Author Topic: SCENERY: Cheap Rigging-ish  (Read 10122 times)

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dru*

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SCENERY: Cheap Rigging-ish
« on: Jan 28, 2008, 12:38 am »
okay. so i'm working in a new theatre, and it has about 3 feet of flyspace above the stage and about 3 feet of space in the wings. there's no kind of rigging system at all. I'm working on (tentative) plans for 3 shows there: a community show (guys and dolls) a jr. high show (seussical), and a high school show (pippin or little shop). I'm drafting plans for set, but it's SOOO hard in this space.

I worked in a similar theatre (as a performer) a few years back, and they had some kind of drop system, where small drops were spooled around a cylinder, and when a rope was pulled backstage, the drop came down.  Also, they had flats that were mounted on the top to the back wall of the stage, so that they could be rotated 180° and you could have one scene painted on each side.

I have no idea how to do either of these. does anyone have any help about something similar to what i described or ANY kind of simple and cheap "rigging"?

THANK YOU!
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:47 am by PSMKay »

jmc

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #1 on: Jan 28, 2008, 06:43 am »
G.day Dru
The rotating flats are called 'Periactoi' [Greek for Rotating] Also known as Medici flats.
These sites may help you;-

http://www.bscl.org/periactoi.htm

http://www1.appstate.edu/orgs/spectacle/Pages/16thscenechange.html
Simple hemp line fly systems can be achieved with pulleys & hauling line droppers, depending on the super structure above the stage area. It may be better if you have this checked out to it's suitability, by someone qualified in rigging first.
I would assume there is Boarders & Leg drops already in place &/or some form of provision for lighting being rigged ['X' position - overhead]?
What is the building structure in the cieling viod above the stage?
Making the medici flats is easy & cheap enough to achieve, the flying may take a bit of investigation with the buildings powers that be, which will afford you some protection of a steal plate, to wear in the seat of your pants. :-[ :'(
This site animated knots site will help with your hemp fly stem ;-

http://www.animatedknots.com/indexboating.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com
« Last Edit: Jan 28, 2008, 06:56 am by jmc »
Tio Tio Chookas
{May you always play to a full house}
'Hear the light & see the sound'

chops

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #2 on: Jan 28, 2008, 01:38 pm »
I once saw a space similar to the one you describe use retractable projector screens for their drops.  Apparently they had found some old screens with tears and stains.  Then they painted over them and used them for drops.  This way you only need about a foot of fly space and the weight stays minimal.  However I don't know how easy it is to find retractable screens that people are getting rid of. 
Peace,

Chops

MatthewShiner

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #3 on: Jan 28, 2008, 01:55 pm »
Olio drops are a possibility - rolling drops with a tube on the end that rolls up the drop as it goes up.


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KMC

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #4 on: Jan 28, 2008, 03:35 pm »
Based on the fact that you seem to be operating in the short term I think the periactoi suggestion is excellent, and probably the most pratical and cost effective (proof that theatre history is a great course!). 

With these you could build it so you have interchangeable faces on each side of the rotating flats, which would give you more than two looks.  This way as one side is facing the audience, your crew can change out the other side, rinse and repeat as necessary.  You could also build these in sections, this way they're able to move around the stage and give a bit more variety than a stationary wall upstage.

Depending on your budget you could investigate some proper rigging, but if there isn't a grid or anything permanently installed this is going to get very expensive very quickly.  Be careful with "cheap" rigging, as it can very easily wind up on the ground.  One idea is to hang some small static pieces to give your set the added dimension you get with flying drops.  Once you've got the static pieces hung you can use lighting effects to hide them from the audience.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

jmc

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #5 on: Jan 28, 2008, 08:56 pm »
G'donya Mathew I forgot to mention about the oilio [Oilieo - tumbler] being an effective method.
There is a number ways the this can be achieved easily that would assist Dru in his situation with drops.
The oilio or oleo depending on your location is a valueable resource, either as a cloth or scrim, is a simple solution to a lack of fly loft.
Either using two lines as a roll up or a single operating line as a tumbler. With the roll up can be done from the tail batten or as a roll down from the head batten.
The tumbler can be done, using a carpet inner roll tube or PVC sewerage pipe. Depending on the width required, an alluminium extruded pipe can be used, which comes in about 4 metre lenghts. The easies way is aquire a couple of bearings housing mounted, to suit the ali pipe at each end. With disks cut from ply to fit in the tumbler tube & around the pipe, to act as ribs. These can be fixed with tek screws to the pipe & tube. Two larger disks are needed to accomadate the rolled cloth, on each end of the tube, as a cloth baffle. Dead hang onto the bearing housings & fit a line haul fair lead pulley on one end of the pipe, attaching the operating line. The tumbler pulley has to be wide enough to take the amount line wrap lengh need to to roll the tumbler up. The tumbler line can be operated thru a deck pulley. You will have to do a bit of messing about to achieve the rope line length required, with the cloth being brought in & out, but well worth it.
If you wish to use scrim on the oilieo tumbler, have a look at this site ;-   
http://www.studio-productions-inc.com/ Vicki Franks there is very helpfull & a full bottler on oileo's.
 
« Last Edit: Jan 29, 2008, 05:16 pm by jmc »
Tio Tio Chookas
{May you always play to a full house}
'Hear the light & see the sound'

VickiFrank

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #6 on: Jan 29, 2008, 11:18 am »
JMC (Joe) was talking about Oleos/ Olios/ Roll Drops.  I wrote up an article with diagrams on constructing an Olio with a type of scrim, Chameleon™ that my company sells that works well as a Roll Drop.  The construction technique works with our scrim (not sharkstooth--can't be a stretchy scrim) or with drops, so it ought to work for you.  The directions detail pretty much what Joe was describing for the Olio--which works sort of like a windowshade.  A tumbler which he also mentioned is a variation with the roll on the bottom.

How to make an Olio:  newbielink:http://www.studio-productions-inc.com/white_papers/wp_oleo_olio_rolldrop.html [nonactive]  (Note there is one error in the diagram the right hand pulley ought to be farther over so that the rope winds correctly).

For anyone who is curious about the terms Olio/Oleo I also wrote up an article on those terms:  newbielink:http://www.studio-productions-inc.com/white_papers/wp_oleo_olio_rollhist.html [nonactive]

SummerShakespeare

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #7 on: Jan 29, 2008, 11:40 am »
I agree that periactoi's are your greastest and cheapeast way to go. In my last show we had them be 3 sided and it worked out great! Good luck!
All on the same G.O.

jmc

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #8 on: Jan 29, 2008, 06:05 pm »
If you don't wish to be fancy but cheap, I'd plan on being more versitile & flxable with the medici flats units on the deck, as suggested, rather than attached to a wall.
You can use fixed castors, with a central spigot, into a deck plate. Or even utalise tank traps [boom foot plates] to drop the unit onto. If your stage surface is smooth, you can use old deep pile carpet, glued stapled or scewed, underneath the unit. With the pile sitting on the deck, movement ican be as smooth as a babies backside. Also with just a drop in pivot spigot, the need for a tatt skirt around the bases edge is reduced.
In a number of pro & ameatre converted venues, the removal of the ceiling gyprock or plaster sheating, above the stage area. Will exspose a heap of roof viod space, that can be utalised for the grid. Especialy if it is an 'A' frame roof & the jiosts run across the stage.
However being a new building there may be a lot of objections to you venturing down that track.
In most cases you can achieve weird & wonderfull things, by thinking outside the box & employing the X factor, in creating that  wee bit extra space.
 
Tio Tio Chookas
{May you always play to a full house}
'Hear the light & see the sound'

dru*

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #9 on: Feb 01, 2008, 12:35 am »
Thank you all so much! I'm going to be using 2 roll drops, and thanks to you guys and some research, I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to make them!

I also definitely want to use the periaktoids, but I still have no clue how to make them! Ahhh! I'm a relative newbie to this side of theatre (tech), so I have no idea what you talking about!

Could someone explain this in layman's terms?

jmc

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Re: Cheap Rigging-ish
« Reply #10 on: Feb 01, 2008, 03:06 am »
Do you have stock Flats?
Either [hard] TV or [soft] french ones.
If so chose out 3 of the same width, makes it easier, especial when using multiple periaktio  [medici] units.
It is easier at this piont to work out what type of base you want & how it is to revolve.
Place the 3 flats side stiles edge to edge [the side wooden frame uprights are known as 'stiles' [spelt 'styles' in some locations]. This will form a triangular unit, Place the & centre the unit on the revolving base, you can either mark out the base, on the outside edge of the base rails ['rails' are wooden frame battens at the top (head) or base (tail)] board & cut to fit the base board either flush on the outer or insde of the unit. Or just place & fix the unit in the centre of a round base board. Over all the simplest still is to precut the revolve base board & mount the castors & revolve gear underneath. Then screw the flats individualy to the base board edge of the revolve truck base. Leave the flats off the floor slightly, to allow for any bumps or lumps on the stage deck, when revolving.
You can use hindges [split loose pin flap (butt) hindges are better
http://www.doughty-engineering.co.uk/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_T61700
] jioning the flats together [as 'Booked' Flats] , sash & cleat or just screwed [not nailed!]. Finishing the jionts on the outside with a strip of masking material or tape to hide, flush up & tidy the jions {['Dutchman'] masking tape or torn strips of calico (muslin) even newspaper}.
Of course you can produce a cube, 4 sided unit or a single double sided unit. [2 flats back to back, is easier than applying a skin on both sides of one flat]
after all that waffle there is heaps of ways, dependant upon your ideas & grande plan. {5 P's [Preplanning prevents piss poor production] which is actualy 6?}

Hope this helps?
   
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2008, 07:05 am by jmc »
Tio Tio Chookas
{May you always play to a full house}
'Hear the light & see the sound'