Stage Designs

Playing with Blocks

Rich Probert from Horizons Community Church in Ham Lake, MN brings us this beautiful box set.

Rich and the team created these blocks from 1″x1″‘s, 1″x4″‘s and 1″x2″‘s cut to create a basic 2’x2’ cube. The front 3 sides were wrapped from the inside with a simple white fabric. The back side was covered with black fabric to block any light from washing onto our back wall. To create the light they used 9 Chauvet Par Color Dashes and 2 Chauvet COLORpalettes.

Looming Questions Raising the Bar Inverted

10 responses to “Playing with Blocks”

  1. Jill V says:

    Looks great!! Are the tops all open or only some?

    • Rich Probert says:

      Jill, All tops and backs were built open. Once we settled on the look we wanted we used a simple black fabric on the back. We re-used the fabric from a previous set that we purchase from a fabric warehouse.

      For the tops we purchase heating tape. It is the tape that Heating and Air contractors use to seal up joints when they vent homes. What is cool about this is that is very reflective and will bounce the light source back down. You could use other reflective materials as well. We tried Aluminum foil too but settled on using the tape. The only problem is you have to tape it sticky side up. What we did was create a top piece out of 1/4" mdf that fit the the top leaving open the area in which we needed light to move up. By doing this we were able to black out any light escaping and forcing it back down with the the tape.

      It may sound like a lot of work but it really was not. Building the cubes was were all the time went.

  2. Tom Clark says:

    How stable are these? Would they be able to support, say a 50 LB moving light on the top box?

    • Rich Probert says:

      If you took the time to add biscuit joints or use a KREG kit it probably would. Especially if added a top cross piece on the top (i.e., 1*4, or a 1*6). The way I built them I would say no. I knew we were not going to add any weight or movement to them. With the movement of the moving light you not only add the weight of the light but also the movement of the yoke. If I were doing that application I would have build them much more solid to with stand both weight and movement.

  3. T Carter says:

    Is the material used spandex on the boxes? What would be the best material to still get good color???

  4. Rich Probert says:

    I have tried everything from white bed sheets to spandex. What helped me the most was a post on this site by John Weygandt, scenic designer at Willow Creek Community Church called stage drapery. He also has some great post on Youtube. After viewing this I look started to look for cheaper versions of fabric that might work in similar ways. However, you can't match them completely but I keep experimenting.

    The material I used was some fabric I had left over from a from a marriage series that I was able to purchase in bulk from a local warehouse. It is a poly blend. It was not the easiest material to use because it is a pretty stiff. If I ever do something like this again I will use a different material something with some stretch to it but probably not spandex. If you have a fabric warehouse near you can probably find something similar to spandex but not quite as expansive.

    Spandex would work well but it would be much more expansive and tough to use it again unless you were going to make smaller stretched shapes. I'm all about trying to recycle my sets as much as I can so I tend to use cheaper fabrics if I am going to have to strike it completely after its use is complete.

  5. Kjell says:

    So you're using the blocks to hide the short throw project which I assume is hitting the back wall. What projector are you using?

    • Rich Probert says:

      Yes and no and hiding the projectors for the use of the blocks. I do not have any way to do rear screen projection so we create are wide screen video wall via short throw projectors. If you look back in the archives at "project projection" It will show you a few more shots and the information you are looking for. Here is the information on the projectors and how we are doing it.

      The projection element was made possible with ProPresenter 4, a Matrox TripleHead2Go and 3 Hitachi CP-A52/100 projectors. Since there was no room for rear screen projection the Hitachi short throw projectors made it possible to create the back wall video. All the still graphics were created in-house but all animated drops where purchased from Igniter Media.

  6. Courtney says:

    We did something similar when we hosted District Assembly last year. For a church our size, we have a very small budget, but we just built the boxes and instead of fabric, we got acrylic sheets from Lowes. We also “borrowed” LED Christmas mini-light strands in red, green, blue and clear from a landscaper and put two strands of each color in each box and had each color on it’s own channel. It looked like we spent thousands of dollars on lighting when we didn’t spend anything. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
25 + 11 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.