Jump to content

In Need of a Starry Backdrop....


Recommended Posts

Hello all, I am sure that a few of you will have some ideas! For a school play called The Romancers the set/lighting calls for a starry night backdrop. The dimensions are about 10-15 feet tall and 20 feet wide. These can be somewhatflexible!A bunch of us have been thinking and can't really come up with a reasonable idea. I was thinking to do something with white net lights and material or LEDs or something like that. I also thought of having a few mirrored disco balls hidden then have them project light...obviously not moving...Does anyone have ANY Ideas how I could use Christmas lights to pull this off?

Thanks for any input!

Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

lkcubsrule wrote:

You could get a few star gobos for some lights, and shine them directly on the curtain, or through a few static mirror balls.

I was thinking about that, But, it would just look like this...(replace snow flakes with stars n564017046_483404_4581.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Behind my nativity in my store window I hang black sheets. Behind the sheets I hang clear christmas lights. Some twinkle and some stay on all the time. Chasing lights work well too. You will be amazed how they look like stars behind the black background. Good luck.

DUB

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of like NDiaz's Ideas...if you ever look at the back of a Crystal Springs delivery truck, they have a sign that kind of has a matrix-y feel to it. It looks like they just have small circle mirrors attached all over the place, and then all the reflections the signs pick up from real like make them look like they are moving or "twinkling".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't you just hire a star curtain from your local theatre hire-stock company? I presume the show has a budget that would allow for this.

If not... Go to you local theatre and ask if they have any old "tat" (tat is basically old back curtain)that you can take. Sew together if necessary (depending on the size of the tat you get. Install mini-lights by making a small hole and using Gaffa Tape to hold them in place. Use your LOR boardto create the twinkle effect (long Cat. 5 from lighting box over existing lighting bars to LOR unit mounted in the flys connected to the lights.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael B wrote:

Check out Danielle's garage display. She has a How-to on how to do a Starry backdrop. Watch the video first.

http://www.copelandchristmas.com/Garage.html

Michael B

Joe,if you go with this idea, Sears hardware in Wallingford has/had lots of boxes of white net lights at 90% off.

Maybe if you tell them it's for a school play they will give them to you.

They had a lot left as of last Friday. I think some might have been the shimmering type,but not sure on that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe Petrowski wrote:

For a school play called The Romancers the set/lighting calls for a starry night backdrop. The dimensions are about 10-15 feet tall and 20 feet wide.

A lot of this depends upon the approach of the set design. If it's realistic, then there are ways of doing this that audiences have come to accept as stars in a night sky. If the approach is more exaggerated or stylized, then you have a lot more artistic leeway.

My gut reaction is that net lights or mini's will give too much of a regular pattern to the stars. This may be fine over a small area, like the Copeland's garage, but with a stage drop 15'H x 20'W wide, a pattern is going to be pretty obvious. Unless that is a desireable affect, based upon the design approach to the play.

You could use net/mini's, but I would recommend blacking out at least 50% of nets or 75% of mini strings to get a random pattern. Hanging these behind a black scrim and running at far less than 100% will help mask the wires. Or you could find an old velour drop and just poke through as many bulbs as it takes to get the right look. But if you go than route, you might as well make a real star drop.

A quick google search for "fiber optic star drop" yielded these results:

Quick How-To on Star Drops

Much shorter than the full text of the link

An Example of a Student's Star Drop Project

http://www.thefiberopticstore.com/Projects/Star-curtain/index.htm

Stock/Cost for Fiber Optic Materials

http://www.thefiberopticstore.com/purchase/endglowfilament.htm

So for around $100 you could get 2000' of their smallest fiber. That's enough for 100 20' strands, but some will be much shorter, and some will be a little longer for a 15'H x 20'W drop. If you are extremely careful, you can add fiber to a usable black velour panel and remove the fiber later. Or if you don't strike your upstage softgoods very often, you could leave the fiber in place. Just poking it through the panel isn't harmful, but hot glueing can be. I've seen good temporary results with gaff tape, but since you would be going through the whole process, you might as well do it right the first time.

Good Luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you EVERYONE for you help. I am still talking with the crew and director what we want to do. For this show, we need to transport the set to another location (about an hours drive) This is part of the Connecticut Drama Assication Competition (CDA)...more info can be found out here: http://connecticutdramaassociation.org/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe Petrowski wrote:

Thank you EVERYONE for you help. I am still talking with the crew and director what we want to do. For this show, we need to transport the set to another location (about an hours drive) This is part of the Connecticut Drama Assication Competition (CDA)...more info can be found out here: http://connecticutdramaassociation.org/

In which case hiring a star cloth/curtain is probably your best bet. Careful how you fold them though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is really amazing how many good ideas everyone has. So I'll throw my thoughson the stage.

I used netlights attached to a wire frame handmade with zip ties from rods purchased at Ace Hardware.The net light has every 4th bulb blinking. The effect is great in person! See thebelow photo and look at the upper right-hand bedroom window. To tone it down a little, hang a sheet or equivalent in front of the nets. My videos show the net light, they are connected to our (LOR) computer show. The videos can be found at http://www.zimchristmas.com/pictures.php

post-763-129571027048_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe,

This up my ally. I am a production Supervisor for a Theme Park ent dept and just this year we needed a small star drop with out using our much bigger fiber optic units. What we did was simple. Got a pice of duve (thick black fabric) poked holes in it randomly with a ice picker. Placed blue and clear mini lights in the holes and then put hot glue around them on back and for extra protection a slap of gaf tape. Now the thing is with current minis space 4in apart you are not going to use every one. We actually used 14 strands to cover the area, but only had about 200 points of light coming through. I know it is a lot of waste but from a design stand point it looked good. We then placed a shear fabric over the front for a mystic finish.

Ryan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm so many schools have video projectors.. why not get a starry picture or make one and over project it onto the areas you need stars. Can also make other interesting effects for you, bright sunny sky with clouds, etc. Can't beat the versitility of using video to set the stage for live actors. You may have to project from further back so the video overshoots the entire stage or at least intended area, which means a projector installed for a limited size pull down screen wont work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...