about 14 pounds, is about the size of a trombone case and sets up or tears down in about 60 seconds. (Honest!) The height on each banner is instantly adjustable from 3 to 7 feet. (I basically got tired of strapping PVC pipe to the top of my car and KNEW that their had to be a better way.)

Also, the BannerBox is designed with a low center of gravity. Unlike the giant-music-stand-type backdrops, it won't fall over if your audience claps too hard. Mine has to be tipped to almost a 45-degree angle before it'll topple over.

Although I don't work B'day parties, I sold three sets of BannerBoxes to working pro's in the Pittsburgh area. One guy's been using his at every single party show for the past three years and still loves it.

My apologies for the "ad-copy."

Cheers!

Dan Wolfe, aka. "The Amazing EARL"
Smoky Mountain Magic
http://www.SmokyMtMagic.com
"We build AMAZING things"
Tim Hannig
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Chicago area
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After finishing my Show and Lecture at the IBM Convention in Cleveland, I walked directly into the dealer's room and bought a Spider.

I just returned from the convention today, and set it up in my dining room. Wow!

Can't wait to use it in my upcoming school season.
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hugmagic
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Spider is a great product but there are several frameworks from display systems that can be picked up at auctions or ebay that will do the work for a lot of guys.

However, if I was doing 200+ shows a year I would go with the Spider. There portable stage is also a good looking product.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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I can't see buying a spyderflex for my situation.
I made my own backdrop which also sets up in minutes and is sturdy. A good brisk wind did not blow it down.
If your on a budget it's a good way to go.

Heres all you need to do:
Buy some old projector screens at your local second hand store. They are not hard to find and I didn't pay more than $5 for any of them. Tear the screen off and use only the stand. I use 3 stands but have a 4th if needed. You can have 6' of curtain between stands. So with 3 stands you have a 12' backdrop and 4 stands you will have 18'.
Get 2 - 6' lengths of copper tubing and 2-90 degree connectors and 1 - T connector and solder them to the 6' lengths of tubing. These connector will sit right on top of the projector stands. You have only to make your curtains. I use black polyester which does not wrinkle and always looks good. I also painted the bottom of the stands flat black so the chrome doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
Daniel Faith
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