3 Common Uses for Masking Fabrics

by RB 3. June 2015 08:31

Masking fabrics can be used for a variety of purposes and projects. They are the versatile element that we see our customers using in almost infinite ways. Masking fabrics can be used to frame a theatrical set by using plush velour, such as Rose Brand 25oz Charisma Velour, in interesting colors with pleated fullness. Heavyweight fabric can be hung in fullness to absorb sound and deliver a better listening experience for viewers. Colorful drapes can be used to define the stage space while hiding the offstage activity of the cast and crew. In all of the scenarios it is important that the fabric be opaque to hide the people and equipment that are being masked. 

Manipulating Fixed Seating

If a theatre has fixed seating areas that are not being used for a particular production, masking can be used to cordon off the area. Fabric panels can be hung from suspended pipes or tracks that are hung in front of the seats to be hidden. Pipe and Base 2.0 systems are also available and allow for very versatile placement of the masking. The Pipe and Base system is ground supported and can be set up and moved as needed. 

 

Managing Sound*

Frequently, black box theatres are reverberant b

Some people prefer the look of flat masking. In that case it is very important to use at least two layers of heavy fabric with several inches of space in between. The air space in between serves to trap the sound that goes through the fabric. ecause the walls are flat, hard and parallel to each other. Sound waves just bounce back and forth. The energy of the sound needs to be dissipated and absorbed to reduce the reverberation. Historically, heavyweight fabric, such as Rose Brand 25oz Memorable Velour, is hung in fullness in front of the walls. The irregular folds in the fabric disperse the sound waves and the mass of the material absorbs some of the energy. 

Both of these solutions can be accomplished easily by tying the fabric to pipes mounted from the ceiling or installing the fabric on a pair of parallel traveler tracks suspended in front of the walls of the theatre.  Traveler tracks allow for adjustment and provide possible storage positions when the masking is not in use.

* Rose Brand recently tested the acoustical performance of eight of our most popular masking fabrics. Results for the medium weight 12oz Brava up to the heavy 32oz Royale are available in the Rose Brand Catalog and on the website.

 

Transforming Theatre Space

An ordinary black box space can be reconfigured to a theater in the round space with the use of masking fabrics. Let’s consider a rectangular black box space with galleries around the perimeter. When configured in the round, masking is generally used to cover the walls of the theatre and to provide passages for actors and crew. This can be done by tying the masking to the railing of the galleries or the masking can be hung from traveler tracks on the galleries. The traveler option provides more immediate flexibility when changing the space from a proscenium or thrust configuration to a round setup.

 

A Selection of Masking Fabrics Available from Rose Brand

Most Requested: 22oz Encore IFR

Broadest Color Selection: 21oz Marvel FR

Best Overall Sound Absorption: 25oz Memorable FR

Most Economical Solutions: Commando Cloth FR and Duvetyn FR

Durability for Long Term Installations: 30oz Wool Serge IFR

 

Complementary Products

Heat Borders

Track

Pipe and Base 2.0


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Custom Sewing | Discount Store | Event | Flame Retardancy | General | Scenic Design | Special Effects

Behind the Scenes: Outfitting ShowStoppers at Wynn Las Vegas

by RB 20. April 2015 05:20

Throwing your wife a huge party for her birthday is generally a good way to win brownie points for the year to come. Throwing her a huge party in the form of a Broadway-esque musical where Hugh Jackman performs, now that’s a way to amass brownie points for life. 

To celebrate the birthday of his wife, Andrea, Steve Wynn, chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, threw an elaborate party. An enthusiast of Broadway show music, Wynn transformed the party into an attraction for the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theatre. The result was ShowStoppers, a musical production of classic Broadway show tunes that Wynn personally wrote. 

Rose Brand had the pleasure and honor to create the drapery for the show. Our team of production specialists had direct input on what the final design would look like – we suggested colors, adjusted fabric type, and even put finishing touches on the production before rehearsals. 

Tom Coulouris and Brent Porter, two of the most sought-after project managers and veterans of the theater industry, sat with designers and producers including production designer Ric Lipson of Stufish and Rick Gray, general manager of entertainment operations at Wynn Design & Development as the concept for this production came about. In an interview with Sharon Stancavage for Lighting and Sound America, Lipson describes the duo as the “Gods of Drapes.”

 

During preliminary meetings with the production team, Rose Brand presented suggested mock ups for the major soft goods in the production. Together, the two groups of producers worked with the fabrics to get the best effects – additional layers of fabric were added, colors were custom-dyed, and various light sources were tested. Since Rose Brand has a huge selection of fabrics in stock, testing different fabrics and color options was fast and easy. Rose Brand brought to the project a deep understanding of the aesthetics the designers wanted to achieve paired with intimate knowledge of the technical aspects required in order to make that possible. 

This was a very high-energy, fast-paced project made up of many specialized design pieces. One of the scenic goals for this production was to create the illusion of depth and dimension with limited space. To give the background depth and pizzazz, varying layers of three different colors of Shimmer Organza fabric were used in different parts of the show. A focal point throughout the show is the upstage curtain made from the Shimmer Organza in 200% sewn-in fullness at the top and bottom. The sheer fabric was also used to create other elements of the show. 

In the interview for Lighting and Sound America, Lipson describes another Rose Brand fabric, the Gliss Velvet, as “taking light in the most beautiful way.” This textured velvet was used in many places in the production including the proscenium and the band riser front. The individual legs and borders are a custom colored antique gold, made specifically for the show. 

Additional Rose Brand components used in the show include Classic Star Drop with LEDs for a border, legs, and drop, an Austrian Curtain sewn from Frazzle fabric, and numerous steel beaded curtains. All three of these elements are suggestions the Rose Brand production team made on the project. The steel beaded curtains were very popular in numerous scenes. “In the scene from Cabaret, we use a lot of Rose Brand’s 5/8" Plated Faceted Metal Beads for the whole of the set—it’s sort of enveloped in these beads,” Lipson adds. The curtains are pictured above on stage left and right as well as the center stage in what has been described as a “beautifully decadent, bead-laden club.”  

After sewing for the project was completed, Brent Porter, Rose Brand’s Manager of Fabrication and Development, flew out to Las Vegas to perform enhancements on-site for two weeks before rehearsals started. Working alongside the installation crew at Wynn Casino, he assisted in making sure each piece was properly installed and hung perfectly. Porter also assisted with on-site tweaks which allowed the curtains to open and close perfectly. Along with Lipson and Grey, he made sure that every tassel was in place and each curtain had the exact fullness needed. 

Since its premiere, the production has received rave reviews and shows no signs of slowing down.  ShowStoppers is running through October 2015 at Wynn Las Vegas. 


Use the same products in your next production! Here are some of the fabrics used in ShowStoppers:

Frazzle
Gliss Velvet
Classic Star Drop
Shimmer Organza 
For information about ordering metal beaded curtain, call 1-800-223-1624

 

To read the full feature in Light & Sound America, click here.

Creating & Installing Masking Panels for the Walmart AMP Outdoor Venue

by RB 29. January 2015 08:51

 

June 7, 2014 marked the official grand opening of the Walmart AMP in Rogers, Ark. (formerly known as the Arkansas Music Pavilion) with a Walmart event in the morning and country music star and NBC’s “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton in the evening. This outdoor concert venue had some unique challenges for rigging and soft goods. Rose Brand stepped up to the challenge by teaming with McLaren Engineering to design, fabricate, and install Textilene mesh side masking on the stage. Rose Brand also supplied truss, chain hoists, rigging and a split upstage blackout, in addition to installing two 24' high x 13'-6" wide, 5,000 pound LED display tile walls in the wings.

With masking measuring 30' high and 40' wide on each side plus engineered wind load, additional structural steel was required to support the Textilene panels and heavy duty tracks. Triple E Unibeam was employed to travel the 10 custom Textilene panels. Custom braking carriers ensured the panels stay in place once positioned.

 

With one week of notice to install the video walls, a temporary installation plan was engineered to rig the display frames for the grand opening while the custom rigging hardware was fabricated. The video walls were then dismantled and re-installed for semi-permanent, seasonlong durability. Through collaboration with the venue owners, Rose Brand was able to provide a safe, finished, and workable solution to the challenges the venue posed. These elements will be installed from May-September each season to enhance the acts taking the stage each week.

Link to Project Management & Rigging.

Link to Stage Hardware & Rigging.

Link to Textilene fabric.

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Projection On Scrim

by RB 22. December 2014 04:55

Here's a response to a customer inquiry that might also be of interest to many others...

Issue: "I am trying to front project on the scrim with a projector that conceals the set behind it with good light control. Please suggest a scrim for me and anything I should be aware of."

Response: Projection onto scrim can be a bit tricky but if you know some of the ins and outs you should be able to avoid the challenges associated with this effect. 

All of our (scrim products) can be used for projection but typically theatrical projection is done on the old standby of white sharkstooth scrim.  I have also seen projection done on elements of painted black scrim and scenic painted scrims.  We have seen many desirable front projection effects and images produced on black scrim that has been sprayed (on the front) with rear-projection Screen Goo, as this makes a great reflective surface for the image on a black substrate.  I personally do a lot of outdoor projection onto vinyl mesh like textilene or speaker mesh with great results.  The scrim material chosen will depend on your application and the desired seamless area.

The effect of a scrim heavily depends on the control of stray light. It uses contrast to fool the eye into thinking that the material is opaque.  Traditional theatrical scenic scrims are typically lit from a very steep angle so that the light that passes through the scrim falls just upstage or in the wings.  As long as the space and objects behind it stay dark, you will not see anything through the scrim.  If there is front light hitting the scrim straight on, or at a shallow angle, it will illuminate the area and objects behind the scrim.  This is true for direct and reflected light from the stage.

When you apply this to projection, things will get a bit more complicated.  The ideal setup will depend very heavily on a number of variables; the effect to be achieved, desired quality and purpose of the projection image itself, and the technical capabilities of the venue.  All of this is assuming front projection on scrim since rear projection is not advisable and is typically done for effect only.

If your primary concern is projection image quality, you will likely want to put the projector in the house straight on to the scrim.  This will produce the best quality of image but is the worst case scenario in terms of making a scrim appear opaque.  This is typically how scrim projection is accomplished but it will likely require a blackout immediately upstage of the scrim.  This blackout will catch all of the projector overshoot and certainly mask the scenery or stage behind it.  Just before the reveal is made through the scrim, the blackout will be flown out or traveled open.  If you are looking for a double image, the blackout may not be necessary at all as the background would be dimly lit the entire time.

If you are looking for less quality of image and more effect, the projector(s) can be placed at a sharp angle to the scrim and blended into one image similar to the way your stage lighting would be.  This requires equipment capable of this type of image warping and will certainly reduce the overall quality of the projected content.  This can be a technically complex setup and will require the appropriate projectors and image processing.

 

 

 

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Projection | Sharkstooth Scrim | Special Effects

Beautiful Effects With Jacquard Fabric

by RB 18. November 2014 04:09

Jacquard fabrication allows a designer to create fabric with intricate custom patterns and imagery at a small required minimum yardage. With Jacquard, your custom artwork is not printed, but digitally woven into the fabric itself. The result is a deeper textured look and feel than ordinary fabric printing can produce. With Jacquard, several color shades can be combined in various fabric densities, resulting in areas ranging from sheer to opaque in a spectrum of tones.

The James Taylor 2014 tour used a Rose Brand® custom Jacquard curtain for a fabulous backdrop. This piece combined a light grey, sheer pattern with a dark grey, opaque pattern that lit beautifully from the front and back. In the photo up top, the grey fabric took on the colors of the lighting used.    

Interested in learning more? Call Rose Brand customer service at 800-223-1624.

Jacquard Fabric


 

Tags:

Custom Sewing | Event | Special Effects

What's a Fire Curtain?

by RB 12. November 2014 10:33

Fire curtains provide a fire and smoke barrier that separates the stage house from the auditorium. In the event of a fire, the fire curtain automatically descends to provide theatre patrons extra time to safely evacuate.

Local building and fire codes vary and require different types of fire protection. Most states use a modified version of the National Fire Protection Association’s code (http://www.nfpa.org/). As a guideline, note that all Rose Brand fire curtains are designed, manufactured and installed according to NFPA80 and ANSI E1.22 standards. The curtains are made of 40 oz., non-asbestos, high temperature coated fiber glass fabric. However, before specifying a fire curtain for your venue, it's wise to check with your local fire marshal to insure that you're specs will meet local requirements.

The two most common fire curtain installations are Straight Lift and Brail Lift systems. The Straight Lift Curtain is rigged to always hang flat, so it requires a large fly space above the proscenium for storage. The Brail Lift Curtain requires much less space. It’s rigged similar to an Austrian curtain to gather in pleats above the proscenium.

Learn more about Straight Lift and Brail Lift fire curtains.

 

Tags:

Custom Sewing | Flame Retardancy | Safety

2014 Academy Awards® Custom Main Curtain, Arch Curtain and Projection Screens

by RB 30. October 2014 05:04

 

Rose Brand is pleased to have worked with Academy Awards® Production Designer, Derek McLane, and Art Directors, Joe Celli and Gloria Lamb, to develop the main curtains and projection screens for Oscar® night.

Two Complementary, Contrasting Curtains

After weeks of collaboration and testing, the team arrived at just the right fabric, production technique and colors to achieve master designer Derek McLane’s creative vision. The 2014 curtain design involved two drapes that both featured Rose Brand white Poly Satin fabric with similar digitally printed design patterns. However, the curtains were printed in contrasting colors and sewn with different levels of fullness.

The main curtain, sewn with 150% fullness, featured a printed silvery background and dark fleur-de-lis pattern. The complementary curtain, which hung above the main drape, adorned the stage arch. The arch curtain, sewn with 75% fullness and printed in contrasting colors, provided a dramatic counterpoint.

Curtain Fabrication

Production of the arch curtain was particularly tricky since its fullness differed from the main curtain, but its printed pattern needed to match the main. Additionally, the top border of the arch curtain had to conform to the curved shape of a pipe located next to it. Since there was no time to re-work any aspect of the project, curtain production needed to be flawless. And it was. Once lit, the curtains produced a stunning effect!

Projection Screens

Rose Brand also produced the projection screens used for parts of the show, including the memorial sequence. Our Black-130 Premium Projection Screen, placed in front of a video wall, produced high contrast, rear projected images, and eliminated the pixilation that would have otherwise been observed (see images below).

 

 

 

Create Amazingly Realistic Scenery with Vacuform Panels and Paint!

by RB 15. August 2014 09:12

How do you quickly & easily create the illusion of a New York City street scene in the middle of a Caribbean Island? Film Director Francis Disla did it for the movie, “Un Lio En Dolares,” filmed in the Dominican Republic. 

Disla enlisted the support of Designers Angel Muniz and Sorangel Fersove, as well as Scenic Painter Miguel Hernandez. They knew they could accomplish the task quickly using Vacuform architectural patterns and scenic paint. They chose the Vacuform “Old Brick” pattern, which perfectly captured the look and feel of NYC architecture. Panels were adhered together and then painted the color of NYC apartment building bricks. Each detail was perfectly executed starting from the painting of the brick pattern and ending with the finishing touches of the grocery store and window air conditioners. The scenery looked as though the building had been plucked from the streets of New York City. 

Vacuform Scenic Panels are an easy and cost effective way to create great instant scenery.  Most commonly used in theaters to depict architectural elements on stage, these panels come in over 42 different styles which can be painted to any color. Rose Brand also offers Vacuform that is pre-primed with Rosco’s Off Broadway Deep Red, Payne’s Grey or Burnt Sienna. Panels are made of .030 gauge material making them lightweight yet durable. This material is both waterproof and flame retardant making it a no-nonsense option for any creation you have in mind. 

Vacuform is easy to cut with any utility knife, blade or scissor and can be stapled or glued onto most materials. Panels fit together to form a seamless pattern, which can be painted on using water-based vinyl, oil, lacquer, water-based latex and acrylic paints. You have the ability to replicate materials such as brick, stone, rock, glass, tree bark, shingles and many other decorative elements. Using Vacuform panels is easier, cheaper and less time consuming than using the real materials. The possibilities are endless!

Product: Vacuform – Old Brick C
Un lío en dólares
Estudio Cinematográfico Quitasueño, Haina, Dom Rep
Film Director: Francis Disla
Façade Designers: Angel Muniz, Sorangel Fersobe
Film Designer: Ruben Cordero
Scenic Painter: Miguel Hernandez
Photos By: Sorangel Fersobe, Miguel Hernandez, Jenniffer Calcaño

 

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Scenic Design | Special Effects | Spotlight on Design | Vacuform

How Scenic Designer Akiko Nishijima Rotch used Kaos to depict the steamy Mississippi Delta and character dynamic in her set design for “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.”

by RB 3. April 2014 05:27

Post: The following is an edited version of our interview with Akiko Nishijima Rotch, Set Designer, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” playing at both the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau and the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage.

Rose Brand: What was your overall design objective for the production?

Rotch: The play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” By Tennessee Williams takes place in the Mississippi Delta area, which has a very hot & sticky environment.  The hot weather affects the characters of this play a lot. The biggest challenge I faced as the set designer was how to create a hot & humid atmosphere in a theatre in Alaska.  

When I researched the environment of Mississippi, I saw a lot of images of Spanish moss. I felt that those images quickly communicated the feeling of the South, and so Spanish moss became my design motif.

Another important point of the set design was to communicate that characters have no privacy in their home. For example, Mae is always trying to eavesdrop on what Maggie and Brick are saying. Since this is an important aspect of the play, I wanted the set to visually express it.

Rose Brand: How did you achieve your design objectives?

Rotch: I started to look for a material that had both translucency (a metaphor for no privacy) and an organic shape (a metaphor for the Spanish moss).  Scrim and gauze did not have enough of an organic shape for me.  Then I discovered the samples of “Kaos” material among the Rose Brand samples I’ve been receiving since I graduated from NYU in 2007.

Kaos was the exact texture I was looking for.  The gaps in the material are uneven and Kaos is also paintable.  The uneven gaps allowed us to express the organic shape of Spanish moss. The ease of painting allowed us to create the depth of colors we needed to complete the illusion of the moss.

We used the mossy painted, black, Kaos Medium material to represent the walls of the house in an unrealistic way.  As I mentioned before, eavesdropping (and peeping) were important factors to communicate.  Being able to see and hear through the walls gave the audience the sense that there was zero privacy in this space.

Rose Brand: How else might you use Kaos for future design efforts?

Rotch: A scrim effect with an organic shaped material is pretty hard to find, so I will experiment with it when I need the texture. I am also curious about Kaos Heavy next time.  I would love to see the difference between Medium, which I used, and Heavy. I strongly recommend “Kaos” to create layers of magical space.

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Scenic Design | Special Effects | Spotlight on Design

How Rose Brand Stone Molding Cloth Was Used for the Tiki Island Art Project at Burning Man 2013

by RB 13. January 2014 09:13

Our molding cloth was featured at this year's Burning Man in Black Rock City, NV. The Brusan Stone was used for the Tiki Island Art Project headed by Donald Cassel of the Tiki Island Playa Surfers. It only took three rolls of molding cloth to create a rock skirt around the perimeter of the Tiki Island.  The crew started work on the float 4 days prior to the event. Although they didn't have prior experience with the material, everyone quickly became acclimated to how to handle and implement it.

Donald came up with a fantastic method for creating a durable skirt by hanging rebar over the edges of the island. Then, some chicken wire was placed on top to add some structural integrity over the voids between the rebar supports. This aided against periodic gusts of winds that were encountered from being out on The Playa Desert. Before laying the molding cloth overtop the chicken wire, the crew pushed and pulled randomly along the perimeter to create some natural facets/contours for the cloth to lie against. This allowed the molding cloth to obtain a more realistic final shape. The bottoms of the rebars were then fitted with small pieces of wood so that the Brusan Stone skirt could be stapled securely in place. The staples were all that was needed to hold the molding cloth in place all week thanks to its lightweight consistency.   

Overall there were multiple benefits for using the Brusan Molding Cloth. The main characteristics of the molding cloth's functionality and easy bendability allowed for accessibility to the main compartments of Tiki Island for easy operation. Also, there were no additional supports needed because the cloth was able to hold it's intended structure. The material was quick and painless for the crew to use and the outcome of the float was realistic and impactful to the Burning Man community.  Who would imagine you'd stumble upon a giant 3 story tall 50 ft. wide Tiki Island in the middle of the desert!

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Special Effects | Molding Cloth

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