Stage Designs

Throwback: Rocky Retreat

Josh Morton from Holyfire Ministries in New Haven, CT brings us this design for their Brave Generation Conference. (Originally posted May 2013)

Their primary obstacles were aircraft cable strung across the room , the house sodium lights, and a fairly unattractive room. Their church, City Church, is entirely mobile, so their team is pretty well verses on portable designs that can be stored compactly in a box truck.

Josh took cues from several different designs on CSDI, including “Screens are Falling Down” and “Crumpled in a V” for the aluminum screening, which they bought in 4′ widths in both 25′ and 100′ rolls. They hung these from the bottom edge of the steel I-beams using spring clips. Unfortunately, the venue specs listed the peak height as 30′ when it was actually 33′, which left their 25′ about 3 feet too short to cover the entire drop, so they trimmed the heights of the outside screen drops to match the slope of the corrugated aluminum set pieces in the background.

Those set pieces were repurposed from an earlier stage design Josh created, and were made of 2′ wide corrugated metal roofing cut with a 35* angle at the top. They screwed 1/2″ emt conduit to the back of these. For the bases, they built triangles out of 2×4 and mounted 3/4″ EMT conduit to them. The 1/2″ EMT simply slides into the 3/4″ on the bases, making setup time almost nil and giving them the ability to pack the metal flat in the truck.

The centerpiece of the design was the “Liberty” logo, inspired by “examples in foam”. This was simply 3/4″ Extruded Polystyrene Insulated Sheathing from Lowe’s. Josh took the psd file and sized the logo so that the widest letter would fit within a 4′ sheet to eliminate seams and maximize the size of the logo. He had their graphic designer do the tracing of the letters (an important note for those who are incapable of drawing nice straight lines and smooth curves like him). Then they cut the letters with a utility knife, changing blades often to keep the cutting easy. The whole sign got three coats of Valspar PVA primer in white.

At the venue, they glued the letters together using black 1×2 and gorilla glue. They split the 1×2 into two long lengths, half of which was mounted on the bottom of the letters on the left side and the top half on the right side to minimize exposure of the wooden structure. Josh glued six small pieces across the top and sunk 1 1/2″ drywall screws as mounting points. Then they hung spider wire invisibraid fishing line from the roof steel and had a crew of 12 on hand to lift the sign in place while he tied off the lines from a scissor lift.

Josh lit the mesh with 7 Chauvet Colorado Quad Pars, the sign with 6 Chauvet Slim Par Pro Tris, and the stage with 10 mac entours, 8 S4 lekos, and 8 more Quad pars. None of them expected the foam logo to pop as much as it did.

Finally, they bought five 100′ lengths of C7 light stringers and 7-watt 2″ glass bulbs for house light, and utilized the existing wire in the building to rig those above the seating.

They had about $150 in the liberty logo, $250 in the mesh, and about $400 in the stringer lights. The aluminum was already built, but could be reproduced for about $30 per section.






Room before 2

Room before

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2 responses to “Throwback: Rocky Retreat”

  1. Desiree says:

    Great job on this design! It’s simple, but engaging :)

  2. Kendall says:

    Wow! The before and after – Amazing job!

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