Stage Designs

Projection and Bulbs

Jady Griffin (@jadygriffin) and Blanton Lewis from Antioch Community Church in Waco, TX bring us this projection backdrop with some hanging Edison bulbs.

Hanging bulbs:
For distribution, they used two commercial light strings (rated for outdoors) running across the stage that had 24 sockets each (every 2’). The label allowed 25W per bulb max rating but he went with 30W since they only used 15 sockets and the lamp wasn’t in the socket. The light string was zip tied up in the iron.

For each socket, they added socket/receptacle adapters by Leviton. The hangers were custom made, about 3’-4’ of SJOOW 18/2 terminated with a plug on one end and a keyless brass socket on the other (using an underwriters knot). This was the most time-consuming part.
They used Marconi 30W bulbs from

They zip tied the hangers to the iron to strain relief the hangers so they weren’t hanging by the plug only and it allowed for random drop lengths.

The projected backdrop used three NEC NP-M300XS 3000 lumen ultra short throw projectors with a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go, running from a repurposed Dell Precision 490 with a GTX 650 Ti video card. The projectors were only about 4′ from the backdrop. The short throw meant the band back line didn’t make shadows on the projection. They band lighting consisted of S4 PAR WFL top lights and S4 Jr 50deg ellipsoidals as high sides to keep all light spill off the projection surface. They didn’t even put front light on the back line of the band since it would completely wash out the projection.

The projection surface consisted of 15 pieces of Coroplast that were 14″ wide by 8′ high. They used binder clips to attach them to 4″ luan slats stapled onto vertical stage string from a previous design. The Coroplast pieces provided much more projection surface than the thinner slats did. So even though they were using projection on the slats, some people thought they had just added the projectors.







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5 responses to “Projection and Bulbs”

  1. Joshua says:

    This looks great!

    Someone needs to jump on Photoshop & make a projection mask though.

    It would clean it up.

  2. Blanton says:

    Thanks Joshua! Great idea on the mask. But at the moment we’re using EasyWorship, moving slowly to ProPres…
    Key to this backdrop is keeping light off of it, and using full color across the whole thing – wish I had gone with a better wide image than the first one because black space on the projected image tends to break the illusion a bit.

  3. Jaron says:

    This looks very nice. Coroplast is God’s gift to stage designers! Just a few questions, though. How much depth was there between the coroplast and your back wall? Also, were your projectors mounted on from the ceiling or on the floor?

    Thanks for adding this great design!!

    • Blanton says:

      Sorry Jaron – apparently I’m not subscribed to see comments. Or something.

      We actually have a black upstage curtain. It really soaks up the light but it’s not perfect. It’s probably a few inches upstage.

      The projectors were mounted on the steel above our stage with unistrut, Peerless unistrut mounts, 1.5″ down pipe, and Peerless gear-driven mounts (for precision tweaking) from B&H.

  4. Derrick says:

    I love this design! Very creative and efficient! We are wanting to use hanging light bulbs as well for our newest sermon series, and I was curious as to how this was done with this stage design. Thanks so much!

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