Stage Designs

Pipe Drops

Steven Hall from Northland Church in Longwood, Florida brings us this rain pattern of PVC pipes.

This set was pretty simple and has been successfully done quite a few times by others. Their goal was to create a look like versa tubes on a $300 budget. They used 125 pieces of 1.25″ white PVC (10′) pipe. They cut the pipe into 2′ and 4′ sections. They randomly placed the tubes vertically making a varied backdrop.

They built a jig that held their 10′ pipes and clearly marked where their cuts would be. They cut all the pipes into 125 2′ sections and 250 4′ sections. Cutting with the chop saw wasn’t very precise or clean, but extremely quick. Once they had all their 2′ and 4′ pieces cut, they drilled holes at the bottom and top of all the pipes to hang them from. The hardest thing with this set was getting rid of the printing on the PVC. After lots of experimenting with chemicals to get the paint off, they decided it would be best to just paint the pipe with white latex paint. Sounds easy until you realize there is 1250 feet of pipe that has to be painted in 3 passes to get the whole thing covered. They spent 2 full days (14 hours each) painting the pipe sections. It was a huge headache and they were covered head to toe in paint by the end.

The flew their truss to match the angle of their proscenium.

In their setup, they randomly laid out and hung the PVC pipes. They used 30 lbs fishing line (which was hands down Steven’s worst set fail ever). After a few weeks, random sets of pipe began to fall. It made for a cool evolving set, but wasn’t the best way to go about it. Since then when they have used tie line with great success. They used LED pars, Studio Spot CMYs, and Studio Color 575s to light the set.

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