Stage Designs

Throwback: Grate

Sean Bolinger from Christian Faith Center in Federal Way, WA brings this very cool patterned structure. (Originally posted July 2013)

This is from their Mill Creek Campus. They wanted a structure that was versatile and could be used for many different looks and moods. It also needed to look good on TV and camera. Sean started looking at TV shows and different backdrops and came across this offset circle pattern during a late night talk show. So he decided to mimic that in the middle and come up with a structure around it.

They cut the circles out of 4×8′ sheets of 3/4″ MDF. The frames/columns around the structure were just made from 2×4’s and 1/8″ ply wood. Inside the columns, they built a small box and painted it white. They put RGB LED strips inside and and covered the front with a textured plastic they found at a local store. Behind the circles they hung a white scrim which they lit from the floor with LED bars. At the top of the scrim they put mirrors facing the LED bars to help get even lighting on the scrim.

Then they built two matching band risers. The fabric was lit from above by white LED lights and for a different look they hung LED Christmas lights behind the fabric which can only be seen when they are on.







2018 Christmas Stage Lookbook DiagonaLED

13 responses to “Throwback: Grate”

  1. Chad W says:

    absolutely sweet!
    I love the idea, looks like a mix of late show – the voice – church

  2. chris h says:

    It almost has a gameshow feel about it. I would like to see a camera shot of the pastor in the front and that green color in the background to see if it works for the camera.

    • Sean B says:

      Well my Pastor has red hair so i typically don’t use the green color behind him during teaching, usually a blue or sometimes red. But i do use different shades of green sometimes during some different praise and worship songs and sometimes behind different speakers. Here is a link to some more pictures and a couple of screen shots from teaching.

  3. chris h says:

    Sean, WOW, those close-ups look great! You’ve done a great job!

  4. Stage looks amazing… Question though, how did you get the steps to match?

  5. Casey says:

    Can you please explain more about the textured plastic you used to cover the front of the columns or borders? Also this may sound like a stupid question, but when you did your stairs did you buy the exact measurement of the strip light for each step? I understand you can buy a whole reel but how do you use it in multiple places?!

    • Sean B says:

      So the plastic is this stuff we got from Tap Plastics. I think the original use for it was to be put on the back of an aquarium. They have stores up and down the west coast but you can order online here.

      And for the LED strips we knew approximately how much we needed so we ordered just a bit more than that, and the cool thing about these specific ones is that you can cut them to length on set points of the reel (like every three lamps) and then you either clip on or sauder the ends on. Then each strip gets cabled back to a power box and DMX controller in a central location. For the stairs it’s under the center area of the stairs and for the frames and columns it’s behind the stage left center column. The link in the comment above has a good description of how they work.

  6. J Wilson says:

    Awesome. Did you paint the mdf? I can’t tell what color it is.

    • Sean B. says:

      Thanks! Ya the front section of mdf is painted a metallic silver, one of the martha stewart line of metallics at Lowes hardware. And the back section of mdf is painted a dark charcoal gray.

  7. anita mahan says:

    i love the band risers, can you give a little more detail (dimensions, materials, etc) on how you built those?

  8. Sean B says:

    Ya, our drum riser is an 8′ diameter circle. the top and bottom is 3/4″ plywood with 2×4 and 4×4 framing in the middle and the outside is 1/8″ plywood that we flopped over ladders and let sit outside in the rain for two days to give it a natural curve, then we cut the slots in it and taped the plastic inside and lit it with 3 flourescent light fixtures. The other is a 6’x8′ rectangle, the materials were the same, just didn’t have to get the wood to curve for that one.

  9. Scott Harvey says:

    How did you manage to get by without handrails at the stairs.. I’m having trouble with the building department on this issue.

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