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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Backdrop question... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kevin Ridgeway
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Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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Paul asks a good question Tim...if you hang the speakers on the same truss as your backdrop, you are either in front of your speakers or behind your backdrop...neither of which is good for your show.

Kevin
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magictim
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Fayetteville, Arkansas
396 Posts

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Yes, I see what you mean. I didn't realize that when I found the truss system online....I will still have to keep my PA speakers on their own stands. ~Thanks
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
High Desert
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Something like PVC that sets up fast, easy breakdown and light to carry. And of course inexpensive.

Okay, This is the answer (I think)...I sent the company a question

Here is nice inexpensive material for your support:

http://www.distinctivefabric.com/fabric.php?id=VELOUR1
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
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Just got back from KIDabra and Barry Mitchell stated he was very apprecitive of my comments related to the Wal-Mart Queen size-bed as a homemade backdrop. He even stated he hopes many would buy his book to see how to put it together and build the many other props written in his Creativity book. Barry stated that it is articles like this that do help sell his book!
Dennis Michael
Eddy Lester
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Eddy Lester
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The portable curtain system that I have used for over the past 30 years for special events shows in colleges and for corporate events,is photographers background rolled paper holders. The poles and stands set use to cost $90. I'm sure they are more now. For curtains I used double thick (light weight to travel with) 1/4 mylar teardrop curtains. The sets adjusted to 10' high 10' long and about 5 1/2' feet for packing. At times I used 3-4 across for 30-40 feet on open platforms. Had fiber case made and it has held-up for many years. I have flown this on commercial flights. Once had trouble with connecting flight space for the that case. After that close call, I checked the type of planes for the complete trip.

Eddy Lester
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Decomposed
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Eternal Order
High Desert
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I finally purchased an Amvona system off of Ebay. Aluminum cast and can extend to 10 by 10 if needed. Just at $100 with shipping. It has a nice carrying case too.

Got some like new curtains from thrift store. They are children's curtains with little sailboats on them ($10) and a nylon shower curtain that uses rings at top (burgundy) for $10 also.

PS: Welcome to Café Eddy::)
Chuck Lyons
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Channahon, IL
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I use a very old item that I found in an unusal place. It is called a Jack-in-the-box. It was used in a funeral home when directors did home funerals. The whole set up folds down into a box. The curtians are 8 foot wide and are adjustable up to 8 feet high. Check with old established funeral homes and they may have one they want to unload at a reasonable price or you can check ebay and search under funeral. I have seen several on there. Hope this helps.
freakshowjim
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singapore
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Talking about spider backdrops I have a source that is selling them for SGD$1000(exchange rate to usd is about 1.7)... can anyone tell me if I can find any cheaper source
Decomposed
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The http://www.amvona.com site is good and they sell for cheap on EBAY. Mine is working out wonderfully. Very light weight.
Amazing Magic Co
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I purchased a lighting support tripod on eBay which is completely adjustable to 10'. This comfortably holds a fair bit of weight from a 4' T-bar that on top of the tripod. I cut a PVC pipe into 3' sections that I'll slide that onto each side of the T-bar so my width is comfortably adjustable to about 8'. I use fireproof trade show curtains which I also picked up on the internet. The whole system costs under $100 and sets up in about 1 minute. I could add a second tripod if I needed my system to extend further. I hold this helps.

Dan.
Antony Gerard
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Kalamazoo, Michigan
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One of the names of the lighting support tripod (tree) that Dan discribed above is the LTS.6 which is manufactured by American DJ. The retail cost is $79.95 including the T-Bar. You can go to the American DJ web site for dealers or contact me and I can give you a source in your area.

The extension bars that I use are telescoping closet curtain bars that I buy for about $10.00 at department stores. Chains like Menards and Lowe's should carry them.

The set up time is about one minute. They are VERY light weight and sturdy. If you add a second tripod you can put a bar between the two and have a curtain that you can do a center walk through with. I have used these tripods a few times at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas and many times at the FFFF convention in New York.
They are GRRRRRRRRRRRRREAT!!!

Take care and take cards
Antony Gerard
Christopher Moro
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DenDowhy-

Thank you & Barry Mitchell for sharing the Wal Mart frame idea with the rest of us. Could you tell me how tall and wide it stands? The Wal-mart website gives dimensions for the bed, not the frame. Thank you very much!
magician304
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Hi,
I also have a question about the Wal-Mart bed frame backdrop. I was able to buy one of them but when it is stood up on end, it begins to collapse down into its compacted. Does anyone know how to fix this problem? Any ideas would be great. Thank you!
GuySavoie
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Tampa, FL
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This is my solution. It will only make sense if you've got the frame in front of you. Smile

I took the spread fabric off the frame. On my frames, the plastic connectors where the fabric attached have holes about 0.5" in diameter once the fabric is removed. On the plastic connectors directly below them there is a matching hole.

I installed short cords, tied to the bottom connectors, and running through the matching connectors. The cords must be long enough to stay threaded when the frame is folded for travel. I then put "cord locks" on them. These are those little spring activated devices that go on the cords that run through coats, etc. If you press the button in, it slides down the cord. If you release the button, it locks in position. You get the idea. Smile

Put one of these on every cord.

To hold the frame solid, expand it out on the floor just like its use as a bed. Pull the cords tightly, and slip the stops into place to hold the cords. It only takes about 30 seconds if you put the cords around all of the outer connectors.

Stand the frame upright, and it won't collapse.

To fold it for travel, lay the frame back down, slide all of the cord stops to their loose positions, and the bed frame folds right up.

Plenty of other solutions, of course...

--- Guy
MagicalPirate
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Shamokin, PA
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You can find that Walmart bed frame here:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.g......=2045699

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g0thike
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Greetings,

The following is my opinion and info I would like to share about my backdrop.

The Spider System is great indoors but at $1,000.00 bucks ouch, Barry Mitchell's idea is a great alternative. Here is my take on backdrops.

95% of my shows are outdoors and I use a backdrop in medium wind conditions when necessary. Here is the secret:

Photo Tripods pretty much SUCK for outdoor show, the tripods are small and thin as well as the cross bar, they are used to HOLD ROLLS OF PAPER INDOORS for photographers. Sorry if you bought them.

You need a Lighting Truss System, thye cost about the same as Photo ones, here is the one I use:

http://www.americandj.com/product.asp?Pr......t=Stands

They are used so 200 lbs of lighting equipment can be hung from them, which means the tri-pods are bigger and thicker.

Now in moderate up to 40 mph wind conditions. You can only raise the tripods to about 6-7 feet high, less is better, you have to heavy duty CLAMP the cloth-backdrop to the tripod, HOMEDEPOT sells clamps (swamp meet type clamps).

The tripod legs have to be open pretty wide. You also have to figure out how to place the tripods legs according to wind direction. What ever direction the wind is blowing is how you direct the legs. You have to see this for yourself by rotating the tripods.

Finally place something heavy, on the backdrop behind it. My backdrop is 10 feet high and in high winds I only raise it 6-7 feet max high, which gives me slack at the bottom to place a heavy object.

I would set the backdrop first and then the rest of your show. You got to make sure it will not tip over with the wind. Also work in front of it a few feet away and have your audience further back. Just incase a freak wind builds up, it only falls on you and it does not injure a audience memember. Use common sense.

Finally I do not work at American DJ or do I sell Light Truss systems, other brand names exist besides American DJ.

USE THIS INFO AT YOUR OWN RISK.

G0THIKE
Michael Taggert
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Fredericksburg Virginia
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Ok so it works for me. I have a background in set construction so I made four corners out of flats. Then I made a head piece the goes completely around to form a box at the top. the front looks similar to a small proscenium. I sprang big money to have some nice theatrical drapes sewn in NYC. These are made with a pipe pocket at the top and a chain at the bottom. The corners are hinged and the top pieces go together with bolts and wing nuts. The top piece has a mounting bracket to hold the pipe in place after the cutains are slipped over the pipes.
The whole thing weighs about 150# in four pieces. It travels in two canvas bags and a plastic tote. I also added two uprights in case I needed to have the drapes be freestanding. This gives me an instant back stage and because I use lighting trees I don't have to fuss with raising a truss. The first drapes I used where from my living room and because they where "tab" style curtains they fit the pipe just fine. I found that the pvc pipes where just too flimsy to look professional so I switched to steel pipe. I use the pipe that they use for fire sprinkler systems as it is lighter weight than plumbing pipe.
Just an Idea.
Michael Taggert
Believe you then that I do strange things
PaxMentis
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Long Beach, CA
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We purchased a Spider Flex System a few years ago for a client and have not regretted it. It always looks professional and besides setting up and breaking down easily, it's very convenient to carry. However, they aren't the only ballgame in town. The one feature that interested us was the fact that you could expand it for larger presentations. Looking back, that one feature sold us.
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socalmagic
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Los Angeles
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I use pipe and drape as you would see at a hotel or trade show. You can get them to telescope to many different sizes. They are easy to use, and most experienced stage crew will know exactly how it works. I use it for outdoor shows, and with a shot bag (a sand bag with metal balls intead of sand), they will withstand high winds at 8-10 feet high. Also, the bases are flat and relatively low profile, so crew won't trip over them or run your props into the legs as they would with tripod stands. I also like it because because people can walk through the slits in the curtains and deliver or strike props. For $1,000, I was able to get 100 feet worth of pipe and base. I then had my wife sew 100 feet of curtains for about $100. This is enough drapery to set-up in a large open space and create a fully enclosed performance area with wings and a back-stage area.
michaelwriting
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Kenosha, WI
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To make the backdrop sturdy, make sure to weigh it down with some sandbags or other weights. Otherwise, there is a high center of gravity and it might seem a little unstable.
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