Ryan McCraw from City Church Tallahassee in Tallahassee, FL brings us these awesome towers.
From Ryan: A goal with this set design was to create a unique perspective no matter where someone sat in the auditorium. To do this we created these light columns, which essentially are two tall rectangles joined together by 90° brackets to create triangles coming off the wall. What people see from the left side of the auditorium is different than those on the right side, which is different from those in the middle, and everywhere in-between.
How we built them:
Step 1: We used 1x2x8 pieces of wood to build the rectangles. They are 12′ tall at our broadcasting campus and 8′ tall at the satellite. We put wood braces every so many feet to to help make it more sturdy and as a way to attach Coroplast in step 2. Once the rectangles were built, we used 90° brackets on the top and bottom (as well as a couple more wooden braces on top and bottom to hold lights and for sandbags to rest on) to create the triangle effect.
Step 2: We attached LED strips around each rectangle, as well as in the crease created by joining them together at 90°. For our broadcasting campus, we used one 5m strip for each rectangle, giving us the capability to change color on all 3 sections of the columns. For our satellite campus, we used one 5m strip for both rectangles, which meant the sides could be one color and the center line could be a different color. After the LED tape was secure, we attached Coroplast to the back of the rectangles, which helped bounce light back towards the audience as well as prevent light from seeping into the other sections of the column. At the end of each LED Strip, we added a male euroblock for easy connect/disconnect from the wire going to the DMX Decoder.
Step 3: We stretched white spandex over the columns to help with diffusion of the LED tape. We tried stapling it at first, but found this didn’t work so we used screws and washers to secure it, and it worked wonderfully! We found that 3 yards worked great for the 12′ towers, and 2 yards worked great for the 8′ towers.
During the build, we found this set design to be much more complicated and expensive than originally planned, but it was definitely worth it! We didn’t have much to recycle from older sets, so with the wood, fabric, LED tape, Coroplast, misc hardware, as well as DMX decoders and wire/connectors to run to the light columns, the total cost between the 2 campuses was about $4000. $240 for each 12′ (10 in total) and $200 for each 8′ (8 in total).