Stage Designs

Throwback: Wood Blocks Back

Daniel Connell from Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma brings us this great wooden block background for their message. (Originally posted November 2012)

They needed something that looked great behind Pastor George during the message that would still let them do cool things during the worship portion.

They needed it mobile so they could move it in and out during service. They needed it to move in 30 seconds with minimal stagehand help. They needed lighting to be built into the element. And they wanted it to fit Pastor George’s style.

So they got inspired by a wood block table – with wood blocks cut lopsidedly. Their production manager and set carpenter went to work on creating a balanced internal frame that carries 500 pounds of wood and metal, sits on wheels, and has a single electrical plug that handles two circuits of dimming for each light unit.

Then they added the lopsidedly cut wood blocks and some light bulbs connected to flexible metal tubing. All the blocks were made from 8″x8″ cedar beams. They stained them all slightly different shades to give it an aged look.  After the cedar dried out it started cracking, which was a happy accident. Then they cut each face of cedar to make them all lopsided.

They made the cart and the frame from 2″x2″ tube steel. They cut the outer blocks to fit around the frame so you wouldn’t see the structure. Then the internal blocks were suspended on 1/2″ aircraft cable.

The external lighting was a 6′ strip light mounted to the front of the cart so it can move with the unit. The internal lighting was a variety of styles of edison lamps. The sockets for these were mounted to flexible copper tubing like you would use to run water to your refrigerator. This lets them get creative with the positioning. Each cart had two circuits (1 for the strip and 1 for the bulbs) but they used a five pin twist lock connecter so there would only be one plug. Their stage crew usually has 30 seconds to get these placed before their pastor comes out so everything has to work as quickly and easily as possible.

Get more production goodies from the Seeds Blog.

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2 responses to “Throwback: Wood Blocks Back”

  1. Josh Hubble says:

    Finally!!! I have been trying to get a good look at these for a while. Such a warm look and texture. I really dig the use of the vintage light bulbs. I have been wanting to use them in a design myself. If someone had a reflective space that was causing some sound issues, using this to break up the background would certainly help.

    Great Design

  2. Matthew Graham says:

    I have a question about the light fixtures hanging in the background. They almost look like photographer umbrellas from a lighting kit. Curious as to what they are and where to find them. Thanks for the insight!

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