Stage Designs

Throwback: Third World Shelter

Glenn Davis, scenic designer and manager at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois brings us this stage design perfect for any social justice/missions sermon series.

The challenge in creating this set was showing a representation toward the need for shelter but also create an environment for celebration. Designing a set that was both abstract and surrealistic helped them achieve the proper balance.

The set materials were made from thin cedar wood siding, red corrugated vinyl, weathered wood from old storage pallets, bamboo poles, rope and 1” pink foam. The entire set was rigged from line sets and supported with 1/16” aircraft cables and gliders.

To create the “third world feel” and “representation of shelter” there were several techniques involved.

  • The cedar siding was left unpainted, ripped apart and randomly placed in a vertical line.
  • The corrugated red vinyl was lightly sprayed with watered down gray paint to resemble rusty tin and were randomly cut and assembled.
  • The weather boards were randomly attached to the back side of the vinyl to protrude out
  •  The use of two inch diameter rope was a notable addition and was placed above each element to give the impression that it was holding it up.
  • 160 one inch bamboo poles were assembled to form three back wall layers.
  • The foam was painted brown, cut eight inch widths and hot glued together to form the upper appearance of roof lines.

Once the scenic elements where in place it became the lighting designer’s project to enhance the texture and dimension of materials with help from a pallet of gobos, effects and color. The conventional rig comprised of SGM Giotto 400 washes, Martin 2k’s, Vari-Lite 3000 spots and floor support from the Robes LT Series, swaths of saturated color made the larger-than scale scenic environment exceedingly warm and significant.

The use of video was an excellent addition that helped foster more possibilities toward creativity instead of just static scenery for three weeks. Two 162”x 95” screens allowed for a 16 x 9 video format and two 12k Barco projectors showed the audience the quality and quantity of large-scale color photographs so believable that the screen seemed to disappear.

Strategically placing scenery for several different camera angles can be a challenge. Several layers of scenery were purposely place to add depth and dimension. Captured by camera for IMAG it created a realistic visual experience for 25,000 individuals that attended each weekend.

The key to any successful scenic project is to know the content, uncompromising attention to detail, careful preparation, staying within budget and keeping on schedule for execution.

Vertical Video Rough and Clear

3 responses to “Throwback: Third World Shelter”

  1. Neville says:

    This looks great. Finally a set that has some warmth in colour and focus. Many sets shown seem to be rather over exposed with bright colour that LED will produce at 100%. This makes it uncomfortable for the audience over a period of time. Lighting dosnt need to be run at 100%and especially LED. The important thing is to get focus where you need it, just as you guys have done.
    Also a great set that is well designed for the message.



  2. seymor says:

    i like the creativity.job well done to achieve the church’s goal.

  3. seymor says:

    job well done in achieving the church GOAL.

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