Saturday, August 12, 2017

MCKBD 2016

This years MCKBD stage set took a crazy path to get to finished.  We were on a tight budget to allow for some other spending outside of production.  Through our various ideas we ended up going through 8 revisions of this set before we landed on one.  It was nuts, and made for a great joke during the build.

Are we changing everything again?

For the set we wanted to play off of rectangular shapes.  Our main element of this was a video screen we built.  We built it 4' x 16' out of plywood, 2x4s, spandex, and half a million staples.  It was made of 1/2" plywood with a 2x4 frame.  It was WAY WAY over built.  Since then, we have built some odd shaped screens out of solid Mod Scenes panels that are much lighter and easier to build.

Here is a picture of us hanging the 120 lbs monstrosity.

In addition to the screen, we made 5 rectangular blinder arrays.  Each one (except the center) held 7- 4 bar blinders.  We had a bunch of the blinders from a past set so they were an easy win (and cost effective win).

To support the blinders, we built sections of 20' long uni-strut sections on the ground.  We latter combined these in the air to create 40' long spans.  Each sections had a top and bottom unistrut bar that was joined with 4 bar blinders in the center.  We evenly spread 7 blinders across these 40' sections.

We also used the  same unistrut to support some of our GLP pixel tape.  We zip tied it on, doing our best to make sure all the connections ended in the center for wiring ease.  Hanging the tape horizontally was a pain but created a cool low res strip of content near each blinder.

In the process of building the few additional blinders we needed, we realized we could improve them a bit.  We took this improved version and added it to the stuff we do with Mod Scenes to serve other churches.  You can find them here.  You can also find all the DYI instructions here.

We wired each of our blinders individually which gave us some really cool effects.  We used Light O Rama LOR 1602s to dim them.

As we built off our rectangular design, I started wanting to make a change to the originally flat pipes that supported our Mac 101s.

We ended up creating 4 angles pipe sets that created a diamond around the center screen.  It makes for an awesome element that draws your eyes in.  It also gave us a bunch of great varied lighting angles with the 101s.  We placed our Colorblast TRXs between the 101s for even more beams.  Angles and Beams all day!  The angles were a bit downstage from the blinders, which added some needed depth.

We built some tall risers that hugged the downstage edge of the stage for our band.  Lastly we placed some LED tape into our drummers new acrylic kit.

As always, we did a really cool design in the lobby too to boost the energy.  We blew up about 3,000 balloons and made some balloon clouds.  It was cool and a pretty affordable thing.

We had a blast with this set!  Enjoy the rest of the pictures.

We also had a bunch of fun playing real life mario cart after the series. :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Easter 2016

For Easter this year, we took a pretty big departure from our few previous sets.  We had a lot more visual surfaces than our norm.  The four sets before this each had a scattering of lights and LED tape in order to create a void we filled with beams and points of light.  For Easter we changed this drastically.  Although we did not completely forgo the beamy looks, we much more heavily relied on lighting our scenic element, Mod Scenes.

One of the challenges we had to overcome with this set, was a huge change in production staffing.  Our lead audio director left shortly after Christmas and our lead video director left about two months later.  We had some key volunteers step into those positions on a temporary basis and they did amazingly, but as you can imagine there was a lot of trying to figure out the details still.  We also had one of our annual large gatherings, Good Friday in the Park that also took place that week.  To say it was busy would be an understatement.

  So one of our key wins for this set was to have something simple that would set quickly and look great!  

For the set we hung Agon Panels from Mod Scenes to create our backdrop.  When rotated they create a really cool geometric breakup as you can see in the photo above.  They also build really quickly, which was helpful.  Our Scenic consisted of 300 panels and was built in less than 2 hours. We had a large central backdrop that was flanked on each side by smaller backdrops under each side screen.  We filled the space under each screen to make the stage look bigger.  This became a huge need as during the planning we added both the choir and a baby grand piano to the stage for Easter.

We down lit and up lit the Mod Scenes with Colorblasts.

To cut down on setup time, we used motors and truss to lift our center section of Mod Scenes.  On the sides we use VER locks (one of the greatest rigging inventions ever!) to hang a pipe holding the shorter sections of Agon panels.

Behind the Mod Scenes backdrop we laid out our LED tape.  We created a breakup type pattern by hanging the tape on random angles.  We hung 20' sections of unistrut that had Led tape zip tied to them.  Each unistrut hung from a pipe about 16' up.  We set all the angles by eye and criss-crossed the unistrut at the bottom to fit them into the space.  In Madrix each pixel had to be set individually to create the correct angle.  It was less than awesome on that part, but it looked dang good!

In front of the Mod Scenes we hung a few 25' long pipes that held Mac 101s.  We used these for our beam looks.  We nearly hung them behind the Mod Scenes, but decided to move a bit downstage.  It was a good move and helped us to pull the focus of the scenic in a few intimate moments.  We built a lot of our groupings and pan/tilt positions for the 101s in sets of three.  It created some really interesting looks, which show very well in the video at the end.

One of our biggest creative elements was a song and spoken word called "Glory".  It started as a solo, added in a spoken word and by the end grew into a full band feature with the enitre Choir.  It was quite epic!  Check it out:

Video of "Glory-Creative Element" from Easter 2016

Video of Setup Timelapse
As always more pictures are below!

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